Gretchen Allen-Sales and Marketing Director
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Hand of God Wines Announces the Release of their Inaugural Vintage - 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seattle, WA – Hand of God Wines is excited to announce the release of their inaugural vintage, a 2010 Red Wine Blend, and a 2010 Old Vine Malbec, both produced in limited quantities and intended for consumption by wine drinkers the world over who are looking for something “more”. The soft release date was December 2012, however, Hand of God wines has decided to officially launch the brand on April 17, 2013, to coincide with Malbec World Day and celebrations around the world.
Jon Staenberg, CEO/Founder, and Santiago Achaval, Winemaker, both believe that Hand of God will capitalize on the forward growth of Malbec consumption, and help to elevate the perception of Malbec as bulk exports decrease, consumer spending increases, and the global palate matures, looking for more concentration, focus and typicity.
Hand of God Wines will be launching in ten major markets in 2013, starting with Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and San Francisco, CA. Subsequent launches will take place in Las Vegas, NV, Fort Lauderdale, FLA, Chicago, IL, and Houston, TX. By fall, initial launch efforts will be in effect in Minneapolis, MN, New York, NY, and the Mid-Atlantic region, where response to the wines at the Mid-Atlantic Wine Festival in March 2013 were overwhelmingly positive.
“Being a new company, it was important to take the wine to the market to gauge consumer response (in advance of the official launch)” states Jon, “and as the founder, my emotions were running high. So imagine my joy when I heard one person say ‘The wine was so good it brought tears to my eyes’, which was fitting as the themed dinner that day was ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’.”
National Sales and Marketing Director, Gretchen Allen adds “we are so fortunate to be a wine produced in Mendoza, Argentina, but with personal ties to the Pacific NW and California Bay Area. This allows us to bridge the export-import component of wine consumption and our partnership with Santiago Achaval is a key component to our market recognition.
For Santiago, “Hand of God is a name that means many things to Jon and I, and we sincerely enjoy the various ‘interpretations’ that the name evokes.” While some may find the reference to the infamous FIFA soccer goal of 1986 (Argentina vs. U.K.), “controversial”, one cannot deny that the expression “Hand of God” or “Mano de Dios”, is decidedly Argentine. “When you think of Malbec today, one immediately thinks ‘Argentina’,” states Gretchen, “and Jon and Santiago were smart to choose a name that is recognizable and translatable. My favorite thing about the name, however, is that it is a conversation starter, and the die-cut ‘window’ on our labels forces you to look beyond the name, and into the glass. We want people to identify with the name first, then dive into the wine, where they find the connection to the grape, the vineyard, and the winemaking culture of this burgeoning region.”
Hand of God is a collaboration between fellow Stanford Alums, Jon Staenberg and Santiago Achaval. It was during their time at Stanford that they both fell in love with wine, and upon graduation from business school, Santiago immediately returned to Argentina to embark on a career in winemaking. Jon, conversely, stayed in the Bay Area, and split his time between San Francisco and Seattle, helping to grow companies such as Microsoft, as well as funding several well-known start-ups via venture capital. In 2006, the two re-connected over a couple of bottles of wine during an asado (bbq), while relaxing at the base of the Andes Mountains. It was here that Jon felt something compelling, and a calling to bring Santiago’s story to the U.S.
Focused on malbec, of which Santiago is hailed by Robert Parker as “the King” (of malbec), Hand of God wines are produced from low-yielding fruit, with concentrated character, and minimal intervention. Bottled in extremely limited quantities, each hand numbered bottle of Old Vine Malbec has a story to tell. Please visit www.handofgodwines.com to hear more of this story, as well as to share your story, of ‘what does Hand of God mean’ to you.