Napa Valley Hospitality, Wine Dreams, and Philanthropy with Andre Crisp of Legend Napa Valley

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Jul 20, 2023

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast

Napa Valley Hospitality, Wine Dreams, and Philanthropy with Andre Crisp of Legend Napa Valley

Last Updated on July 20, 2023 by nicole

Napa Valley Hospitality, Wine Dreams, and Philanthropy with Andre Crisp of Legend Napa Valley 11

Andre Crisp is the Co-Founder and CEO of Legend Napa Valley Custom Crush, Global Wine Brands, and The Crisp Family Foundation. From an early age, Andre had the privilege of immersing himself in the captivating ambiance of the wine country, often spending weekends with his family in this picturesque region. After a decade of remarkable experiences in the tech industry, Andre’s innate connection to the world of wine beckoned him to set his sights on a new venture. Thus, he made the natural transition from Silicon Valley to the enchanting landscapes of Napa Valley, where he has resided for the past 15 years, nurturing his passion for winemaking.

Beyond his accomplishments in the business world, Andre’s dedication to philanthropy is a defining aspect of his character. This altruistic drive led to the establishment of The Crisp Family Foundation, through which Andre and his wife, Dr. Allison Crisp, strive to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Andre discusses his introduction to the wine industry and shares the story of how he established his presence in Napa Valley
  • Andre explains the concept behind Legend Napa Valley’s Custom Crush facility, the first winery located in Napa Valley from the south
  • The episode highlights the unique feature of a hospitality center at a custom crush facility
  • Andre emphasizes the importance of breaking down barriers and welcoming everyone in the wine industry
  • The discussion explores the challenges faced by wineries in addressing the misconception of being standoffish
  • Andre shares insights into the unique challenges faced by a custom crush facility in managing diverse client needs
  • Andre provides an example of how clients collaborate with Legend Napa Valley
  • Andre discusses how Legend Napa Valley assists individuals with brand ideas in bringing their wine concepts to life
  • The conversation covers the services offered, including assistance with labeling, compliance, and proper licensings
  • Andre sheds light on The Crisp Family Foundation and their philanthropic endeavors
  • Andre shares his personal wine preferences

In this episode with Andre Crisp

Andre Crisp of Legend Napa Valley shares his insights into the wine industry, his establishment in Napa Valley, and the vision behind the Legend Napa Valley Custom Crush Facility. Discover how Andre is breaking down barriers and promoting accessibility and inclusivity in Napa Valley wineries. 

In today’s episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, Drew Thomas Hendricks and Bianca Harmon are joined by Andre Crisp, Co-Founder and CEO of Legend Napa Valley, Global Wine Brands, and The Crisp Family Foundation. Dive into the challenges of a custom crush facility and explore the process of working with clients to bring their wine brand dreams to life. Andre also delves into the philanthropic efforts of The Crisp Family Foundation and shares his personal preferences when it comes to wine, emphasizing the importance of openness and inclusivity in the industry.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

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[00:00:00] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Drew Thomas Hendricks here. I’m the host of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. On the show, I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry. Today Bianca Harmon, our channel director for podcast is joining us. How’s it going, Bianca?

[00:00:12] Bianca Harmon: Doing good, Drew. Really excited to talk to our guest today.

[00:00:16] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yes, yes. Today we have Andre Crisp, but before I fully introduce him, quick sponsor message.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Barrels Ahead. Barrels Ahead we help the wine and craft industry scale their business through authentic content. Go to today to learn more. Today I’m super excited to talk with Andre Crisp. Andre’s the founder and CEO of Legend Napa Valley, Global Wine Brands, and The Crisp Family Foundation.

Welcome to the show, Andre.

[00:00:44] Andre Crisp: Thank you very much.

[00:00:46] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah, thank you so much for joining us. So, Andre, talk to us about your background and your experience. How’d you get into the wine industry?

[00:00:52] Andre Crisp: As a kid, I had the opportunity to spend time in the wine country mostly on weekends with our family.

And as I went through academics and then started my first tech firm and got into, into the real world as a young adult, I was involved in the Silicon Valley scene there for a while. And then after being in tech for about 10 years and having some great experiences, it just seemed natural that head out of Silicon Valley head up to Napa Valley, and I just I’ve sort of been there for the last 15 years there in Napa Valley.

[00:01:29] Drew Thomas Hendricks: When you headed up, so what did you do in tech?

[00:01:31] Andre Crisp: In tech, it was early. Two things. So, there’s online media consumer lead generation. So really early when a consumer wants to buy something, they’ll fill out a form and then we had a company that had a platform that, that basically connected the consumer to the retailer or service provider.

And then after that also, like early customer relationship management, early CRM programs and it was a lot of fun.

[00:01:57] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Sure. That sounds like it. But then you made the leap, made the leap to Napa. Talk to me about that. Where, how did you get your foothold up in Napa?

