PM360 recently spoke to Brian Peters, VP, Sales & Marketing at Medexus Pharma, about what the process is like for making your own wine.

Brian Peters in a vineyard.

PM360: How did you get into winemaking?

Brian Peters: I was on a flight to San Francisco in 2007 when I read an article about a new custom winemaking facility in SF that would help you make wine from start to finish. I had a few hours before my meeting, so I went from the airport to the facility to learn more about it.

I was so impressed I called my wife to let her know that I wanted to try this, then called my next-door neighbor and asked him if he and his wife, close friends of ours, wanted in. He said yes and away we went. We made our first of several wines with them that year, a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It was great fun and I still have one bottle left that we plan on drinking in 2022. We named it “Anticipation.”

A bottle of the Napa Merlot that Brian’s group made. All of their wines’ names end in “tion,” with this one being called Seduction.

What is the actual process like for making a custom wine? What is this facility like?

The custom facility was originally known as Crushpad and is now known as The Wine Foundry (www.thewinefoundry.com). They have a variety of grapes and vineyards that you can work with and they assign a winemaker to help you through the entire process. You can be as involved or uninvolved as you’d like. We were very involved in the process, from the crush to the press to the label design and the bottling. Along the way, the group we got involved grew from two couples to six.

Can you describe some, if not all, of the wines you make? What is in them? How do they taste?

I have made two Napa Cabernet Sauvignons, a Napa Merlot, a Sonoma Viognier, a Napa Zinfandel, and a Sonoma Syrah. We’ve been very happy with all of them, but my favorite is the first one, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Call it sentimental value, but I think it drank extremely well young and has continued to age well in the bottle. A close second was the Viognier we made. It’s not a common grape in the U.S., but the vineyard we made it from has had great success with the grape over the years and it was a pleasure to drink.

Blending session notes for the group’s Zinfandel.

When you make these wines, generally how many bottles do you get? Are these available anywhere? Or are they just for you?

You generally approach it by the barrel. You get 24 to 25 cases from a barrel. We make one barrel at a time and divide it up based on the number of couples involved. There are people that make it available for sale, but we make it for our consumption!

Do you have plans for your next wine?

We’ll probably make it sometime in the next year or two. It will be a Cabernet Sauvignon or the Viognier again. If it’s up to me, both!

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