The Evolution of Wineries With Andrew Januik of Andrew Januik Wines

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Oct 27, 2022

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast

The Evolution of Wineries With Andrew Januik of Andrew Januik Wines

Last Updated on October 27, 2022 by

Andrew Januik
The Evolution of Wineries With Andrew Januik of Andrew Januik Wines 11

Andrew Januik is the Owner and Winemaker of Andrew Januik Wines. Being the son of a world-renowned winemaker, he has been exposed to the industry for over two decades. At 13 years old, Andrew started spending his weekends and summers working with wine. In addition to Andrew Januik Wines, he’s also actively involved in their family winery, the Novelty Hill-Januik Winery, and recently went into a new venture called 4Good Hard Seltzer.

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

  • Andrew Januik talks about how he juggles all his ventures
  • What it’s like growing up in the wine industry according to Andrew
  • Andrew gives a rundown of the three wineries he helps handle
  • How Andrew’s winemaking styles evolved over the years
  • The challenges Andrew faced starting his own winery
  • Is Andrew Januik Wines considering working with any international blends? 
  • What prompted Andrew to get into seltzer?

In this episode with Andrew Januik

They say that in life, change is inevitable. But in business, change is vital. You need to be mindful of the changes brought by time and, ultimately, adapt to them. So what are the differences between winemaking then and now? 

The evolution of the winemaking industry has shown which wineries are agile and nimble to change. Agile wineries have thrived and been exposed to countless opportunities, while those who were slow to adapt eventually disappeared from the market. How do you keep up with the ever-changing industry?

In today’s episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, Drew Thomas Hendricks and Bianca Harmon welcome Andrew Januik, Owner of Andrew Januik Wines, to talk about his experience being in the wine business the majority of his life. Andrew also shares how he started his venture after working for the family business and how much has changed since his first exposure two decades ago.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead.

Barrels Ahead is a wine and craft marketing agency that propels organic growth by using a powerful combination of content development, Search Engine Optimization, and paid search.

At Barrels Ahead, we know that your business is unique. That’s why we work with you to create a one-of-a-kind marketing strategy that highlights your authenticity, tells your story, and makes your business stand out from your competitors.

Our team at Barrels Ahead helps you leverage your knowledge so you can enjoy the results and revenue your business deserves.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry with your host Drew Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  0:14  

Drew Thomas Hendricks here and the host of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, where I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry. Today’s episode is sponsored by Barrels Ahead. At Barrels Ahead, we work with you to implement a one of a kind marketing strategy. When that highlights your authenticity, tells her story and connects you with your ideal customers. In short, we help wineries and craft beverage producers unlock their story to unleash their revenue. Go to today to learn more. Today, we have Bianca Harmon on the show again she’s our DTC strategist. How’s it going? Bianca?

Bianca Harmon  0:57  

Excuse me, sorry, it’s going good. Drew. How are you doing today?

Drew Thomas Hendricks  1:01  

I’m doing good too. Like I think the last show you were on was Jenifer Freebairrn over it well, Wow and Flutter was her winery. 

Bianca Harmon  1:09  

Yeah. Singer, marketing specialist, wine brand owner as well kind of had it all.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  1:20  

Yeah, we did. We went into some deep discussion about kind of the parallels between singer song writing and like kind of actually developing a marketing story. So if you haven’t checked out that episode, you want to go back and give it a listen. So today we have our today’s guest is Andrew Januik. He’s winemaker for Novelty Hill-Januik Winery in his own eponymous winery, Andrew Januik wines. They’re all located up in Washington State. And Andrew grew up in the wine industry and has witnessed firsthand the massive changes over the last few decades. Today, we’re going to talk about these changes, along with all the projects he’s got going on in Washington, his new ventures in Argentina and Chile, along with his newly released for good hard Seltzer, where the proceeds go to support no kids hungry. Welcome to the show, Andrew.

Andrew Januik  2:08  

Hey, thanks for having me. Yeah, excited to be on.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:12  

Thank you so much for being on. So Andrew, I got to ask you got a lot of things going, usually asked how you got started them when the stream? I’m just gonna jump in? How do you juggle all this?

