- BC Games
GRAPEVINE: Quick movies teach the basics of wine
When John McLaughlin, a.k.a. “the wineo,” and Taylor Van Vliet, “the rookie,” set off to explore Washington State’s often overlooked wine region, they had one goal in mind: to create a non-pretentious website to follow their journey and answer simple wine-related questions.
They spent two weeks hopping from vineyard to vineyard, filming conversations with winemakers and uploading movies every evening to their website grapehwy.com.
“There are a lot of people who go to the liquor store and pick a wine because of its label, but there’s so much more to it. We’re teaching people more about wine in a fun, non-pretentious way,” McLaughlin, who lives in North Vancouver, tells The Outlook at a coffee shop on Lonsdale Avenue.
Their website’s quick films (most are less than two minutes) answer basic questions about wine, including: What’s a dry wine? How is wine made? and What is corked wine?
Unlike McLaughlin “the wineo,” who works in the wine retail industry and briefly made le vin in Australia, Van Vliet is a wine enthusiast in training.
“A lot of people can relate to me. We’re just getting started learning about wine, asking the same questions,” he says, adding they want to turn the website into a go-to resource for wine and wine tourism. With the Washington State’s wine region trek already online, they hope to get sponsorship from tourism boards and wine accessory brands.
After a test-run in B.C., they crossed the border last month. Compared to California’s vast wine region, Washington State is a small player that deserves attention nonetheless, says McLaughlin.
“Vines in Washington are only about 30 or 40 years old at the oldest, but there is a tremendous knowledge base,” he says. “They contract international wine makers from Italy, France, Canada and Australia.”
What’s next for “the wineo” and “the rookie”?
They are expanding grapehwy.com to include a section that links vineyards together so tourists can easily plan their trips and upload their own footage. After that, they’ll be exploring new wine regions, which might include their dream trip to Italy’s famous Tuscany region.
Visit grapehwy.com for more info and for links to their Facebook and Twitter pages.