Volunteering at the Rusty Grape Vineyard

February 17, 2010

My husband and I had an urge to go check out The Rusty Grape Vineyard one rainy gray January. It is a cute little five acres run by Jeremy and Heather Brown just outside of Battle Ground, WA. Their label is kind of a cross between French beverage drinks in kind of an art nouveau style and old style pin up girls. It is unique, and their website strikes to be different by just being themselves.

We tried all their wines that day, including a strawberry dessert wine, to which my husband and I both hope that my strawberry wine would be half that good. Jeremy answered a few questions about how they ferment things.

Heather and Jeremy are fairly young, and I kept telling my husband, “That could be us.” I mean that their life style of operating a winery could be ours. They have some good ideas, too, like having Friday night dinner and a movie during the winter to try and help increase customer traffic during the slower months.

When the Rusty Grape posted that they were looking for helpers for the chocolate and wine tasting Valentine’s weekend, I signed us up, hoping to see more of the winery, to gain some hands on experience working in a winery, and to get to know Jeremy and Heather more to feel more comfortable asking questions about how they started up their winery.

They put us to work pouring a chardonnay, pinot noir, sangiovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, a sparkling pinot noir, strawberry, and a sweet reisling. For two hours, we poured wine, talked to people, and listened to what Jeremy was saying. He is really excited about me opening a cider house, and even suggested a location in Hockinson as a tasting room. He explained how he got the pinot noir to be sparkling, and how he is currently selling it faster than he can produce it, a list which we put our names on.

I found out from Heather that a cousin of Jeremy’s worked with them to design the label, and even created their own font to do so. I asked her how they really got started up, and she recommended chasing after the alcohol license. She said it took eight months to get, but that once they had it, they felt compelled to use it, and that is what got them going.

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3 Responses to “Volunteering at the Rusty Grape Vineyard”


  1. […] business example I want to give is The Rusty Grape Vineyard. They provide free wine tastings except for major events, such as the upcoming Wine and Chocolate […]


  2. […] one on the list was the Rusty Grape Vineyard, which I am a sucker for because of the owners. We poured for them last year at this event, and they had they best chocolate pairing of the wineries we went to that day with Majestic […]


  3. […] there were two white wines, one of which was Rusty Grape’s Riesling, which we like. Both wines were paired up with simple little tarts with cheese and mild fruit. They […]


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