There are subscription boxes for just about everything. From makeup to clothes, to even dog food there is a booming trend in goods delivered right to your door. Selections by Sagemoor follows this trend but with an enological twist. The concept from Yakima Valley’s Allan Bros. Fruit Co. and its legendary Sagemoor Vineyards collection isn’t designed like a wine club, there isn’t a subscription fee and it’s not meant to be a discount wine retailer. Kent Waliser, director of vineyard operations for the company, describes Selections by Sagemoor as an online retail shop.
“We felt like the brave new frontier is online wine sales and retail sales, so we created an online retail shop,” Waliser says. “We wanted to create a different way for consumers to connect with us.”
Sagemoor Vineyards was created in 1968 with about 450 acres of land. More recently Sagemoor was bought by Allan Bros in 2014. In an effort to support the wineries that have sourced from and supported the collection of five vineyards, Selections by Sagemoor has partnered with many of the wineries they sell their grapes to in this unique wine club. Each selection offers an original set of three wines by three different winemakers using Sagemoor fruit.
Waliser explains that many wineries in Eastern Washington are isolated from population hubs like Seattle, noting it isn’t often that people physically visit these wineries for purchases. “We want to elevate the vineyards,” Waliser adds. “We think we can serve as a vehicle to take wines that are made by 100 winemakers that we work with and bring those vineyard focused wines into a retail shop.”
This is a way for the consumer to compare different winemakers that use the same grapes, Waliser explains. Much like a signature or a fingerprint, winemakers each individually have a unique style. By offering shipments with multiple bottles from different winemakers, consumers are able to learn more about the winemakers and the vineyards themselves. Previous offers have included Barrister, aMaurice, Mackey, Bookwalter and Trust, with varying thematic focuses such as “A Study of Bordeaux in Columbia Valley” or “Great Cabs of Sagemoor.”
Through the process the wine drinker can choose which focus of wines they’d like to have, but the team at Sagemoor picks the individual wines the consumer receives. There is also no time-based subscription or subscription fee, the consumer only pays for the wine and shipping. This differs slightly from subscription services that pre-package all the goodies, with year-long commitments and aggressive fees. The Sagemoor boxes ship with three bottles inside and range from $60 to $200 depending on the bottles selected.
“We want to be your [wine] concierge,” Waliser says. “The wine shop on the corner is limited by their [location] and we’re only limited by your address.”
With the Sagemoor Vineyard property’s purchase in 1968, and the other vineyards following in suite short after, Waliser describes this as the modern birthdate of the Eastern Washington wine industry. Around the same time other wineries like Chateau Ste. Michelle were also putting down their roots. Over the years Sagemoor vineyard collection has grown to 1,100 acres and they supply their grapes to nearly 100 winemakers.