Andrew Januik  2:23  

Um, you know, I mean, one of the ways you do it is just simple just get down to work. It’s you know, every day, it’s you just kind of tackle task after task. And, you know, having a number of different ventures going at the same time, it’s, the longer you do it, the more you learn to kind of implement your own organization tools. And, you know, a lot of it’s just, you know, taking the time throughout the day to just just knock off your tasks and the willing to spend those extra hours at night, you’re willing to work on the weekends. And also, I know, I’m lucky to have a great support system, both, you know, friends and family that have always, you know, supported in, in any kind of exterior tasks that need to get done.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  3:15  

Yeah, that’s I think that’s an excellent place, having the friends and family and actually growing up in the industry, you learned all the shortcuts and tricks, which kind of apply allows you to do more than the average, average person. What was it like growing up in the wine industry?

Andrew Januik  3:30  

It was great. I mean, especially here in Washington, you know, we are still relatively a young, growing region. I mean, a lot has happened in the last four decades here. So it’s fun to I mean, it’s it’s a fun industry, I think, kind of no matter where you are, but especially as a burgeoning one, to really see the camaraderie that takes place where it’s kind of, you know, all boats are sinking and rising together. I mean, obviously, it’s, you know, kind of a, that’s a thing, they get thrown around a lot. But with a young industry, there is a lot of truth to that. So there’s a lot of people working together, people sharing, tricks, tips, vineyard sourcing, I mean, whatever it may be resources. So, I mean, especially as a young I really started working in wineries, you know, at age 1213. You see, a lot of people that really care not just about their product, but about the community that it’s part of, and that’s really appealing.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  4:32  

Absolutely for 12 or 13. So you’re what 35 Now what 23 years how What changes have you seen

Andrew Januik  4:44  

you know, I’ve seen a lot there’s, there’s been a qualitatively now there’s been a push forward, obviously, in the winemaking side, but it’s been strong. Ever since I got in industry. I mean, I mean, there’s been a lot Even more so on political suicide, you know, kind of from Washington where it’s a lot of people from outside of Washington don’t think of it as an agricultural state. But it really is, I mean, you get to the east side of Cascade Mountains, and it’s completely different landscape. I mean, it’s a desert, but with strong irrigation, both from well systems and, and the river systems. So, you know, it’s not just vinifera. It’s not just wine grapes, it’s, you know, apples, onions, alfalfa, wheat, I mean, basically, anything you can think of, grows really well here. Exactly, those Wawa sweets, you can eat those things, Rod, no problem, they’re incredible.

So, you know, a lot of it’s been the transitioning from some of these other agricultural products to, to wine grapes. And, you know, you talk to people who’ve been around since you know, the 70s. And, you know, they’re, you know, just dumping as much water as possible on these on these vines, and, you know, learning about, you know, something as simple as a, you know, deficit irrigation. And so things have just really become much more nuanced in what we’re doing. And, and you see, especially with the way that the climate is changing, it’s, you just see that people have really dialed in to, you know, get as much concentration now, that brute is possible

Drew Thomas Hendricks  6:14  

in a lot of that. So, on the viticultural side, a lot of that, like, I went to back in the early 90s, I went to Gonzaga up and spell driven, driven the span between Seattle and Washington, so many times down to Walla Walla, and there’s just a lot a lot of wheat fields. And I would say, probably, in driving today, the biggest change that I see is just the amount of actual vineyard area that you’re now driving through versus just wheat fields.

Andrew Januik  6:42  

With without a doubt, I mean, you’ve seen a lot of those wheat fields come up and planted, you know, some, you know, some portraits coming up plenty, not not quite as much sense, you know, those are more of a heavier cash crop, and then a weed is so, I mean, we’re so I mean, we really are lucky for how hot and dry it is to have as much access to water as we do. Because, you know, I’ve, you know, I’ve been able to work all over the world, and there’s not, there’s not many places with this type of weather and climate that can, you know, basically irrigate whenever, whenever it’s needed, which, you know, it’s one of those things, it’s kind of a less sexy part of the industry, but it’s one of those things that if you don’t have it, it just it doesn’t really function, you know,

Bianca Harmon  7:26  

so as the weather they’re similar, like, it’s not as rainy is like Portland and Seattle. I mean, is it similar to Napa? Or

Andrew Januik  7:34  

it’s actually significantly drier than Napa? Usually, well, hotter. I mean, we’re having a cool year here, across the whole state. But yeah, you know, during during the summer, in June, July, it’s, it’s pretty generally it’s pretty reliably in the mid to high 90s. I mean, last year, we had number of days in eastern Washington get up to, you know, 118 117. So it’s, and most of the state over on that side, you know, they’re getting kind of that four to eight inches of rain for for lots of the state. So yeah, it’s for people who haven’t been to Eastern Washington and they think of Washington state, whether a Seattle like it’s a it’s a real shock once they get to the other side of the bathrooms like, oh, yeah,

I opening a different.

