Unique Winemaking Techniques and Meaningful Wine Experiences With Randy Detrick of Blue Ridge Winery

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Aug 3, 2023

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast

Unique Winemaking Techniques and Meaningful Wine Experiences With Randy Detrick of Blue Ridge Winery

Last Updated on August 3, 2023 by nicole

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Unique Winemaking Techniques and Meaningful Wine Experiences With Randy Detrick of Blue Ridge Winery 11

Randy Detrick is the owner and winemaker of Blue Ridge Estate Vineyard and Winery in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. A former ski racer, Randy’s journey into winemaking began when his wife sparked the idea of growing grapes on their farm during a trip to Italy. Taking a leap of faith, they embraced the wine business and made their dream come true. Now, their thriving vineyard stands as a testament to their passion and dedication. Randy also inspires others as a sought-after motivational speaker with his podcast, “Living On Purpose By Randy Detrick.”

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

  • Learn about how Randy and Tiffany founded Blue Ridge Winery and what inspired them to embark on this wine-making journey
  • Blue Ridge Winery introduces a unique ancient wine preservation method by aging wine barrels underground
  • Randy takes us on a journey through The Underground Experience at Blue Ridge Winery and discover how the wines themselves are an integral part of this immersive experience
  • Explore how authenticity and atmosphere play a significant role and Randy shares what makes their winery stand out and how they create memorable moments beyond wine
  • Aside from being a winery owner, Randy is a highly sought-after motivational speaker, and he shares some insights into his motivational journey
  • Blue Ridge Winery The Godfather, Top 1% Wines in the World
  • Get introduced to the enchanting Glitter Inspiration wines from Blue Ridge Winery
  • Join us for a glimpse into Blue Ridge Winery, their wine cellar, and the unique underground room
  • Randy discusses how Blue Ridge Winery navigated the challenges posed by the pandemic
  • Find out what exciting projects and ventures Blue Ridge Winery has in store for the future
  • Blue Ridge Winery in the landscape of wineries in the area
  • Randy offers valuable advice for anyone aspiring to start their own winery

In this episode with Randy Detrick

Randy Detrick of Blue Ridge Winery, shares his journey from founding the winery with Tiffany to becoming a sought-after motivational speaker. We’ll learn about their ancient wine preservation technique, aging wine by burying barrels underground. Get ready to uncover the secrets behind The Underground Experience at Blue Ridge Winery, where wines and the experience blend seamlessly. From their Glitter Inspiration wines to the vision for a multi-generational winery, Randy offers valuable insights for aspiring winery entrepreneurs. 

In today’s episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, Drew Thomas Hendricks and Bianca Harmon are joined by Randy Detrick, Owner and Winemaker at Blue Ridge Estate Vineyard & Winery and a motivational speaker. Discover why Blue Ridge Winery stands out as a top-tier destination in the world of wines, as we discuss their pandemic adaptation, future projects, and their unique position within the winery landscape of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for 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 this show, I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry. Before we get on with the show, 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 barrelsahead.com today to learn more. Before I introduce our guests? I wanna introduce Bianca Harmon. Bianca Harmon is our podcast channel director. How’s it going, Bianca?

[00:00:27] Bianca Harmon: Going great, Drew, really looking forward to this episode we have today.

[00:00:31] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yes, I’m super excited. Today we’re talking with Randy Detrick.

Randy is the founder of the Blue Ridge Estate Vineyard and Winery in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. Welcome to the show, Randy.

[00:00:42] Randy Detrick: Thanks guys. Thanks for having me here. And you know we’re missing someone. My wife. You say I’m the founder? I don’t know. I think my wife is more the founder than I am.

[00:00:48] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh yeah. Yes.

[00:00:51] Randy Detrick: Her name is Tiffany. You see the bottle of wine behind me? It’s called Tiffany. We named it after her. I tell everyone, even if you don’t like it, just say you do.

[00:00:59] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Tell, tell me about it. Tell me about Tiffany’s wine.

[00:01:03] Randy Detrick: So it’s Chambourcin. Chambourcin it’s a, Chambourcin is a red grape that grows well in this area. And a lot of winemakers turn it into a dry red wine. Cause it’s a red grape.