[00:02:05] Andre Crisp: Getting up to Napa, I didn’t know, you know, where to go.

I just knew that that was sort of the next step. And so I had an opportunity to, I guess sort of like an intern internship light or you know, went to a friend at the time and said, I’d love to learn. Learn about, all from beginning to end, how we get a berry into a bottle.

And so I took a year and sort of made the investment on my own to spend time in different, in different parts of the wine industry. I spent time out in the vineyard preparing for harvest. I spent time during harvest with crews as a member of a harvest crew.

That was really in interesting because it’s like I never got the memo one day, it’s okay, preparations are done now. You know, we start to actually cut the berries off the vine. We start at midnight or 1:00 AM and it’s like I never knew that. Soa crew of 20 people that I had been working with for a few weeks and sort of normal schedule.

Now we’re, we’re meeting on the side of the road getting outta our cars the night. And then all these sort of like highway spotlights would come up and give us some light to, to cut the berry. And the motivation for that. There’s a few motivations, but the principal motivation is the natural sugars in the berry tend to, tend to crawl up into the vine during the stem and the vine during the day as it gets hotter.

So when it’s really cool in the night, you know that those sugars are down to bear. You want to cut off at that point. And sort of rest the, you know, the sugars in their most natural state in the berry. And also it’s, it’s nice to be done by 10 or 11:00 AM and go get some rest and then start over again.

But I did that and then, of course, winemaking in the cellar. Then spent time there and then you know in, in the office I should say, how do we sell this stuff. And pay the bills and all those things. So after a year of that, made an investment in a great Napa winery and spent little over 10 years there, and now about two and a half years into a different project.

My wife and I. And also Kevin Zeigler and his family. We made some, investments into a great project here in South Napa.

[00:04:22] Bianca Harmon: I’m excited. Tell us about that kind of right before you hit the Napa, Napa Valley line. You’re the first, first people we’ll see.

[00:04:31] Andre Crisp: Actually. That’s right. So you hit the Napa County line and then we’re the first one.

Yeah. If you’re coming from, if you’re coming from the South. So we and so in December of 2021, we bought a beautiful 20-acre property. Originally this facility was built as a secret government facility to manufacture nuclear weapons. Yeah. And it and so it’s, it’s this 25,000 square foot building on the top of this mountain that has 360-degree views of San Francisco of the bay parts of San Francisco, Mount Tamalpais, Napa, Carneros.

It’s just this like phenomenal place and it’s been fortified. There have been these like hardcore fences around it and everything. So we, we bought it like I said, a little over a year ago. Took all the fences down, bars are off the windows and it’s been converted into a really, really amazing winery.

We have a, we have one of the largest winemaking permits in Napa County. We own the largest private water recycling system ofin Napa and Sonoma combined. So we’re really really proud of the sustainability there. It takes four gallons of water to make one gallon of wine.

So just in terms of cleaning everything and sanitizing everything. So, so we get to reclaim all that and so it’s just, it’s

[00:05:54] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Was that part of the facility when you bought it, or did you guys put that in?

[00:05:58] Andre Crisp: So in 2015, some very good family friends of ours bought the, had bought the property. And then in – they made the conversion over, brought in all the whining equipment. Did you know, water recycling and all kinds of things.

And unfortunately, due to an illness, the friend of ours who owned it left this world a little early. And so then we acquired it. And, and so we sort of we’re taking the vision forward. We’ve got a 12,000-square-foot visitor center that is designed to sit right at the top of the mountain with gorgeous views of the bay. Mount Tamalpais and, and sort of a, a sliver of the view of Carneros.

[00:06:36] Bianca Harmon: I was just gonna say, so you are you building a more of a resort-style or also the winery and or

[00:06:46] Andre Crisp: Just winery. Not to confuse. We are involved in hotels and resorts. But this project is, is very personal to our family and also the Zeigler family. So there will be two homesteads sites up on the 20 acres.

Our family home is being designed and built there. But, but as far as like overnight accommodations, no. The 12,000 square feet is, is primarily visitor center space. There is gonna be some office space up there in that mix. But commercial kitchen, so we’re hopeful for finalized permits to be able to announce some exciting things related to wine and food pairings and things like that.

But we’re not quite there yet. The design currently calls for a commercial kitchen in, like I say, in hopes of a food service element. And thenLegend Napa Valley wine programs will all be offered there onsite.

[00:07:39] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. How do those Wine pro, that’s a little different for a custom crush facility to offer like a hospitality center?

Will this be for the people that are using your facility like as a way for them to have their own tasting room? Or will you be providing your own wines?

[00:07:52] Andre Crisp: Great question. So Legend Napa Valley as a, as a, as a program, as an estate wine program that is what we own and operate. We make wine at the facility for that program, and that’s what’s gonna be offered there, designed to be offered there at the visitor experience for our many, many custom crush clients who also come to the facility.

