Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Revolt Wine Co. targets a different kind of wine drinker

The keg-only local wine label wants its wine where there’s live music

Revolt Wine is sold exclusively in the 5.16 gallon kegs colloquially known as sixtels. - Image by Sydney Prather
Revolt Wine is sold exclusively in the 5.16 gallon kegs colloquially known as sixtels.

No adult beverage is more closely tied to a sense of geography than wine. Names of wine growing regions are used as shorthand for quality, attributed to an appellation’s terroir. In other words, the flavor imparted by its dirt. It’s why the traditional, estate winery business model calls upon wine enthusiasts to visit the location the grapes are grown and fermented, to taste a wine in the place where it purportedly makes the most sense.

So what’s to be made of Revolt Wine Co., a new breed of wine label that sources grapes from all over California, makes wine in Napa, and sells wine exclusively in San Diego?

There’s actually a roundabout logic to Revolt’s unmoored sense of place, and it’s a story that includes Nebraska. That’s where the Revolt founder Heather Hudson grew up, and experienced her first taste of the wine industry. Her interest subsequently drew her to France, and then the neighboring Northern California wine countries of Napa and Sonoma, where she worked for a small winery and pursued a degree in wine business, all the while plotting her own take on a wine startup after work each night. Seven years ago, that label started out producing 25 cases per year by the name WTF, with no tasting room and bottle-club-only sales to customers in 15 states.

Business grew steadily, but in the intervening years, San Diego’s sense of place made a mark on Hudson and her husband. They took a vacation here a few years back and liked it so much they decided to relocate. While she brought northern California vineyard and winemaker connections with her, she saw a different kind of opportunity selling wine somewhere better known for beer. “As I got to thinking about it,” Hudson says, “it was the best move for my brand… I could take something I started and bring it somewhere that wasn’t oversaturated with wine.”

She runs the business out of Pacific Beach, self-distributing Revolt’s two annual vintages, a cabernet and stainless steel fermented chardonnay, producing the equivalent of a thousand cases annually. Ironically, it’s a different interpretation of a wine’s sense of place that inspired her to rebrand and make what would be considered a controversial move the traditional wine community: to ditch bottles altogether and only sell wine by the keg. The idea is that, where a wine came from may be less important to some wine drinkers than where they are and what they’re doing when they drink it.

“In Napa, the focus is what’s in the glass,” she explains, “I wanted to focus on the experience they shared with the wine.” So she’s paired her passion for wine with her passion for music, and markets her brand by producing web content with musicians including unsigned regional bands and national headliners such as The Offspring, Iration and, Warren G. Putting the wine in kegs makes it marketable to bars, clubs, and breweries operating live music venues.

In doing so, she’s skipping past the swirl, sniff, and sip crowd of wine drinkers. “That’s not the kind of person I’m going after,” Hudson says. When Revolt’s target audience remembers drinking its wines, she figures, “It’s not just what’s in the glass. It’s like, I was really rocking out at this concert!”

It means Revolt is bypassing the usual suspect wine shops and restaurants, instead focusing on places such as Amplified Ale Works and 710 Beach Club in Pacific Beach, and the Navajo Live music venue in La Mesa. “I would rather be one of two or three wines served in a place like that,” Hudson concludes, “than be one wine out of a hundred on a big restaurant wine list.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

How food critic Naomi Wise started her life in San Diego, how food critic Eleanor Widmer ended hers
Next Article

San Diego's punk music, goodbye to Lennon

Reader writers tell favorite music
Revolt Wine is sold exclusively in the 5.16 gallon kegs colloquially known as sixtels. - Image by Sydney Prather
Revolt Wine is sold exclusively in the 5.16 gallon kegs colloquially known as sixtels.

No adult beverage is more closely tied to a sense of geography than wine. Names of wine growing regions are used as shorthand for quality, attributed to an appellation’s terroir. In other words, the flavor imparted by its dirt. It’s why the traditional, estate winery business model calls upon wine enthusiasts to visit the location the grapes are grown and fermented, to taste a wine in the place where it purportedly makes the most sense.

So what’s to be made of Revolt Wine Co., a new breed of wine label that sources grapes from all over California, makes wine in Napa, and sells wine exclusively in San Diego?

There’s actually a roundabout logic to Revolt’s unmoored sense of place, and it’s a story that includes Nebraska. That’s where the Revolt founder Heather Hudson grew up, and experienced her first taste of the wine industry. Her interest subsequently drew her to France, and then the neighboring Northern California wine countries of Napa and Sonoma, where she worked for a small winery and pursued a degree in wine business, all the while plotting her own take on a wine startup after work each night. Seven years ago, that label started out producing 25 cases per year by the name WTF, with no tasting room and bottle-club-only sales to customers in 15 states.

Business grew steadily, but in the intervening years, San Diego’s sense of place made a mark on Hudson and her husband. They took a vacation here a few years back and liked it so much they decided to relocate. While she brought northern California vineyard and winemaker connections with her, she saw a different kind of opportunity selling wine somewhere better known for beer. “As I got to thinking about it,” Hudson says, “it was the best move for my brand… I could take something I started and bring it somewhere that wasn’t oversaturated with wine.”

She runs the business out of Pacific Beach, self-distributing Revolt’s two annual vintages, a cabernet and stainless steel fermented chardonnay, producing the equivalent of a thousand cases annually. Ironically, it’s a different interpretation of a wine’s sense of place that inspired her to rebrand and make what would be considered a controversial move the traditional wine community: to ditch bottles altogether and only sell wine by the keg. The idea is that, where a wine came from may be less important to some wine drinkers than where they are and what they’re doing when they drink it.

“In Napa, the focus is what’s in the glass,” she explains, “I wanted to focus on the experience they shared with the wine.” So she’s paired her passion for wine with her passion for music, and markets her brand by producing web content with musicians including unsigned regional bands and national headliners such as The Offspring, Iration and, Warren G. Putting the wine in kegs makes it marketable to bars, clubs, and breweries operating live music venues.

In doing so, she’s skipping past the swirl, sniff, and sip crowd of wine drinkers. “That’s not the kind of person I’m going after,” Hudson says. When Revolt’s target audience remembers drinking its wines, she figures, “It’s not just what’s in the glass. It’s like, I was really rocking out at this concert!”

It means Revolt is bypassing the usual suspect wine shops and restaurants, instead focusing on places such as Amplified Ale Works and 710 Beach Club in Pacific Beach, and the Navajo Live music venue in La Mesa. “I would rather be one of two or three wines served in a place like that,” Hudson concludes, “than be one wine out of a hundred on a big restaurant wine list.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Dress up with cork wedges from Aerosoles and a necklace from Pier 1

“For three months, I existed only on yoga pants and sweatpants.”
Next Article

How to get to the river path from Sports Arena Boulevard

Maybe you shouldn't try
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close