Well, I don’t think the grape wants to be a dry red wine because it has a lot of acidity on it. And it’s got a lot of grape floral notes. So what I do is I bring the grapes in, we grow ’em in the lower vineyard down below here. I squeeze the juice out of the grapes, so you know, it gets rid of most of the color and becomes a rose, and then we fermented it out.

I usually adjust the acid up front a little bit because it’s a little bit more acidic. My target end goal is that the wine would’ve a sweetness level of around 3%, which makes it soft in your mouth. And we turn it in, we call it Rosé Cuvée. Tiffany, it’s a top wine at Blue Ridge Winery every year we produce it.

[00:01:43] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, that sounds fantastic. Talking about Blue Ridge Winery. So give me your origin story. How did you and Tiffany found this thing?

[00:01:51] Randy Detrick: Oh gosh, so the wine, so we live on the farm here. We’ve lived on the winery farm for probably 20 years. We lived in the white house up above the vineyards here and, and back when I built the house here, I used to have a horse farm. And there were no vineyards.

I never had any wine until I was 31 years old. And I mean zero. I grew up ski racing, so all I do is race all my life. And you know, my wife and I were in this little town called Itch in Italy, right? And it was the last race of the season. And we’re driving through vineyards and my wife turns to me and she goes, “Hey, I wonder if we can grow grapes to the farm.”

I’m like, “I don’t know. I never had wine.” So we come home, we start studying, pretty soon we’re planting rows of vines. And it’s one of those stories where we got in so deep we couldn’t turn back. So here we are. We used to have a medical business, it was called Star Medical Equipment, and it really reached a tipping point where one day we go, all right, are we gonna sell everything and dive into the wine business?

And we did. We literally sold it all. It was one of those things where if we didn’t make it work, we would’ve been cooked because we completely, we spent all of our money, we were completely broke. We had to make it a go. This is why I always say, my wife. I mean, I just grow grapes.

You know, my wife, oh my God, Tiff. Tiff is the brain. She’s the idea. She’s the one that pushes it all. If it wasn’t for Mama, I call her Mama. We have three babies. I’d still be in the vineyards like, you know, blubbering myself, just crying that we’re not gonna make it, we’re not gonna open. But she has more faith than I do.

I mean, we, it was some challenging times early on, but my God. Today, Blue Ridge it’s ranked the 13th top wine in the nation by Travel + Leisure Magazine. We have a wine here called The Godfather that’s ranked the top 1% wines in the whole world. We teach some of the wine science classes at the local colleges.

I have something called the Underground Experience here, which is a wine tasting that it’s a sold-out show whenever we lift list tickets. The mission of Blue Ridge.

[00:03:33] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I wanna hear all about that, but, oh. Did I get, before we get too long, did I hear that you didn’t really drink wine before you started the winery?

[00:03:41] Randy Detrick: Yeah. Yeah. For real. For real. So basically, Drew, I mean, growing up I, I was, I was a ski racer. So all, all I did was I just trained my body to perform better than of course. And I was never really around wine.

[00:03:51] Bianca Harmon: So alcohol, you weren’t drinking, period probably?

[00:03:54] Randy Detrick: Zero. Zero. Yeah. First, first drink I ever had. I was 31 years old. Anything.

[00:03:57] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s amazing.

[00:03:59] Randy Detrick: And literally, and we were, what happened was the first time I had wine, we were in Mount Hood, Oregon. So in Mount Hood, you know, Pinot Noir world, right? Oregon and I didn’t know this back then and we’re, it was the last ski race of the season cuz Mount Hood, you can go there in the summertime and they have summer skiing up in the, up in the glacier there.

And we’re at this little restaurant and a waiter walks up to us and goes, “Would you guys like to have some wine?” And I look at Tiff and I go, “Sure, why not? Never had that before.” So he pours some wine, then he starts describing it. I’m like, dude, just pour the wine. I have no idea what you’re talking. Who, who knew though?

Five years later, I’d be producing it on a, you know, thousands of gallons per scale.