It’s a different world. Yeah, yes,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  8:20  

it’s actually so as, as I understand it, it’s actually the northern end of the Sonoran Desert. So if you look at that swath that comes up, that’ll send all the way up into the Okanagan Valley. And it goes right through Walla Walla or the whole eastern Washington area.

Andrew Januik  8:35  

Is that true? I you know, I have to actually go go look at the maps of the geological maps of the store desert to know for sure, but yeah, it’s not one of the not one of the things that we will talk about much with, with Washington, but

Drew Thomas Hendricks  8:51  

oh, yeah, I always always equated that with why there was just a little less rain and you do get that heat. Now you’re so you’re not only Hillen guys are located in the Benton Lane area, Red Mountain.

Andrew Januik  9:03  

So we get a very large portion of our fruit from Red Mountain. So So technically, it’s three different wineries.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  9:13  

No less, give us a rundown of the three.

Andrew Januik  9:16  

So basically, one is a one that I own one is a family owned by you know, my family, the Januik family, and then also a winery novelty hill that is owned by the Ahlberg family who the family that we we’ve known for, you know, the past couple of decades who are not their background is not in winemaking. But yeah, so we kind of run this day, the day to day operations for them and do all the winemaking and it’s all in the same facility and it’s actually in Woodinville Washington. So Woodinville is about half an hour so outside of Seattle. A lot of I mean, I’m not sure what the number is now probably somewhere between 150 to 200, tasting rooms and wineries here Woodinville. So it’s kind of a unique setup where a chunk of the the facilities are actually on the western part of the state, even though they’re all getting grapes from the eastern part of the state. So essentially, they harvest, put them on temperature controlled trucks, the grapes and truck them over the mountains and it’s what to build and then all of it is processed here.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  10:23  

Two months ago, I was in Woodinville for the first time in 20 years, I cannot believe how much it changed.

Andrew Januik  10:29  

It’s wild. It was wild.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  10:32  

That yeah, that new facility we we had we were visiting some friends who went to St. Michel and couldn’t believe their tasting setup that they had said reminded me almost a Vegas

Andrew Januik  10:46  

yeah, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of different kinds of tasting areas going on over there. Yeah, so we’re, I mean, we’re probably about 100 yards from them. So next time, let me know and we’ll we’ll get you all set up.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  10:59  

I was I was a captive backseat passenger. When this little event and we went, we did our tours. It was good, though.

Bianca Harmon  11:08  

You seem to be a backseat person on a lot of your trips. True.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  11:12  

Ma’am. Hi. I tend to just get in take me

Andrew Januik  11:16  

that’s the best way to do it. I wish I wish that was every day of my life.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  11:20  

I don’t want to be where you want me to go. Put something in my hand and I’ll drink it so talk to me about your your your adventure. So you’ve got so nominee Hill, you’re helping your friends. And then you got your your family winery and talk to me about yours.

Andrew Januik  11:38  

Yeah, so I started making wine separately. I mean, it’s been a while now. So 2011 was the first grand I launched separately in Washington State, and then have started a number of different labels since then. And you know, like I said, I started working wineries. When I was young, I started making wine on my own when I was in high school. So just for me, it was very young that I got kind of the, you know, the bug for for winemaking. And you know, as as when people who you know, really on the production side, the winemaking side, I think that there oftentimes comes a point where it’s like, you know, you love what you’re doing. But you do it is a very personal kind of process and experience. And it’s kind of a way of expressing yourself differently. Through your wines. You know, you talked about, you know, a singer songwriter. Before it’s you know, there are obviously it’s, you know, the functionality is different, but there is a lot of that I think you could probably put in parallel with each other. So, I just kind of decided to, you know, start something small on my own then and it’s just really grown out from that. And you know, every year it’s tried to evolve my winemaking and evolve those brands. Do you ever seen

Bianca Harmon  13:01  

or was that? Do you have a tasting room? Or is it just you do so it’s a

Andrew Januik  13:07  

it’s a shared tasting room though? Yeah. Okay, awesome, but it wouldn’t be all in the same location. Yeah. That’s an optical Januik. Yeah. So we all we’re all we’re all cozy together.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  13:17  

That’s good. Now how would your talking about your winemaking? How would you say your winemaking styles evolved over the years?

