2/19/2009

Wine Whore Review: Barefoot Wine & Bubbly

Posted by The Wine Whore |





Discovering the best possible wine which is readily available at an affordable price is the ultimate Zen for a wine lover, especially given the current economy. It is even rarer at the same time to find a winery that strives to make the world a better place. One winery, Barefoot Wine, has consistently achieved this Zen status since its beginnings in 1965. Today Barefoot Wine partners with non-profits through thousands of events while also being the most awarded CA wine under $10 through its diverse collection of 10 still and 5 sparkling wines.

Despite being recognized with more than 250 awards each year since 2004, Barefoot Wine is not exclusive or elitist. Their wines aim to be delicious, affordable, and enjoyed by everyone, from �first-time wine consumers to long-time connoisseurs�. The recipe for success: a long history of cost effective quality, excellent winemaking, and charity. When mixed together, these ingredients culminate in a massive following of wine lovers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe who enjoy the wine and promote the Barefoot cause.

The Barefoot Wine story begins in 1965. The name, Barefoot Wine, comes from the original way of crushing grapes, barefoot. Barefoot Bynum Burgundy was the first release and was only for sale in the tasting room of the self-taught California winemaker Davis Bynum. Although these early Barefoot Wines were a hit and quickly outsold Bynum�s higher priced wines, he decided to focus on his original goal of producing high end wines. Eventually, the Barefoot Wines were phased out.

After over 10 years of being abandoned to focus on other brands, Barefoot was brought back to life by Michael Houlihan and partner Bonnie Harvey. Together in 1986, they released two varietals: Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon and Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc. To promote their wine while also supporting locale charities, Randy Arnold was hired as a "Barefooter" in 1990. As a �Barefooter�, Randy would provide wine donations to non-profit events while also promoting the Barefoot Wine brand. For example, in 2006 they became a sponsor of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP). They also have created the Barefoot Beach Rescue Project by teaming up with the Surfrider Foundation. Together, they work to clean up beaches and ensure they are "Barefoot friendly."

While continuing to add new varietals to its portfolio, the most notable addition to Barefoot Wine was in 1995 when Jennifer Wall was hired as the Barefoot Winemaker. Jennifer originally thought she would work in biology or medicine. It wasn�t until a summer job in a Sonoma wine lab that she discovered an avenue for her talents to create wines that everyone can enjoy. When Jennifer is not busy being recognized for her winemaking abilities and winning over 2,500 medals for Barefoot Wines, she devotes herself to charities such as Junior Achievement and the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation.

Since the addition of Jennifer, Barefoot Wine has continued to grow as a national brand. It has expanded over the years to include Barefoot Zinfandel, Barefoot Merlot, Barefoot Pinot Grigio, and followed by Barefoot Bubbly 'Premium' Champagne and Barefoot Bubbly 'Brut Cuvee' Champagne. Barefoot was also awarded as "Hot Brand" by Impact Magazine from 2001 to 2004. Houlihan got the opportunity to further his dream of expanding Barefoot into a bigger organization when Barefoot was purchased by E & J Gallo Winery. Today, Barefoot continues to produce wines that taste great and are affordable while also encouraging members of the community to become �Barefooters� and join them in making the world a better place.

We should all raise a glass to Barefoot for setting the standard of Zen wine and charity!



If you don�t get the opportunity to taste Barefoot Wine yourself, stay posted as I taste and review the following selections:

-Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry
-Barefoot Bubbly Pinot Grigio
-Barefoot Merlot
-Barefoot Zinfandel
-Barefoot Shiraz
-Barefoot Chardonnay
-Barefoot Pinot Grigio


In the meantime, for more information, their website has a lot of great features including Barefooter information, Beach Rescue information, events, Jen�s Blog, recipes, and other fun activities and trivia.

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2 comments:

lain@winetalk.org said...

You are on the mark with these wines always delivering high quality/price ratio. great bang for the buck, year after year!

The Wine Whore said...

Thank you Lain! Barefoot definitely excels when it comes to the price/quality ratio.

Cheers!

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