[00:04:38] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s absolutely incredible. What about, what was it about wine, and does Tiffany come from a background in wine or what?

[00:04:45] Randy Detrick: Nope.

[00:04:45] Drew Thomas Hendricks: What was it that just, it’s hard. It’s very easy to get in over your head and then just not, but to succeed and to be continually motivated by it. Why wine?

[00:04:52] Bianca Harmon: And did Tiffany drink wine or was she

[00:04:55] Randy Detrick: Oh, yeah, mama liked wine and Mama had, Tiff had wine, you know, when she was younger, you know, not 31. But you know, the wine business, it’s complicated, right? We all know this. It’s a very complicated business.

It’s complicated on the bio biology side, the science of making wine. It’s complicated on the business side. How do you make it all work? It’s complicated on the retail side, and I love the complexion of it. And it’s one of those things that the more you know, the more you know you don’t know. So it’ll, you can never stop getting better at it, which I absolutely love that it’s something that is scalable to the moon.

And we are trying to reinvent the wine world at Blue Ridge. I mean it, I have wine here, Drew, that like if you study the history, wine is starting the country of Georgia. And they used to have these underground pots called Qvevri pots, right?

[00:05:39] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah.

[00:05:39] Randy Detrick: And they would bury these pots under the ground to protect the elements that hurt wine, cuz that’s how they could preserve the wine by putting it under the ground.

Cause they didn’t have refrigeration back then. So I thought, okay, why don’t we take barrels and bury them out in the field?

[00:05:52] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh yeah.

[00:05:52] Randy Detrick: You return it right where it began. Right? You put it back in the dirt. We bury barrels now on Halloween weekend. It’s appropriate. Right? And then we dig. We dig it up on 4th of July and we leave barrels buried in the dirt for nine months.

And when you bury wine though. Oh my. We call the wine underground is appropriate. Beneath the earth all the elements that hurt wine, it goes away. Beneath the earth. Think about it. There’s no light. There’s no sound. There’s no oxygen, there’s no movement, no change in temperatures.

It is the most steady level environment anywhere on the planet. But it is very challenging to bury wine and then dig it back out without destroying barrels. Right. And we’ve been doing this for years. This past season, we kicked it to a whole new level cuz I’m out in the patio here and a couple says to me, they go, “Randy, I wonder what this would taste like if you didn’t bury it?”

I’m like, duh, Randy, don’t bury barrels and do a comparison side by side. So now I think we’re the only winery in the world that you can come to Blue Ridge and taste the wine that has been buried for a year. And the exact same wine from the same tank that has been aged in the exact same barrels, not buried. Aged in the barrel barn. And you will not believe the difference of how wine ages and you can understand it in one split taste. Pretty neat stuff.

[00:07:05] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Would the, would the one, I’m just assuming the ones in the ground would be a little more softer, or would it be even more youthful? It’s been in such a stable condition.

[00:07:11] Randy Detrick: That, that’s the word that you, that’s the word.

It’s softer. It’s more subtle. Everything about it, you’ll go, wow, this is the smoothest dry red ever. It what happens when you bury barrels? You know, the angels share the evaporation. That does not happen when you go into the ground at all. In fact, when I pull the buns out, it, there’s actually, it explodes and it somewhat.

The it rounds off and softens the wine like you never could imagine. The underground wine is a wine that it, I wish we could produce more of it. I only produce around 400 gallons a year of it. And like this past season, it’s already sold out right now. You know, it’s, it goes pretty quick.

[00:07:44] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s incredible. And which wine is it called? Your Underground wine or is it the,

[00:07:47] Randy Detrick: It’s called Underground. Yeah. And what, we have a wine called Underground and one called a Bugground.

[00:07:52] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Okay.

[00:07:52] Randy Detrick: They’re from the same tank. But aged differently. One’s aged above ground, one’s below ground, and that’s it. And people go, “Oh my gosh.”

I go, everybody thinks time passing. Age is wine and agar time’s about time is time’s important, but it’s the most least important variable in the aging of wine. Cuz we all know this. If I take a bottle of wine and I open it up and dump into a pitcher within two days, the boy’s gonna smell bad. But I feel left in the bottle all as well.