Andrew Januik  13:26  

Um, you know, I think a lot of it has, as you get, I mean, everybody’s evolved in a different way. I think as mine has become more and more focusing on I don’t want to say non non intervention because you know, that’s kind of a word that gets thrown around a lot. And nothing in winemaking is not an invention. Grapes wouldn’t be in these places with the non intervention, but you know, kind of, you know, letting letting the wines take the path of least resistance and, you know, with whether it’s, you know, something as simple as using non commercial use or, you know, natural type yeasts and allowing, letting the permutations take the path that they are they want to more naturally so it’s a lot of kind of scientific, more idiosyncratic things like that, you know, finding aging methods that will be a, you know, lower impacts, and just tried to try to focus on letting the vineyards do most of the work, which is, you know, I think, obviously, you want to have control over what’s happening, but you do as you get older, I think you you kind of want to showcase those, those parcels of land more and more.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  14:51  

Think that’s, I think I see that as a common theme like, throughout, throughout art industry throughout art and science, like a parallel that I see So as Ansel Adams is a photographer, if you look at his early works, he was very very overt heavy handed in the darkroom with his burning and coloring his pictures. If you look at the way he processes pictures, 30 years later, they were much lighter, much brighter, more just a true representation rather than or artistic rendition of the landscape. The kind of see that I love.

Andrew Januik  15:23  

I love that comparison. I’m still totally stealing that.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  15:29  

Yeah, I do see that. So I’m glad. Yeah, it’s not surprising that that would be how you progress in starting your, in your winery? What sort of challenges did you face?

Andrew Januik  15:41  

You know, it’s, it’s, I think, for myself growing up in the industry, having family in the industry,

it’s 80 to 90% advantage, where it’s, you know, you have these built in connections, you kind of have a built in comfort level, one on the actual, the winemaking side, but also in, you know, the marketing of its side, the branding, having those those built in relationships, but there is the challenge of, you know, how, how do you then set yourself apart? Because there’s a little, you know, for the most part, people are, you know, very supportive, but then there’s, there’s the segment, it’s like, Alright, you got to you got to show extra, because because of this background, so there’s some of that, but it’s also, it’s fun. If you’re not if you’re not up for the challenge, then you’re probably kind of in the wrong industry, because it is so competitive that you have to go in the mindset like I have to I have to show everybody that what’s happening here is legitimate.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  16:44  

Oh, for sure. And so I’m just gonna jump without a segue, what brought you to Argentina in Chile?

Andrew Januik  16:54  

The I mean, I love the wines. And that was a big portion of it. But it was, you know, spending time traveling ahead of time in South America spent quite a bit of time living in Spain, which is obviously not not none of these are one for one but you know, you get some especially like Southern Spain, you get some of the similar cultural experiences. And I love the language. I love the history down there. So eventually was just taking the plunge and obviously that their harvesting season is opposite of ours being in southern hemisphere. So I just

Drew Thomas Hendricks  17:36  

Holic I’m afraid to take no. I gotta see if I can jump on. It. It’s

Bianca Harmon  17:45  

Andy. Andy offseasons down there. Yeah, yeah. Okay.

Andrew Januik  17:49  

So I’ve been going on southern hemisphere. Yeah, for every year for, I guess, a little under a decade now. So, so a person, you know, initially I kind of in South America, mainly Argentina, then sometime in South Africa. And then I started my own project in Argentina, in 2017, and then, in Chile, a couple of years after that, as well. So yeah, first, it was just collaborating with wineries, you know, learning different techniques, learning about the terroir, how the grapes function there, because even though even though you’re working with a lot of the same varieties, all those different, you know, elevation impacts, weather impacts, soil type, like all those things have such a dramatic effect that it is almost like you’re working with different types of grapes.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  18:37  

Or the two different

Andrew Januik  18:40  

between Chile and Argentina.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  18:41  

Yeah, like how I mean, the, this be different working between the two? Is it like they call between like, Washington, California? Or is it like between?