They work there. They produce their wines there. Some of our team works with them to produce their wines. The facility will also accommodate really whatever they need. In a lot of cases, we have clients that have facilities elsewhere to have a visitor experience. Whereas our facility, in a lot of cases, serves them as a, as a great place to come and make the wine.

And so it’s a little unique. It’s a unique that we’ve got a lot of things going on in one place. Fortunately, we’ve got the space for it and we’re really excited about the expansion.

[00:08:45] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah, it kind of kind of reminds me of what’s going up in Washington Walla Walla Waterbrook. Has a custom crush. They produce their own wines and they have their own kind of really, really nice visitor area, but then they also have a big custom crush facility right next to it to help some of the smaller wine, smaller wineries in the region produce.

[00:09:04] Andre Crisp: That’s awesome. Exactly. Yeah. Same, same concept.

[00:09:09] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. No, it’s a fantastic concept. But I like the commitment towards hospitality cuz we spent a lot of time on the show talking about how it’s, it’s really gotta put the hospitality back into wine. It’s not so much for so long, especially in Napa, it’s just become, it’s always been about the wine, but it’s about the experience drinking the wine.

[00:09:26] Andre Crisp: I couldn’t agree more. You know lots and lots of factors have gone into what, what makes Napa great. I believe Napa is very special because of where it’s positioned. We’re right there on the bay. When you come to our facility, you’ll see that we’re sort of, we’re sitting right at we’re,

We look at the, the northernmost part of San Francisco Bay. And then you’re also looking at all these vines and, and how that, how does that work together? So I think it’s really beautiful that, that Napa’s positioned so close to the bay. We get to take advantage of all that, the elements of the fog and the other things that take place, that the berries love and we have the soil and all those things.

We’re also only 27 square miles. And so when as a region, you know, and so when, when these programs, these wine programs have taken offs over the last 20 and 30 and 40 years, it creates demand and more demand on all those things. And like you say,if hospitality is not the, the guiding principle for a winery in any region part, in any part of the world, then I agree it becomes a problem.

 And not poking, you know, not poking holes and not pointing fingers at our friends and neighbors in Napa. But I think, I think it’s, I think it’s absolutely correct that we gotta make sure that we all have a smile on our face to greet our guests, and that we wake up every day thinking of ways to serve our guests. You’re absolutely right.

[00:10:55] Bianca Harmon: Think that entails serving anybody and everybody. I think that that’s kind of. And I think that if I recall, that’s something that you’re really, that’s really near and dear to your heart.

[00:11:06] Andre Crisp: It is. It is.

[00:11:06] Bianca Harmon: In our conversation, it’s that to not, to not have such exclusivity as some of these Napa Valley wineries have become. That anybody and everybody is welcome.

[00:11:20] Andre Crisp: That’s right. Accessibility is a word that comes up for me. There’s a family that, that are friends with our family, and the father drives a truck for a living. I think the mother drives, is a school teacher. And we had a conversation once where they said, we’re really, we’re really nervous about coming to Napa.

We wanna come to Napa. We wanna go tasting wine in Napa on, on a Saturday. And, and we always talk ourselves out of it. And so we finally, we had the conversation and said, well, you know, why is that? I said, well, we went once and we didn’t have an appointment, and we kind of felt like not good enough to be there.

And I sort of kidding, but also politely said, well, your disposable income is very welcome in Napa. So feel, feel good about that. You need to give yourself a pat on the back that there’s a lot of people in the world that don’t have disposable income, that don’t have the ability to get in their car on a Saturday and go out for the day. So first of all, you should feel good about that because that’s, you’re accomplishing the American dream is what I said.

And then secondly I said, you know, this is not the first time I’ve heard or seen a situation like what you’re saying. You’re not alone. There is nothing mystical about wine. Either you, you taste it and you like it, you taste it and you don’t. And you are the agent that gets to decide that nobody should be telling you what tastes good and what doesn’t taste good. and hopefully, you’ll decide to come to Napa taste some of the wines we make, or taste some of the wines our neighbors and friends make.

And if you find one that you like, hopefully, you’ll buy it. Because that when Napa’s successful, we feel that we’re successful. What I’ve learned over the last 15 years is that Napa if we’re not careful, because there’s a lot of demand and the programs get really expensive.

Let’s face it. For $600,000 to buy one acre with planted vines, that’s a lot of money. Or $800,000 for one acre. And we’re, we’re seeing that happen. There’s no other place in the world that has priced prices per acre or in the case of Europe per hectare like Napa, except Bordeaux.

And it’s very, very similar. And so you’re looking at price points that are really, really, really, really high to operate. And that’s one of the factors that causes Napa programs to get priced up to where they are. But that doesn’t mean that anybody should be treated poorly if they show up because they didn’t know they were supposed to have an appointment.

I think there are ways to handle all those situations.

[00:13:42] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I think a lot of wineries used COVID as an excuse to make an appointment only.