So it’s what’s happening to the wine and when you go beneath the earth, all the elements that hurt wine, they vanish. Yeah. And the wine can age perfectly.

[00:08:25] Drew Thomas Hendricks: No, that’s incredible. I, I had a conversation, they weren’t on my podcast, but the, a gentleman up in Santa Barbara is doing an ocean aging on bottles of wine.

So he’s got these big, big nets full of bottles that he submerges into the channel island area and ages, ages of wine in the ocean.

[00:08:42] Bianca Harmon: We actually have a client that is age is their wine below ground, one of their wine.

[00:08:47] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Tucannon.

[00:08:48] Bianca Harmon: Tucannon Cellars. Yeah.

[00:08:50] Randy Detrick: Neat, neat.

[00:08:50] Bianca Harmon: And that was first time I, that was the first time I’d heard about that ever. Until, and I’ve worked in the wine industry my whole life basically. And now you are doing it too. Fascinating.

[00:09:04] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Digging up treasure. So you’ve got, so it’s, so you basically is the same kind of field location where your.

[00:09:10] Randy Detrick: I do.

[00:09:10] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Your treasure’s stored.

[00:09:11] Bianca Harmon: And how are you digging them out?

[00:09:13] Randy Detrick: With the excavator. Oh yeah. I go out there with a backhoe. I pre-dig the hole when we bury it because it takes like the whole day to dig a hole. Cause it’s big. It’s about the size of a house, right? A foundation. And then I preset the barrels out there. And what we do is we do a barrel tasting of the barrels the day we bury them.

So I have three or four barrels out on display and you can walk up, we do a Turkey baster, pull it right from the barrel, right to the glass. So you can taste trinity. You taste it before we bury it. Then what we do is nine months later, the day we dig it back out. I invite everybody back out again.

We go, we all go out in the field together and I dig the barrels outta the ground right in front of everybody. It is so cool to pull a barrel up out of the ground and drop it right in the field. And then I go over, we open it up right in the field, right in front of everybody, and we pull a sample and go right from the barrel to the glass.

With all the people in the field. And then we, this coming year, we’re gonna bottle it right in the field. I’m gonna bring my bottling line out there. We have a semi-mobile bottling line, and I’m gonna put it out there. We’re, and we’re gonna siphon it from the barrel right to the bottle. It’s gonna come off the line and go right into the right into the guest’s hands. Really incredible.

[00:10:16] Bianca Harmon: Have you ever, dropped a barrel while pulling it off?

[00:10:18] Randy Detrick: Oh my God, yes. You know, I joke about that because that’s a nightmare. Cause in every bottle’s around $6,000 a wine.

[00:10:26] Bianca Harmon: Yes.

[00:10:27] Randy Detrick: Expensive mistake. And I, yeah, I’ve broken three so far.

[00:10:35] Drew Thomas Hendricks: It’s a low percentage, but man, that hurts.

[00:10:37] Randy Detrick: It does. The first time I did it, you’re like, you’re, you just, your blood drains outta your body. You’re like, oh my God. All the work that went into that, you know? But yeah. Yeah. My God. But yeah, I broken three this past year. Didn’t break any, so pray for me guys.

[00:10:50] Bianca Harmon: And how many do you usually bury?

[00:10:53] Randy Detrick: So I bury 330 gallons worth each year, at least 330 gallons. Sometimes we do a little bit more, but right around there.

[00:11:01] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Using 50-gallon barrels or,

[00:11:02] Randy Detrick: No, 15-gallon barrels. I used the little -. Yeah, the little bur.

[00:11:06] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, so that’s where you gonna get yeah. That’ll really accelerate the maturation too. Having it. Having the smaller ones.

[00:11:12] Randy Detrick: Yep. 15 gallons. And the barrels used to, they came from Dad’s Hat Distillery in Bristol, Pennsylvania. So when Herman dumps his bourbon out, he calls me up and he goes, “Randy, I got 50 barrels. Come get ’em.” And we buy all of his barrels. And then I pumped that wine into there.