Andrew Januik  18:50  

Like, I’d say it’s more, it’s more drastic. You know, working in Chile, a lot of it is

in some ways, it’s definitely of the two, it’s much more similar to working in the United States. There’s kind of there’s a little bit not even, not even necessarily because of the things really tangible, like the weather, anything like that, but you know, it’s a little bit more, a little bit more regimented of what’s happening, you know, when you’re picking all those things, Argentina is a little bit more laissez faire, which, you know, is one of those things that you have to adjust to because, you know, I talked about you know, you’re letting the wives do their own things, but sometimes it’s like, to a different extreme. It’s out there so so you have to you know, you have to you have to reset your expectation and your mindset and then once you do it, you know, you it’s it’s very fruitful, both like kind of mentally but also in what’s happening with with the fruits. So I mean, Argentina, there’s, there’s definitely more of a kind of, everything’s gonna work that’s So let’s let these things happen. And we’re Chile, it’s a little bit more, you know, kind of, we’re picking this this day we’re doing this, this boom, boom, boom. So that’s, you know, that’s a big part of it actual weather wise. I mean, in Argentina, I’m sourcing fruit that’s about 4000 feet in the Andes. And in Chile, it’s you know, you’re much you’re getting a much bigger impact from the sea. You’re not You’re on the sea side of the Andes. So cooler, you don’t it’s a different, no more acid driven, lighter, really nice expressive wines, Argentina, even though you’re that high up, which usually you think of cooler kind of mountain fruit, which you get that, but it’s still it’s it is a really warm region. So you get nice concentration. Really interesting, especially the mouth X, the Cabernet frogs. But definitely kind of a have more of a punch to them than then lots of the Chilean wines.

Bianca Harmon  20:55  

You need to one of my best friends. Her brother, actually several years ago moved on to Chile. Yeah, and he started his own wine brand out there. And he’s been out there now. Probably, I don’t know, almost eight years. His mom’s actually getting ready to relocate out there because her granddaughters there and it’s called Parker wine company.

Andrew Januik  21:18  

Parker. Okay.

Bianca Harmon  21:20  

When you’re out there. I will. Oh, he’s from St. Alena. And yeah, How’s his own wine brand out there now?

Andrew Januik  21:28  

That’s awesome. That’s the dream, you know?

Bianca Harmon  21:31  

Yeah. Yeah. So just check it out. Like you’re there.

Andrew Januik  21:36  

I will take you up. And that’s the thing is, in both the countries that’s great is that it is, you see it? Like, you know, I talked about Washington with the young industry, it’s like, they are the same word. They are all so connected with each other. Where it’s like, everybody knows everybody. Oh, sorry. I’m getting a little noise in here. I guess. Good. Yeah, we’re good. Okay. Yeah, and it’s it’s a very, very tight knit tight knit communities, even though they’re massive growth regions, obviously. Right.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  22:08  

Like Chile. It spans so many latitudes like this, from way north to way south. I mean, how are the global ignorant on this? How are the vineyards? Where are your vineyards located in that span? So

Andrew Januik  22:20  

yeah, so most of mine are kind of in the more central kind of normal growing region, which is about an hour and a half, two hour south of Santiago. And that’s where you see most of the production. It’s kind of the most reliable place where you see some others up north in kind of more desert like Pasco Elqui. They have some and then you see some some down south but you see a little bit more art shut down in like Patagonia, were much much cooler, very different growing region. You’re seeing that’s where you’re seeing a lot more Pinot Noir Chardonnay things, kind of those types of varieties. But yeah, you’re right. Chile is so skinny. And it always surprises people the first time they get big go there, because it’s really, you know, land area wise, a small country, but but it takes forever to get everywhere.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  23:18  

Yeah, I’ve watched a few movies and a lot of surf films on I had never been there. It’s definitely on my list to go. Now. How are you importing the wines to the United States to Washington, and everything?

Andrew Januik  23:32  

So it’s called a southern sojourn. Southern soldier, Soldier and yeah, so like, there were soldiers. Yeah.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  23:41  

Oh, cool. And we’re how are those being distributed?

Andrew Januik  23:45  

So, they are, I mean, most, a lot of it goes direct to consumer out of, you know, tasting room, whatnot, online, and then they are distributed in a number of states like Washington, Oregon, Idaho, New York, Florida. So it’s, you know, it’s kind of scattered around the country.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  24:05  

Are you working with any? Are you considering or working with any international blends? Like bringing the juice up and doing well hybrid? Washington chili urgent, so

Andrew Januik  24:15  

like, combine it i? I’ve thought about it. But it’s one of those things where it’s, you know, how how much of a headache is going to be and how is it actually going to turn out? I mean, I’m not gonna I’m not gonna pretend like I haven’t been in my house, you know, maybe after a few glasses of wine and started like, flying around from the bottle. Yeah. Like it’s like, okay, well, maybe I do like, you know, 30% of this Malbec from Argentina. A little bit of carbon years from Washington State cab. Yeah.