[00:13:46] Bianca Harmon: Yeah. There’s a lot of people too that I think because of the, what has been going on in Napa have been turning to other places like Paso Robles or Temecula. And even Sonoma County is almost getting to the point of expensive as Napa County, where in the past, Sonoma used to be like, oh, you, you could escape Napa, go to Sonoma.

You get a great experience, costs much less. And they’re right up there now. So, in turn, I’m seeing less and less in this area and others going more towards those areas cuz oh, it’s a more affordable, they’re have offer a good time. They’re not making people feel like they’re not as good to be there.

[00:14:33] Drew Thomas Hendricks: How do wineries combat that feeling or that misconception that they are giving off this standoffish vibe?

[00:14:39] Andre Crisp: It’s a really good question and I believe that the answer requires all of the vintners in Napa Valley to come together and have a unified voice that says everybody’s welcome here. There may be systems that we have to put into place to make sure that we can provide the level of service that Napa Valley wants to provide.

But I believe that this is more than what one or two wineries can do. I believe that it’s important that Napa Valley as a whole looks at their voice, our voice, and make sure that we pay close attention because we don’t wanna be marketing to a small percentage of the world.

We wanna make sure that we invite everybody through.

[00:15:22] Drew Thomas Hendricks: The one thing, the question though, because it is supply and demand, so if Napa doesn’t address these issues, people are gonna have find more fun up in Sonoma. They’re gonna find more fun out in El Dorado Hills and people will just stop coming and it’ll turn to, in my opinion, it’s gonna turn to kinda what we see in some of the grand career areas of Burgundy where you just don’t visit it unless you’re one of the top consumers of those wines.

[00:15:44] Andre Crisp: That’s right. It becomes almost like you have to be invited because the consumer already got the message, they’re not welcome. So I think you’re right. We gotta be careful there.I can tell you what we’re.

When we had the opportunity to go out and kind of look for the next phase for our life. My wife and I considered all kinds of different wineries and programs. We looked at wineries in Yountville, St. Helena, et cetera. And then when this project came up, it started to make a lot of sense for us.

We’re located in Napa Valley in the first city coming into Napa which is called American Canyon. American Canyon is a very important part of Napa, Napa County. American Canyon holds billions of dollars of finished goods for the wineries all around the valley when they produce it.

A lot of warehouse space. There’s also a garbage dump in American Canyon. There are all kinds of things. We bought a 20-acre property that allows visitors from all over the Bay Area to get to Napa, have a NAPA experience. In some cases for, and save about an hour getting all the way deep into the valley.

So we’re the first winery located in Napa Valley coming from the south. And also those coming from Sacramento we would be one of the first for them. We are spending a lot of time, making sure that our voice and our tone is welcoming to all walks of life. Napa Valley wines are not designed for a certain age group and a certain profile and a certain archetype of an individual.

 The wines that we make are designed for everybody. We have folks that buy wines from some of our other programs currently that say on a regular basis. Well, I feel like this, this wine matches everything I make at home. That’s what we want to go for. We want the 30-somethings, the 40-somethings. We want the 50-somethings, 60-somethings, 70-somethings to feel really, really good about the products that we make.

But we wanna make sure that all the folks from the different walks of life can come into Napa, come to our winery and feel really good about having a leisure experience, getting that drop of dopamine that says, wow, I’ve worked really hard all week long, and I get to be here and experience something beautiful.

So we’re excited about announcing the opening of the visitor experience soon. Right now, the winery is there. We’re making lots and lots of wine for ourselves and others. And we’re just getting really excited about that, that consumer hospitality experience.

[00:18:11] Bianca Harmon: Awesome. And when are you shooting to have all of this up and running?

[00:18:16] Andre Crisp: So I lie and tell everybody six months. I think the reality is that if we’re able to get completed, you know, approved permits this year summer of 2023, then we’re looking at a couple years after that.

[00:18:31] Drew Thomas Hendricks: It’s quite a process getting this up and running. Talk to me about some of the challenges.

You’ve got the facility and you’re setting up the hospitality center. Are there any other challenges in running? You’ve got such a broad big vision for this endeavor.

[00:18:44] Andre Crisp: Yeah. Custom crush businesses sometimes can be treated like a, like a necessary evil. And what to give the exampleif you have a, there are a lot of wineries out there.

In fact, there’re close to 6,000 Napa Valley brands, wine brands. But there are like 600 wineries. So there are a lot of producers that have to find homes to produce. We’re one of them. There are a number of custom crush facilities. I have a tremendous amount of respect for all the folks that I know who run custom crush facilities in Napa.

The reason why custom crush facilities can be considered like a necessary evil, I think is because if a brand comes to you and says, “Hey, I created a brand. I have a facility somewhere else where customers come to, but I need a home to make the wine.” Sometimes those customers complain, those wine brands complain and say, “Gosh, I feel like I’m not really getting a personal touch. I feel like my wines are being treated like a number or it’s almost mechanized. Like there’s it’s where’s my personal touch?”

