The Story of Spicy Vines

Somehow the ancient cultural traditions of frigid European nights warmed by steaming cups of spiced wine has forged with the newfangled liberal ideas of modern California wine-making and resulted in this brazen hybrid of old and new worlds. A spiced wine so diverse that it can be served heated in a special mug on a cold night, chilled with fruit on a hot summer day, at room temperature in a wine glass during dinner, or combined with an array of spirits to form an unexpected artisanal cocktail. How did this come to pass? Like many a good story, it all started with a bet, a simple bet between co-founders Crystalyn Hoffman and Anders Pederson.

The story goes something like this: after graduating college in 2009, Crystalyn spent an eventful year living in Germany and gallivanting across Europe. One of the many joys that Crystalyn discovered while traveling, was a love for various gastronomies, and her favorite unique libation became a delicious drink called Glühwein (also known as Mulled Wine, Glögg or Gløgg), a traditional spiced wine beverage.

One cloudy afternoon after her return back in her Californian home of San Francisco, Crystalyn suddenly became overwhelmed with an intense craving for it, and tried in vain to describe to her friend Anders this glorious wine beverage that she had discovered in Germany. Of course Anders’ interest was piqued. He too wanted to experience the radiant bliss that Crystalyn claimed this spiced wine drink invoked. “Surely,” said he, “There must be somewhere we can go to buy a bottle. I must try it for myself!” Crystalyn disagreed, “No silly, we don’t have spiced wine in the U.S. but good luck trying. When you find it, bring me a bottle and I’ll make you a sandwich.” So the two formed a wager, a wager that would later prove to significantly alter the futures of them both, and of the wine market forever…

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