Bianca Harmon  24:49  

Don’t all the best ideas happen when you have just a little bit of alcohol and Yeah,

Andrew Januik  24:54  

well, yeah, a little or a lot. Yeah, definitely. Usually, mine’s

Bianca Harmon  24:58  

a lot what The best unfortunate part is that I don’t remember him the next day. Like, I think I came up with a really great idea last night, but I don’t remember it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  25:10  

You’re supposed to get on YouTube and broadcast that right away.

Bianca Harmon  25:14  

Facebook Live it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  25:17  

That’s what you’re supposed to know. I think we’ve all I think some of the best ones, though, have been after a dinner party where I saw that there was still one full bottle if I combined them all.

Bianca Harmon  25:27  

Well, that’s better than back in the day, my mom, my mom shared a story when she worked in the tasting room. And this was back when people actually like spit in buckets, you know? And now people are just kind of like dump. So she said that after the end of the shift one day, there’s a guy in there at the tasting bar super hammered. And he’s asking for more wine like doesn’t realize turns around and picks up the spit canister and starts drinking it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  25:55  

Just wash Silas.

Andrew Januik  25:58  

Yeah, yeah. I see the same thing one time also. And that was like my mom years ago, and it sticks his burden in my brain.

Bianca Harmon  26:08  

My mom was like, I think the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. And she’s like, and there was nothing you could say you just okay. That just happened.

Andrew Januik  26:19  

The person doesn’t want to know it’s better. It’s better to live in ignorance. Yes.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  26:25  

Hopefully, hopefully he got where he needed to be.

Bianca Harmon  26:28  

Could have been the most incredible blend only he will know. Yeah.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  26:34  

Oh, man. So why not? Why not say what prompted you to get into seltzer?

Andrew Januik  26:40  

Oh, man. Random on a whim. So I guess now it was it was either 2020. So a bit ago, while you’re in Nashville, my very, very good friend from growing up. Courtney called me up and he basically like thinking about doing something in addition to what he’s already doing. And he he came up me know, maybe starting a brewery or something like that. And I told them, you know, if you want to do that, I’ll, I’ll support you in the TTB. And, you know, getting all all that together, but I don’t I love beer. I drink plenty of beer. But I you know, kind of everything that’s been done in beer has been done. I’m sure somebody will obviously deny that and come back and surprise me with something new. But you know, as soon as you see

Drew Thomas Hendricks  27:33  

that, you know, this this, like new revolutionary type of beer is gonna come out.

Bianca Harmon  27:38  

Store and see something and be like, Oh, shoot. Yeah,

Andrew Januik  27:41  

I can’t drink it. Yeah, I just don’t want to make it. So he come back a few days later, he’s like, you know, what do you think about hard seltzer? And I just told him no, I don’t, I don’t think much about hard seltzer. I’ve had plenty of hard seltzers. Frankly, most of them are. Most of them are bad. And some of them are innocuous. And those are the ones Yeah, exactly. It’s like yeah, you you hope it tastes like nothing. But most of them have got the aspartame. They chemically kind of aftertaste that like really, it’s almost metallic that stays with you. Well, you know, we started talking about it and just thinking about like, you know, the, the process and the permutation behind it like well, there’s not actually a reason that it can’t taste better than what they all are not all but most of them are. And so it was you know, excuse for we live in different states, you know, just kind of to catch up on the phone. We flushed it out. And so he works in commercial recycling, and he sees so much food waste, like it’s shocking how much food waste I believe the numbers about 30% of the food in our country ends up in a landfill. So like well, you know, it’d be great if we could kind of support eliminate some of this thing kind of you know, some ideas like imperfect produce where we’re using cold fruit fruit that’s not pretty enough for a grocery store itself. But it’s a perfectly mature rice and fruit and take taking go have some sort of kind of a life other than just ending up in a landfill. But

that’s not motive. i One second? Excuse me. Can we wait like, like five minutes to do that? Thank you all boss. Are they doing sweeping? Yeah, no, they’re they’re laying down something I didn’t realize we’re doing in this room. Anyways, landfill and ugly foods going Yes.