I empathize with that because there are, I just, I just listed the number of brands versus facilities. So you, you can end up in a facility where it’s a very large facility and there are lots and lots of different brands.

And think of it like if anybody went to college and there was a dormitory with a lot of kids, it’s kinda like you got a lot of roommates. Sometimes if you’re in a big facility. So a challenge for us for sure is, how do we continue to be artisans that wake up every day to make awesome wines?

Everything we do is handmade. We’re not into mechanized production. How do we do that in a way that allows us to scale? Does it mean, oh we just hire a bunch more people? Sometimes that’s not the answer. So it’s a great constant challenge.

As we bring more clients in to, to challenge ourselves to make sure that all of those clients are still receiving that nonmechanized personal touch.

[00:20:44] Drew Thomas Hendricks: It’s kind of a two-way street. Like you’re doing your best effort to make sure everything’s personal, that people feel like they’re artisans.

But on the other hand,how does one of your clients that, or customers that come to you, they’ve got this vision for the wine, how do they ensure that they don’t become a number?

[00:20:59] Andre Crisp: That’s a great question. My wife is a physician here locally in Napa. She’s one of the hospital chairs at the local hospital.

And what comes up for me is the concept of like patient advocacy. You wanna be an advocate for yourself, anytime you go to get healthcare. And there is some onus on the side of the, of the patient and there’s obviously huge responsibility for the, for the physician.

Same thing here. I think communication’s hard. Relation relationships are hard. To have a success relation it means you’ve gotta have work. So this is the same thing. I think it comes down to some of those basics of let’s try to strip out some of the complicated stuff.

Let’s make this simple. We are in relationship together. You know we, yes, we have a facility. Yes, we have to have some rules. We’re not gonna open the doors at 4:30 AM for you. It’s not gonna happen. Whatever you need to do, we we’ll see it at 7:00 AM. And at the same time, you need to, you the client, just tell us what you need.

And just like any personal relationship or business relationship, if one party is requesting something unreasonable then talk about it and find a solution.

[00:22:03] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That is a that is great advice to have, not be a number, be nice cuz the number one, the first thing that happens when you start being a jerk is everybody’s like, take a number, stand in line.

[00:22:13] Andre Crisp: Exactly. Right.

[00:22:13] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Whereas if you come in nice, sometimes people actually meet your level of empathy and they meet your level of kindness and they do go beyond.

[00:22:21] Andre Crisp: That’s right. That’s right. So I have to say, you know, I’ve not been a custom crush winemaker. Except in the last 13 months, I guess.

And so I certainly don’t claim to be an expert or the expert. What I’ll say is that in the last 13 months, there have been a handful of experiences where I can look back now and say, wow. That could have gone bad fast, and it didn’t. In every case, we put our best foot forward.

And I have to say that I think we have some of the best clients in the world that work for us, work with us rather, I’m sorry. And those clients who we keep confidential, they get to come through and have a, have a space to, to spread their wings and like we said, be boutique winemakers.

And in some cases, we have the ability to even do some of the volume programs.

[00:23:07] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Sounds good. So talk to me about how like a client comes in and they start producing, they work with your winemakers. I mean, give us an example of like what it’s like to work with you.

[00:23:17] Andre Crisp: So we’re gonna, sure I’ll give you the. Clients can come in at any level and I’ll kind of, kind of explain what that is.

Somebody could come in and say, “Hey, I live outta state and I really wanna make sure these wines are produced. It’s gonna come from this source.” Perhaps they own a St. Helena, a Vineyard for example. Great. We have the staff that are gonna, that are gonna make that happen. And then we’re gonna go back for approvals along the way to make sure that, you know, we’re doing all the things that you the, the owner of that brand want to have done.

Another scenario is a, an established brand comes in. They have a staff winemaker. That winemaker is fully in charge of every detail. That winemaker ultimately will have a staff, a seller staff, or a production staff that already, it’s al who already works there at Legend Napa Valley.

And that winemaker will be the architect and draw out everything that they need done for that, for that program. And that winemaker will,as an architect, would do and if they’re building a physical property that winemaker will then work very closely with the production team that we have on, on site.

And perhaps that winemaker comes every day and this is where they come to work. That’s a scenario. Those are the two main scenarios. And then, you were asking, sorry. How, how do they come through? Typically it’s somebody comes to the website and says, and says, Hey, I’d like to have a tour, or you know calls me, et cetera.

And it, it starts with a tour. We kind of show off all the equipment that we have and then in some cases are requests for purchases of other equipment. And sometimes we do that if it makes sense. But that’s kind of how it works.

[00:24:57] Bianca Harmon: Wow.

[00:24:58] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Now do the, so you’ve got the wineries that may need just extra capacity, or they may have an experimental project, so they work through you and you’ve got people that may own vineyards that need a place to make the wine.

What about someone that, I don’t wanna call it a hobby, but what if they just wanted to make a brand so they’ve got a brand and they wanna actually make wine from it? Can they bring a brand idea to you and you can bring it to conception?

