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September 6, 2006

The Culture of Hacking


We think that the wine business is ripe for hacking.

Lots of people think of hacking in the illicit, sub-culture sense, but in the legitimate world of hacking, those folks are referred to as "Crackers". Hacking is simply about creating innovative solutions.

Hugh pointed out to us a year ago that using Aussie and Kiwi tech to make Sauvignon Blanc in South Africa, was a hacker move. We were not the first to do this sort of thing, but that just means that there is a community of hackers in the wine business and we believe that it is these guys who move the industry forward.

We think that the recent award that we won for the best Pinotage produced in South Africa was based upon a production ethos that hacked some more traditional production techniques. Freshness of course, in a world where older is considered better, is a bit of a hacker approach.

Wine is defined by historical paradigms and perpetuation of old beliefs: Place defining wine instead of a certain ethos of production that actually makes the difference.

Many people think that terroir defines a wine, but put the wrong winemakers, procedure or equipment into great terroir, and then terroir matters little. However, great technique can take the mundane and make it special. We see that with hacker driven producers like Andy Quady, making great wine in the heart of a commodity grape growing area. Randall Graham has done the same thing… created great products from mundane sources. How often has a great winemaker shown the potential of a hitherto under estimated area?

We’ve been privileged to meet a number of hackers in the tech and marketing communities over the last year and what seems to make many of them really shine, is an approach to innovation and pushing the status quo.

We’ll be talking more about hacking, how the approach can bring new levels of enjoyment to wine and a couple of new hackerish projects that we are working on.

We’re adding the little insignia above to the blog, which is known at the Glider. Check it out when you have a moment.

Posted by Jason at September 6, 2006 11:36 AM

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Great site.

Now make it excellent: Add a section for "Where to get your hands on a bottle". Right now it is like the proverbial search for a needle from a haystack.

Luckily I found a link to my local purveyor of imbibables, but you are turning lot of people off unhappy. You can check one here http://www.jaanuskase.com/en/2006/08/stormhoek_where_er_is_the_wine.html

Posted by: matti salminen at September 11, 2006 12:44 AM

The hacker ethos of freshness is evident in Budweiser's successful fresh beer campaigns - very much marketing 2.0 - taking a message that is understandable to people from its use in other markets and use it to disrupt your own market.

Posted by: John Dodds at September 11, 2006 12:38 PM


We had to deliver the bad news to Janus that we had no immediate plans to be able to serve the Estonian market. I think he understood, But we explained that Janus can bring some back from the UK, next time he is here.

As for the USA, we are receiving call/emails and comments daily from people asking: WHERE can we find the elusive juice.

The good news is that we have shipped about 100,000 bottles to the USA. The problem is that I cannot tell where they are as we are waiting for a full report from our importer.

We hope to be able to post a good list in the next week or so, in the interim, you can email Dtaub@palmbayimports.com, this is the man in charge of the importer and the guy with the answers.

For the moment, I can tell you that I know K&L wines in Redwood City Ca, have some, and there are a good number of retailers in NJ and FL. Other than that I have no specifics.

We will update the blog as soon as we have the information.

And, of course, thanks for your patience.


Posted by: Jason at September 12, 2006 10:25 PM

Heya guys

Just a quick note after noting your best site of the day on MWEB's pages, the awards and the great wine... I'm buying local and from the (for now ) smaller guy instead,

EGBOK South Africa

Cheers with love, light and laughter

Posted by: Paul S Vermaak at December 11, 2006 12:46 PM

The site''s very professional! Keep up the good work! Oh yes, one extra comment - maybe you could add more pictures too! So, good luck to your team!

Posted by: Martha at July 10, 2007 4:24 PM

Hi! Very interesting!

Posted by: Sophie at July 18, 2007 4:09 PM

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