Behind the wine with Scott Peterson
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It all started with a hope, a dream… and a dog
With nothing but a full tank of gas, his pickup truck and a trusty dog a 19-year-old Scott Peterson traveled from Colonial Williamsburg to California in pursuit of winemaking.
…The pull of Sonoma was strong and it’s where he settled as a winemaker. Happily!
To Kendall Jackson, Chateau Ste. Michelle and beyond…
Scott became an integral part of the Kendall-Jackson winemaking team when KJ was defining California Chardonnay in the 90s.
That Cali Chardonnay style is known all over the world as unctuous, ripe, and full-throttled.
And after about a decade in the business – working for KJ and Chateau St. Michelle’s California wineries (Conn Creek and Villa Mt. Eden) – as well as consulting in Argentina for producer Nicolas Catena – Scott took a chance and started his own brands Rumpus Cellars and S.P. Drummer.
“Consulting really allowed me the financial resources to define my own brand,” said Scott.
He parlayed his success into a custom tasting room. His own wines were front and center in downtown Sonoma!
Just a few years in business, Scott found himself in 9 markets including the East Coast and was consistently doubling his volume year-upon-year.
Everything was great for this talented Sonoma winemaker – until…
….the illustrious great recession hit in 2008-2009.
“Because of the market shrinkage and constriction of luxury goods, I went from 9 markets down to 3 markets,” said Scott. “It was an extremely difficult time.”
Eventually, Scott found himself boarding up his beloved Sonoma tasting room. It was the end of an era – and seemingly the end of Scott’s dream.
But that’s when winemaker and friend Matt Parish found Scott and asked if he’d want a $1 million contract to work for a startup.
It was a new online wine community called nakedwines.com.
Soon, nakedwines.com’s Angels came to the rescue
That was the moment everything shifted for Scott.
Customers at nakedwines.com – called Angels – invested in 2,500 cases of Scott’s high-end Sonoma wines – after raising more than $1 million from its pool of 200,000 investors worldwide.
The funding was enough to help him create eight wines over at least three vintages. And he used that crowdsourced money to buy grapes from prominent Northern California vineyards, oak barrels from French coopers and to pay for other startup costs.
“I was no longer the person responsible for all this debt. I was free to be me – a retro, obsessive and extractive winemaker… nakedwines.com really allows me that creativity.”
– Scott Peterson, nakedwines.com winemaker
That was in 2012. All these years later, Scott’s one of the most successful independent winemakers in America – a proud nakedwines.com producer for life.
If you’re curious about Scott’s wines and want to support independent winemakers like him, first-time customers can use promo code FB0319ALL to enjoy $50 off their first order.
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