[00:25:20] Andre Crisp: Absolutely. That would’ve, that would be the, you know, the next sort of the next type of a client.

We have some clients like that, that like you say, it’s a passion. This is somebody who comes through and says, “Gosh. For 40 years, my dream has been to do this.” We can help that dream come to pass. . You know, in some cases, they already know where they’re gonna source it. Sometimes they don’t.

We have a client now who we’ve sourced everything we have. We provide them taste, taste tests. We provide ideas and direction. If, if we want the flavor to become more austere, then we talk about different barrel programs and aging and how long do you want to age?

Six months. Do you already wanna do two years? Those are two different, your taste profiles gonna change with all these different options. So we do serve all the sort of all the different truly custom winemaking custom crush customer sets out there.

[00:26:13] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Well, that’s great.

[00:26:13] Bianca Harmon: That’s amazing. So you’re not just offering the winery for each and everybody to come and taste. You’re also offering a place where people to get started almost even.

[00:26:24] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. To fulfill their dreams.

[00:26:26] Andre Crisp: You guys are. Are really kind. I had never put it in perspective like that. But that, that yeah, that’s true.

[00:26:32] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah.

[00:26:32] Bianca Harmon: Pretty incredible.

[00:26:33] Drew Thomas Hendricks: So the sticking with the, the fulfilling your dreams. What about somebody that comes in with a brand idea that wants just to, their dream is to have their own wine brand and clients? Can you help them on those steps too?

[00:26:44] Andre Crisp: Yes.

To recap, what I’m hearing you say is if a potential client came to us and says, “Hey, I want to develop wine brand X, Y, Z. Can I do that here?” Yes. And then if they say, can you help me find a place to sell that product? Is that what you’re asking?

[00:27:00] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah, it was, it was about the labeling and the compliance. Get, make sure they have the proper licensings, not so much actually selling the wine for them.

[00:27:07] Andre Crisp: This is a, a very, very, very good topic. And a lot of times we get this topic gets lost in the weeds or it’s oh you know, who cares?

[00:27:17] Drew Thomas Hendricks: But it is not the fun part, but it’s the very, very vital.

[00:27:20] Andre Crisp: It’s so true.

And I really appreciate it. About, the work that you guys do is that you do get into the detail compliance. We have a compliance department that will help from top to bottom. We will make sure that if somebody comes to, to work with us that they’re legal. From top to bottom.

If the individual says, okay, I’m gonna take the wine. Thank you. I’m good. I’m gonna take it off-site. We’re gonna make sure that the product is fully compliant with state and federal alcohol, control standards until the time it leaves our facility. If they ask, Hey can we go a different, can you help us get compliant in five states to ship this wine to? Yes, we can do that also.

At that point, we would typically hand them off to the compliance office and then they would work directly there.

[00:28:09] Drew Thomas Hendricks: So it’s really just keeping that doors of communication open and really just educating all these people about the different services that you can offer, because no one’s gonna need all of them, but the majority of people are gonna need a good portion of them.

[00:28:22] Andre Crisp: That’s right. And for us, it’s really exciting to wake up and go to a place where we’ve got lots of people making wine where, and they’re all different stages of where they’re at and sizes are different and everything. And then we get to sort of pause while those things are being done and then design out what we hope to be one of the best visitor experiences in Napa Valley for wine visitors.

[00:28:46] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I can’t wait to visit that. And it’s, so you got such a great operation there. I do want to talk to you about your philanthropy in the Crisp Foundation. Talk to me about that.

[00:28:54] Bianca Harmon: Yeah.

[00:28:54] Andre Crisp: So both, both my wife and I were adopted at birth. My wife was born.

[00:28:59] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I was too.

[00:29:00] Andre Crisp: Oh, were you?

[00:29:00] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I’m the oldest at 10 and my parents still run a, are still foster parents. We, we always had 12 or 14 kids in the house.

[00:29:07] Andre Crisp: Wow. Wow. That is, that’s wild. My wife was born in Boston. Her parents adopted seven total. And so that’s very similar there. My twin sister and I were born in San Francisco and, and then we were adopted to our paternal aunt and uncle.

And so we, we both grew up in great, great households and I think after my wife finished medical school and we had some, some great events with our businesses and things. We came together and said, “What can we do to, you know, to help people that might be helpless?”

Doesn’t mean they’re always gonna be helpless, but there were times, I guess what comes up for us is, is that we want to help the helpless. And what does that mean for us? It means that when my wife was a few days old, she was helpless. And, and she was she was adopted to a great family when I was three months old. And there was an accident and birth parents, I was adopted. And I was helpless.

And so to the extent that although we’re not foster parents to the extent that we can provide help. To folks that maybe are in a position that can’t help themselves in that moment, we wanna do that. We have a charter that clearly defines what that means, because there’s lots of different ways that, that you know, somebody would say, “Hey, I’m helpless. Help me out.”