[00:11:26] Bianca Harmon: So it basically compounds where it picks up all those buttery bourbon compounds that aged into the, soaked, into the wood. And we all know those barrels are charred, you know, like charcoal on the inside. So I gotta asked, there’s never like bugs or anything that somehow way inside of there?

[00:11:40] Randy Detrick: No, no. The barrel, I mean the wood on the barrel’s about that thick, and then the bun’s about that thick. So now it’s as tight as can be.

[00:11:47] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. There’s not enough time for any bugs to actually penetrate it in nine months.

[00:11:52] Randy Detrick: Yeah, no, they, they wouldn’t, and it’s, I bury ’em like 10 feet down.

There’s nothing down there. There might be a nematode or so down there, but that’s about it right

[00:11:59] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Now is this, is this experience available to all your wine club members or is this something that you?

[00:12:04] Randy Detrick: Oh yeah. Oh my God. Yeah. Yeah. The under the underground day, the day we bury, the day we dig it up.

That’s it’s like a big festival day here at the winery. Yeah. Like we do a fireworks show that day. We light the vineyards up that night. if you’re ever around the area, come the Blue Ridge right around dusk. Because we have around 1.2 million lights strung throughout the vineyards and it’s it’s an ex, it’s a site to be seen.

[00:12:29] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I mean, it’s, that’s incredible.

[00:12:31] Randy Detrick: Oh, it’s fun stuff.

[00:12:32] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Your website shows like great visuals. And this kind is a good segue way into your underground ex, well, that’s not the, you have the underground barrels, but then you also have an experience in your winery, the underground experience.

[00:12:43] Randy Detrick: Correct.

[00:12:44] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Talk to me about that. It looks fascinating. It comes with motivational talk.

[00:12:48] Randy Detrick: Yep. Yep. Oh my gosh. So you know how every business has a mission statement? Right? They all do. Blue Ridge’s mission statement is to add value to people’s lives. And you know, when you get study of what actually brings value to someone’s life, it turns out it really doesn’t have much to do with things.

You know, everything. We have to be thrown away at some point, and most all value in our lives is derived through an experience with someone we love. So everything we do here is designed to bring people together to create a moment they never forget because your mind always acts like a Polaroid snapshot.

It remembers the moment. So the Underground Experience was derived out of like just a need to serve more. When we built the winery, we only built the original building. And then one afternoon my wife looks at me and she goes, we should build on, we should do more and we should build an underground room.

And, and then she goes, if we do that, let’s do a, let’s do a wine tasting. That’s a very controlled, very high-end, very elite wine tasting. And it’s called the Underground Experience. And what it is, is I go into the room there and it’s a room that’s truly underground. It’s all painted black.

It has gold trimming in it. I turned three trees into chandeliers and they come outta the ceiling and there’s thousands of lights all over these trees. And what I do is we pair wine. With the best things in life. You know how traditionally wine is paired with cheese and crackers and things like that?

In that presentation, it’s not paired with that stuff. It’s paired with things like hope. We talk about trust, we talk about enthusiasm. We talk about preparing for success in our life rather than repairing the past. And by the end, I promise you, everyone in the room, they just float outta the room cause they feel so good because it’s.

You know, I always say when there’s hope in the future, there’s power in the present. And that whole presentation’s about hope, it is such a feel good presentation. And,it’s kind of spun off on its whole world of its own. You know, Theresa is the manager of it. She manages the whole show. It’s, you know, it’s, we book it through Eventbrite, the website, Eventbrite.

It’s something that’s, right now it’s booked out through April. We’re about to release some more dates. There’s another date that I thought I was gonna be away, but I’m gonna be here, so we’re gonna put that on there. It’s 50 bucks a ticket. A lot of times couples come to it. It lasts around an hour and a half. And but at the time we’ll go.

[00:14:54] Drew Thomas Hendricks: How many people each, how many people in each one of these experiences?

[00:14:58] Randy Detrick: Generally we try to see 42. Most of the time it ends up being around 45 to 47. Cuz sometimes like a family will book it and they’ll go, oh my gosh, my mother’s in town. Can we please get a ticket for my mom?

