NAPA, Calif., Feb. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- When Keith Hock left Schramsberg Vineyards earlier this year to pursue independent projects, the wine world took notice. A winemaker at the top of his game at a vineyard that the Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine calls "the unchallenged leader in California sparkling wine," Hock is a proven winner. Now he'll make wines under his own label with crowdfunding from NakedWines.com Angel investors, who will get first pick of the fruits of his labor.
Founded during the Civil War, Schramsberg Vineyards has made the wines poured by US presidents ever since Richard Nixon served a 1969 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs to make the "Toast to Peace" in Beijing on his historic visit to China in 1972. Schramsberg wines have been served to Queen Elizabeth, Hollywood moguls and astronauts during a space mission.
Hock has carried on that proud tradition, racking up 35 90+ ratings and winning "Best Overall Wine" and "Best Sparkling Wine" at the Sydney International Wine Competition, the first time an American wine or a sparkling wine had ever won those two awards. Now Hock will use his much-heralded talents to make sparkling and still wines for NakedWines.com Angels.
"The opportunity to make wines at a celebrated vineyard like Schramsberg is a rare honor," Hock said. "But even great traditions can limit creative options and pigeonhole winemakers. Thanks to NakedWines.com Angels, I'm now free to use my creativity and experience to make wines under my own label, which is a dream come true."
Hock is the third head winemaker from a major sparkling house to secure Angel funding to create his own label. He joins sparkling wine luminaries Jean-Philippe Moulin (formerly of Ruinart, Mumm, Perrier Jouet and Baron de Rothschild) and Wayne Donaldson (former head winemaker at Domaine Chandon) at NakedWines.com.
"Keith is the real deal, one of California's most famous sparkling winemakers, and he left an incredibly prestigious sparkling house to come make bubbly and other wines for our Angels," said Matt Parish, chief winemaker / officer, Naked Wines International. "It's definitely a coup to bring a winemaker of Keith's caliber on board, and we can't wait for our Angels to taste his first offering, Bollicine in Bianco, a bright and lively Italian inspired California sparkling wine."
NakedWines.com is a privately funded online wine company that helps everyday wine lovers drink like the rich and famous. They do this by crowd-funding winemakers. Over 200,000 customers called Angels invest directly in winemakers by setting aside $40 per month, all of which goes toward their next purchase. The company invests these funds in top-tier winemakers around the world to make wine exclusively for NakedWines.com.