For us, our humanitarian effort is very focused on women and children who have been or are currently suffering in an environment of human trafficking. And so my wife’s birth father is from India, and birth mother is Russian Polish.

My birth mother’s from India. My birth father is British. So we’re both half Indian, half European. We focused our effort, the last 10 years in India because there is a horrible human trafficking issue going on there. An organization called Atlas Free sort of like a free world. Atlas Free is the organization where we primarily route our support.

I can’t say enough about that organization, how many women and children they’ve freed from, from human trafficking. In addition to that, we’ve expanded our charter after the Napa Valley fires that occurred these last few years. We expand our charter and, and we’ve been able to identify some organizations here locally that, that help, directly help children that are in need.

If there’s a housing crisis we’re able to route some support there. And then there, there is a, an organization that helps kids in the county when they’re removed from their home and they move to a foster scenario.

There’s an interim period that we’re able to help with the programs that were, where those kids spend time.

[00:31:36] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s so important, especially that interim period wherethe child’s been, you know, removed from their home. Or they’re found helpless. And then there’s that’s where my parents came into that two to three week period before they found a more permanent foster placement.

But of oftentimes one thing leads to another and two years later they’re still in that interim thing. And anything you can do to kind of make that easier, it’s so important.

[00:32:00] Andre Crisp: It is. And being an adoptive person myself, yourself, I think that is one of the best, you know, it’s medicines you can give in a scenario depending on age and so forth for, for a person, a young person who’s in a transitional period like that.

[00:32:17] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s great. That’s great. So is with Legends and then Global Wine, how does philanthropy, does this foundation flow through to that? Or is it, is there an interconnection between the two or,

[00:32:26] Andre Crisp: Yeah. The best way to describe it is that when our family, as we get through the end of the month, at the end of the quarter or the end of the year, we’re able to route, route support to different, different places. Instead of sending that money to folks we don’t know, et cetera. The funding goes into the foundation. The foundation then has a charter like I said, and also has criteria that basically anybody that, any organization that receives funding, receives funding from us basically has to go through some systems in order to make sure that all, all the funding is going to the right place.

We have wonderful partners. No, no complaints there. The reason for the foundation is to, to make sure that all the resources are going to the right place.

[00:33:09] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s so important. So important. So Andre, as we’re kind of wrapping down here let’s talk about, talk a little bit more about wine for a second here.

[00:33:17] Andre Crisp: Yeah.

[00:33:17] Drew Thomas Hendricks: What sort of wine do you like drinking?

[00:33:19] Andre Crisp: You know, it’s funny. My favorite types of wines change is with the season. I know that’s kind of weird.

[00:33:24] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, me too.

[00:33:25] Andre Crisp: Okay.

[00:33:26] Bianca Harmon: Mines too.

[00:33:27] Andre Crisp: Okay. So like right now in Napa it’s pouring rain and super cold for California standards.

So I would be right now I’m drinking bigger like Cabernets. And at home we’re, we’re doing lots of hardy stews and things like that these days because that’s kind of what feels good. When we get into the spring and summer, our menu at home tends to change naturally and we see brighter, brighter things on the plate. Because it’s available.

And so then, that’s when I typically move to a Sauvignon Blanc. So if we’re having like a like a salad. Let’s say an end-dive salad that has some, some honey walnuts on it and some protein then I would naturally say, okay, I wanna get a Sauvignon Blanc to compare there.

If I’m, if it’s just a random evening and, and I’m not really thinking much about the food piece, I would go to a Pinot Noir. Which means, and I don’t mean to offend anybody in Napa, cuz I know there’s lots of great Pinot Noir producers in Napa, but it means that I’m not selecting a Napa item, which means it’s not a wine that I’ve made which is great.

So I tend to go for things that I don’t make or I perhaps can’t because of where our property is positioned. There are, you know, if you’re not careful, if you plant the wrong vine, the wrong berries in on a hill like ours for example that the wind would just shatter it. You, you don’t do that.

[00:34:59] Drew Thomas Hendricks: So that means, we’ve got programs that, that I wouldn’t be able to do Pinot Noir as a program. That I personally choose not to, not to play with myself. I think that there are other parts of the world that, that do it great. And so I tend to pull Pinot Noir. What do you guys like? What’s your favorite Pinot?

[00:35:17] Andre Crisp: My favorite Pinot Noir is gonna be Lumos. This is a shout-out to my cousin Dai Crisp in Oregon. He and his family and team make amazing Pinot Noir. So that, that is my number one. I don’t have enough of it. In fact, I think it’s time for an order.

[00:35:34] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah, I love Oregon Pinot Noirs. It’s probably some of my favorite then French ones, then I’ll head down to Santa Barbara. But that’s where you,

[00:35:41] Bianca Harmon: It’s funny though. At least you’re on it. You’re like, I like Oregon Pinots. You know? I can still vividly remember one day I had when I worked in tasting rooms, and I had some people come in and they were from Oregon, and at the winery we worked at, we had a ton of pins, and they wanted to taste all the Pinots.