They’re like, we can do it. We’ll make it happen. So like this weekend, there is 49 on, there’s two shows on Saturday right now. There’s one at one o’clock and then one at three 30.

[00:15:21] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. You’ve been doing it for what, five years now or so?

[00:15:24] Randy Detrick: Yep. About five years. Yep. And,it’s an evolving presentation.

There is no script to it. We generally, we talk about, there’s five general topics. You know, we talk about time, time’s important. We talk about the word empathy. We talk about hope, trust, and preparing for success. And then there’s a lot of other subtopics woven into it. And it’s a story, you know.

And it’s an emotional rollercoaster ride. So most, you know, at some point the whole room is crying. The next point, they’re all laughing the next point they’re, you know, giggling. It’s just, it’s an emotional rollercoaster ride.

[00:15:53] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s incredible. So do the wine, so the wines sort of craft the talk or the wine wines enhance it.

[00:15:59] Randy Detrick: Oh wow. I mean, the wines are all part of it. I basically, we taste five wines and I talk about the history of the wines. Of how that wine got created, why it has its name. We taste the underground wine in that room and the aboveground wine. And I can show them the art of aging wine and how different it is above versus below.

We talk, we tasted a wine called Conscience in that room. Which is actually named after a song that a musician that played here, that it was our effort to keep him in the music world. It’s just, it’s great stories that just, it connects people with a lot with their life.

[00:16:30] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. What you’re doing is so many wineries have tried to do something.

Well, everybody’s trying to, you know, convey their story or they’re trying to give, the wines this like sense of purpose, sense of place. And too often the stories are just tied to physical, like very very just general stories to be able to tie it to emotions, to tie it into visions and futures.

Must be a real talent, actually taps into the core of why a lot of people love wine.

[00:16:56] Randy Detrick: Absolutely. Big time. Yeah. I tell everyone that there’s, when it comes to a winery, a winery’s always gotta remember that the word authenticity defines a winery. Because people really, when you think about it, people don’t really come here just to drink wine.

They’re coming here for the experience of Blue Ridge Winery. Cause if they wanna drink wine, they can go to the state store, buy a bottle, and go home and drink it. They wanna feel the feel and people come here because of the feeling. Its Blue Ridge is all about atmosphere. Every detail, everyday detail.

There’s sound tiles on the ceiling of every single room in this building. We do that because it softens the feel of the room and makes it comfortably be in the room. Our tables are very narrow tables cuz I realize one day I can get people closer to each other. And if I get narrow tables and they’ll begin holding hands.

We change all the tables and just like that whole atmosphere changes. We invest huge in sound system here. I mean, I probably have $50,000 in music sound system stuff. We’ve had some world-class artists come out, you know, you know, to the winery here and play. Haley Reinhart been here, Collective Soul’s been here, you know, and we just, the mission is to create a moment that no one forgets.

And I really believe in today’s world. If businesses take the money that they have, reinvest it back into the business to create the experience for the guests that they’ll never forget. They will tell their friends and their friends will tell their friends, and their friends will tell their friends.

That’s the best marketing you could ever do because you’ll always trust your friend’s opinion. So that’s the goal.

[00:18:17] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, for sure. And like, well, for you, you’re also a highly sought-after motivational speaker and it says in your website you’ve spoken individually over 15,000 times. That’s incredible.

Cause that’s one a day for 41 years. I did the math, I had to ask you about that.

[00:18:34] Randy Detrick: Yep, yep. So for the longest time, I was doing three and four and five a day.

[00:18:38] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s amazing. So then, and that, that actually predates the winery?

[00:18:42] Randy Detrick: Yeah. It does. Yeah. By a long shot. My gosh.

[00:18:44] Drew Thomas Hendricks: By a long shot.

[00:18:44] Randy Detrick: The winery we’re only eight years old.

[00:18:46] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. So the, you’ve really found, used the winery as like a perfect conduit for your, your message in your imagination.

[00:18:52] Bianca Harmon: So you have to be a skier to a motivational speaker to a winery owner slash motivational speaker.