Yeah. So you know what we we kind of flushed out that he was like, well, we can definitely make that work and then on the back end, donating it okay. Hungry for every, every case that we sell. So you kind of have a kind of a holistic approach approach to it where, you know, eliminating food waste on the front side. And then on the back side, we are donating to something that it’s kind of hard to believe that we can have so much food in this country. And still, so many people suffer from food insecurity. And then yeah, we spent about probably eight months or so, actually developing the flavors. We know send it out to a few people like hey, what kind of flavors would you want to see, and it’s kind of spider webbing out and got probably five or 600 respondents coming with the wildest fruit, or nuts, sometimes non fruit flavor ideas you’ve ever heard of in your life, you know, 70% of them, like pretty disgusting. But then, you know, narrowing it down and got to about the 12 or so that we ended up starting to actually develop the flavors and then we landed on on the Final Four and you know, went through iteration after iteration and all real fruit all very getting approved. So basically a fruit purveyor here in Washington state that can access it. So most, you know, depending on what fruit it is, lots of is coming from Washington site, some of it they get from other places also.

Bianca Harmon  31:21  

Is that like the fruit though, that you’re getting from imperfect foods, or

Andrew Januik  31:26  

are yeoville. So by the time we get it, it’s no longer in the fruit form. It’s in, you know, the juice form or concentrate depending on how on how it’s okay on which fruit

Bianca Harmon  31:38  

it is. Yeah, okay. Okay. Yeah, cuz if I recall, you said you’re making a pug, right?

Andrew Januik  31:43  

Yeah, we’re making a pug. Yeah. Cool. Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Bianca Harmon  31:47  

pug, it’s a it’s a Hawaiian everywhere you go in Hawaii pug? It’s passion. Orange guava. passionfruit. Guava. So it’s pug. But if I remember it, I thought that that was one of them because I’m a huge seltzer person, but I was never a seltzer person in the form of truly is and white claws and like I go to breweries and buy filters. And, and I’ve been trying to come up with my own Seltzer for like two years. Usually when I’m intoxicated. Most of the time. I’m gonna start a seltzer brand, because I’m like, It’s the new thing. This is I’m too late. I’m jumping into wine. But I could jump in on seltzer.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  32:26  

I have turned the corner on seltzer myself, I was so resistant in that first white call years. And I think a lot of people in the wine industry just they might still be. Can you talk about the mechanics of making seltzer?

Andrew Januik  32:38  

Yeah, I mean, that’s the beauty of it is that it’s it’s so much reproducible. I mean, it’s especially if you have reliable access to this fruit where it’s, you know, basically, the way that we want to make it which is the way that you know, a lot of people do it, but especially for us, since we’re using real fruit is that we want as much of a blank slate of a alcohol based as possible. So essentially, it’s taking sugar, it’s taking water, and you getting it through this fermentation, and then integrating the, the fruit juices afterwards where so so by not using any malt, or any, you know, you see some some wine seltzer is also by not using those things. All the flavor essentially, is coming from the fruit that you’re adding afterwards, which is

Bianca Harmon  33:36  

added liquor. It’s not like the high noon or something that are vodka, vodka, vodka with natural fruit or whatever. But so this is all like the fermentation process of making wine. Yeah, except

Andrew Januik  33:50  

for Yeah, except for the sugars not coming from the grapes, though. But yeah, but there’s no just, there’s no distillation going through or anything like that.

Bianca Harmon  33:57  

Interesting. Correct.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  33:59  

That helps a lot. So there you go. Okay, you’ve got the tip on how you can get started today. Just get a pot in your kitchen.

Bianca Harmon  34:10  

telling you I’ve been thinking about this for two years. I even called Sam one day and was like, so I think we should start a smelter. He’s like, really, this is this is where we’re going today. I was like, Yeah, I said I found a place I found you know, just found a brewery we could partner with I said maybe I’ll just sell on my business plan.

Andrew Januik  34:30  

Alright, what’s what are your flavors you’re gonna go with? I’m just gonna totally rip these off also, so

Bianca Harmon  34:37  

I definitely want to do like a something peach. Something kiwi. And something tropical Lee? I don’t know. I want to do something with coconut and pineapple. And yeah,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  34:53  

there’s been some really neat ones coming down here in San Diego. Yeah, I’m

Bianca Harmon  34:57  

really into I’m like, I don’t see a lot of kiwi stuff. I don’t see a lot of peach. And I still haven’t found a seltzer that’s doing coconut. So I’m like, let’s, let’s go the pineapple coconut route.