And then everyone, they’d taste, they go, mm, yeah, ours and Oregon are better. Mm, yeah. Ours and our Oregon are better. Mm. Yeah. And so I finally was like, why don’t you taste something that, you guys are known for Pinot. Like we know that. So why don’t it taste something that we’re known for in Napa, you know?

Yeah. Let’s try the Cab. Or we also make nine different Zinfandel. How about that? Let’s stop tasting something that you drink all the time.

[00:36:23] Andre Crisp: You know, sometimes it feels good to get out and kind of prove, oh, see. But I agree. I mean, let’s

[00:36:28] Bianca Harmon: He literally tasted five Pinots in every single one he’d be like. Yeah, ours are better. All right, dude, I got it. I got it. So,

[00:36:35] Andre Crisp: You know, and let’s not if it walks like a duck talks. It’s not be good at what we’re good at. I think Napa is.

[00:36:41] Bianca Harmon: Yeah.

[00:36:41] Andre Crisp: I think Napa’s really, really good at what we’re good at. And let’s just remind ourselves to also be good at welcoming people.

 But as for Cabernet, Chardonnays, and a lot of really interesting ancient blending varietals that I’m seeing come up lately.

[00:36:56] Bianca Harmon: Zinfandel.I mean, honestly, and even our Pinots. We can make, there’s really good Pinots. I mean, especially coming from the Anderson Valley area.

[00:37:03] Andre Crisp: Oh, for sure. For sure. And let’s not forget, let’s not forget Merlot, you know.

[00:37:07] Bianca Harmon: I was just gonna say Merlot. I was gonna say that.

[00:37:11] Andre Crisp: I’ve got gifted somehow we’ve got this awesome collection of Merlot’s that, that I’m starting to, you know, to enjoy. And Merlot, Merlot’s gonna have a, have a big comeback one day soon. I’m feeling it.

[00:37:24] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, I’m sure. I’m sure. It’s been my,

[00:37:25] Bianca Harmon: I agree.

[00:37:26] Drew Thomas Hendricks: It’s been the secret thing. I haven’t been purchasing ever since Sideways came out.

Smart. It’s a, it’s just on the shelf, it’s so nice. And also Cab Francs. I think Cab Francs have a big place in, especially in Northern Napa.

[00:37:37] Andre Crisp: It’s interesting that you bring that up.

[00:37:39] Bianca Harmon: Alexander Valley.

[00:37:40] Andre Crisp: Yeah. Cabernet Franc, interestingly because there are as now we’re seeing all over the national and I guess global news, the microclimates of Northern California. It’s like you can be 10 minutes away and have a totally different experience. Same.

That’s very, very true in all, in this wine country up in NorCal. Cabernet Franc as, as we’re noticing what the weather can do and we’ve had these fires and that does impact the ground and the neighboring vineyards, and all of the ecosystem is impacted. Cabernet Franc is, is a secret weapon.

It is one of these varietals I’m learning, as we’re looking at expanding our vineyard side. I’m that it does great with wind, it’s hardy, it’s self-sustaining. It comes out really, really, you’ve got this velvet finish on the, on the palette that’s hard to get on a lot of other red wine programs.

So I’m not, I don’t have a lot of experience personally with Cabernet Franc, but it’s something I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about. So I’m gonna have to get some recommendation, recommendations from you Drew on what to, on what to buy and taste.

[00:38:41] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Absolutely. so Andre, as we kind of wrap down more about you and Legend and Global Wine and all your initiatives.

[00:38:48] Andre Crisp: Oh, well I think we’ve, I think we’ve covered it. We have a portfolio that we own. That involves lots of really interesting businesses mostly in the world of hospitality and sometimes that includes even some, some food service-type programs. We’re really, really proud of our body of work as a family and, and I can’t say enough about our wonderful team. Making wine every day is something that, that I have to say, that is my deal.

Sometimes I get involved in other pro projects that are outside the industry completely. Either from an investment standpoint or advising and things like that. And I’m, I get excited about those things. But I think the, the thing that I like to do all day every day if I’ve given the choice is to make wine.

 Our family foundation, I think is our best representation of, of our heart, as we go out and work really hard in our core businesses as our other portfolio businesses are hard at work every day. What we wanna do with, with those profits and with those successes is we wanna really try to impact folks that need it.

And so I think that best describes our heart and our projects.

[00:39:54] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Awesome. Well, Andre, thank you so much for joining us today. This has been a real treat. Really love what you’re doing there.

[00:40:00] Andre Crisp: Thank you, guys, for having me on the show, and I look forward to being together again in the future.

[00:40:05] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Absolutely.

[00:40:05] Bianca Harmon: All right. Thanks, Andre.

[00:40:07] Andre Crisp: Bye.