[00:18:58] Randy Detrick: There you go. That’s true. Yeah. You know, God, you know my how businesses have mission statements.

People show mission statements, and my mission statement is to add value to the people around me. And I’ve learned that the more value you add, the more value you receive. You can only get what you have. And the more you get, the more you receive, you know, and it life just spirals up. You know, I think the biggest lesson that I put out to the world when it comes to motivational speaking is that most people make the fatal flaw in their life and they get up in the morning, they think to themselves, how can I have more in this world?

How can I get more? And the problem with that way of thinking is that no one chose to be alive. Life chose you to be here, and since life chose us, the question we should really ask is, what does life expect of me? And when we ask that question every single day, all of a sudden you have no more problems because every problem is transformed into an opportunity that life has given you to turn you into a better person than who you were yesterday.

And now all of a sudden, life is limitless and I can go anywhere because I have opportunities and I wanna find more of them. I think that’s the biggest message that comes out in most of my presentations. It’s also a, a play on hope, you know, because, you know, God, what’s missing in the world today is, is hope for the future.

And when there is no hope for the future, the present is dead. You know? And that’s what people feel when they come to Blue Ridge. They can, I have quotes of my family all over the place. My little babies, I hang ’em on the wall and I see people taking pictures with them. And they just, they leave and they go.

I have a newfound faith and excitement for humanity after being at Blue Ridge because when it comes to like the winery, I am, I’m pretty vulnerable here. I have a book of my family and I put out a lot of po, a lot of podcasts and I’m very transparent. But vulnerability, I see it as vulnerable.

The world see, sees it as courageous. And I wanna tell people it’s one and the same. Put yourself out there, you’ll think you’re being vulnerable. They’ll see you as courageous. And no one has ever accomplished anything playing it safe, you know? So the winery, yeah, it was a big jump, but we had to make it happen, you know?

[00:20:54] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, for sure. And what, what a great, what a great platform for your message. I have to wanna circle back on this Godfather, top 3% of wines in the world. Top –

[00:21:05] Randy Detrick: Top 1%.

[00:21:06] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Top 1%.

[00:21:08] Randy Detrick: Top 1%. Yeah. So what happened, you know, Vivino, the app Vivino, right? So, Vivino, what happened was, you know, I didn’t know it until a guest walks up to me and he was, he had a very strong accent.

I could barely understand him. And he goes, “You realize that this wine is top 1% in the world?” I’m like, “Say it again.” And, he goes, top 1%. And I go, “What? What do you mean? Where do you see that?” And he pulls out this app called Vivino. He scans it. I’m like, look at that. I’ll be, and it’s been there ever since.

You know? And Godfather is a wine that it’s a dry red. It’s pretty old, around five years old. By the time we sell it, it gets aged in American oak barrels for a while. Then it comes out of there and it goes into those 15-gallon bourbon barrels I talked about from dad’s side distillery. And it sits like that for six months to maybe two years, depending on the barrel state and the wine state and so on.

And then we’re very careful when we blend it. We’re blending it, we’re making sure that we’re blending the right barrels into the right barrels. You know how there’s an -, there’s a whole art to barrel blending. And the wine is probably the most. Buttery smooth maple feel type wine, if that makes sense.

It’s the people always say to me, they go, the Godfather never disappoints. That’s the common

[00:22:13] Drew Thomas Hendricks: What varietal is it?

[00:22:15] Randy Detrick: It’s mainly Petite Sirah,

[00:22:17] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Mainly. Wow.

[00:22:18] Randy Detrick: Yeah. We’ve blend other stuff into it, but it is the most big bold dry red out there. I mean, it’s great.

[00:22:22] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Kinda imagine the way you describe it and the way it’s aged, it kind of reminds me of maybe a, a Rioja Reserva or something from Spain where they all only release them when they’re aged and ready to go.

[00:22:33] Randy Detrick: Yep, yep. Yeah.

[00:22:34] Bianca Harmon: Tell me, where did the name come from?

[00:22:37] Randy Detrick: You know, the people ask me though, did it come from the movie? I’m like, I never, I’ve never seen the movie. And when we named it, it wasn’t even close in my mind, you know? It was literally that the name came from Tiff and I up there in, in the house of the sunroom early on with the winery just.