Andrew Januik  35:11  

Okay, very, very tropical. Yeah, very,

Bianca Harmon  35:14  

I’m a tropical person.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  35:19  

So you’re partnering with no kids hungry? Tell me how that came about. Yes. So

Andrew Januik  35:26  

you know, like I said, we, you know, we knew that we wanted to kind of stick on the whole, the whole food chain and food insecurity issue. And they have been just the best partner. They’re very, I mean, one, it’s, you know, they are very good about actually getting those meals into the hands of kids. They’re working with a lot of really cool interesting people, and they have an effect and a kind of a footprint all over the country. So yeah, it was honestly I mean, it was a very natural fit. And you know, we’re you know, looking to now that they’re always coming out of COVID You know, doing actually know a lot of on site events with them. And yeah, we’re it’s very exciting.

Bianca Harmon  36:12  

I mean, man, I used to and stuff yeah, that’s, that’s,

Andrew Januik  36:16  

I’m letting us Yeah, so today’s game six of the final so I decided to you know, let them let them finish up the season and then yeah, maybe maybe tomorrow morning, depending on if they win or not.

I used to Steph if you’re if you’re listening to this I believe it Yeah, I think yeah, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it

Drew Thomas Hendricks  36:41  

Oh, man. Yeah, a lot of stuff going on. I so exciting. So exciting to hear about all this stuff. And the sell seltzer is fast. I gotta say I, I really need to delve a little bit deeper into the seltzer category. I do have to admit that I was a little too resistant for too long. I did go deep into kombucha like kombucha

Bianca Harmon  37:01  

but are you are you distributing them or so where can they where can people find your seltzer currently,

Andrew Januik  37:09  

so yeah, so right now we’re distributing in Washington and Oregon. We just released this year but we’re you know, we’re you we’ve been kind of overwhelmed by the response that we’ve had in a very short amount of time. I mean the best place look looking kind of right now your independent grocers and in Washington state you know the markets to come a boys Pete’s can markets a lot of bars and restaurants in Oregon, you know places like market have choices, New Seasons, like that and yeah, it’s out there it’s it’s pretty lame again. So it’s called for good hard seltzer. So the number four and then good hard seltzer. Yeah, and you know, it’s we the focus has been you know, you know, the, the charitable and the positive effects of the brand. But that being said, I feel very strongly that it is the best tasting seltzer on the market I wouldn’t base with my background in winemaking I would not have been willing to risk kind of the wine reputation over hard seltzer if I didn’t feel that it was like, you know, really superior to most to most of what’s out there. So, if you see it, give it a try. It tastes like something it does not taste like you know, a just fermented carbonated water. It’s got some real real substance

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:39  

to it was the tagline the name of the one it tastes like something

Andrew Januik  38:47  

like something

Bianca Harmon  38:50  

it’s just make T shirts.

Andrew Januik  38:53  

That’s a that’s Yeah.

Bianca Harmon  38:55  

People gonna want to drink it to try it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  39:00  

Yeah. This is this has been a really, really interesting interview. I love it. So Andrew is we’re kind of wrapping down I got asked Who do you respect most right now kind of an industry or any shout out someone again?

Andrew Januik  39:14  

Gosh, so many, there’s so many people doing great things, you know, all all over the world in the industry. I think it’s, I think it’s an exciting time to be in the alcohol industry. You know, especially, you know, on the winemaking side, a lot of people that I know that are you know, pushing forward on, on the actual, you know, trying things that have never been done before in cellars and you know, to all those people shout out to you. I mean, for me personally, I mean, my biggest influence has been the people directly in my life like no, my dad’s a winemaker, Mike Januik Kim Scott molar, who’s been a big influence in my winemaking career. Then yeah, to all the partners in South America, same thing you know, I think a lot are the new worlds winemaking regions have an advantage where we’re, you know, there’s, there’s it’s beautiful that the old razza tradition but you see the same thing down in South America where people are doing really exciting things both in vineyards and, and in the actual wineries. So, yeah. I guess a lot of people everybody

Drew Thomas Hendricks  40:23  

keep pushing the boundaries. For sure. So, Andrew, where can people find out more about your wine brands? And, and you?

Andrew Januik  40:31  

Yeah. So if you go to, it’s J, A, N, as in Nancy UI, k And then for the Seltzer is www.drink4good. And that’s the number 4

Drew Thomas Hendricks  40:50  

That’s great. Well, Andrew, thank you so much for joining us today.

Andrew Januik  40:54  

Yeah, thanks for having me was a lot of fun.

Drew Thomas Hendricks 40:58

Have a great day. Yeah. Thanks.

Outro  41:07  

Thanks for listening to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.