Coming up with names. I mean, there’s really, I wish I had a dramatic story for it, but there isn’t. It’s just us sitting there and going, wow, it’s you know, when you develop a name for a wine, what we would do is we’d write out keywords that describes the wine. Big, bold, strong, powerful.

I go, okay, so what describes big, bold, strong, powerful? And she goes, I don’t know, maybe like the Godfather. I’m like, there it is. And that, that’s truly what happened. You know, there’s no, I wish there’s a better story, but you know.

[00:23:13] Drew Thomas Hendricks: No, no. I mean the name, they make sense, especially for something of that stature for sure.

[00:23:17] Randy Detrick: Right? Yeah. Yeah. We have a wine called Inspiration and that’s another, you know, tip. I, so

[00:23:21] Bianca Harmon: That’s what I was gonna ask you about, cuz you’ve got these glitter wine.

[00:23:25] Randy Detrick: Yeah.

[00:23:25] Bianca Harmon: Glitter Inspiration.

[00:23:28] Randy Detrick: So glitter, okay, so, so if I, if Blue Ridge Winery was in Napa Valley, I probably wouldn’t be able to pull off a glitter a glitter wine.

But we’re not in Napa Valley. Okay. So we’re, we’re, yeah. So here’s what happens. Oh my God, Drew. So I’m always trying to, how can we reinvent the wine world? If anything was possible, what would you do? I always say anything is possible. Let’s always use it to our advantage. So one night I’m laying in bed up at the house, and I’m on Facebook, and I saw this baker, he all of a sudden he it’s a dramatic commercial trying to sell cake or a topping or something like that.

And he’s throwing glitter across the cake. It was all in slow motion. The glitter’s all sparkly and shiny. And I thought, I wonder if you could put glitter in wine, because if you can put it on cake and eat it, it must be edible. Yeah. So then I start researching it and I found this company called Bagel. Bagel’s the company that sells that same glitter that goes on cake.

The base is called Mica. It’s an edible glitter. It’s so fine. It just goes right through you. And I call ’em up. I go, “Has anyone ever put it in the wine?” They go, “Well, we’ve seen people put it in beer, but not so much wine.” I go, “Let’s try it.” So I order some in. And I develop a label, to get a label like that through the tobacco trade bureaus.

It’s called artificial label, artificial coloring, and it works fine. And so I get my labels approved and then you should have seen it when we built, when we make that wine, we have to hand dose every single bottle. There is no automatic doser, and we make thousands of them every month.

[00:24:48] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. It was wonderful.

[00:24:50] Randy Detrick: And literally it’s, it’s a wine that. It has edible glitter in it. You take the bottle and if you take that bottle and you stir it and shake it, It is just the most sparkly, glittery thing in the world. It’s amazing. You pour into a glass, it shimmers, it sparkles.

If I walk through the winery with a glass of it, everyone will go, what? What is that? What is that? It’s what mean. It’s, it really is cool. And now early on, we only did it in like gold and bronze, but now we do it in green, purple, pink, yellow, orange per every color you could imagine.

[00:25:18] Bianca Harmon: And what kind of wine is it?

[00:25:20] Randy Detrick: Oh, so inspiration. That is a, it’s a semi-sweet wine. It’s the base is mainly Niagara and then there’s a couple other things blended into it to make it a unique brand. So like,

[00:25:32] Bianca Harmon: So it’s same wine for all of ’em, but different color glitter.

[00:25:35] Randy Detrick: Yep, exactly. Just different colors. Yeah. If I blindfolded you, you wouldn’t be able to tell what color is white. They all taste the same.

[00:25:40] Bianca Harmon: Okay.

[00:25:41] Randy Detrick: Even the one without glitter.

[00:25:42] Bianca Harmon: I got my daughter a maple, I ordered her a maple syrup from Vermont that is glitter.

[00:25:48] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Has glitter on it?

[00:25:50] Bianca Harmon: Uhhuh from last, last year. I got it. And it’s this delicious. All natural like, you know, all like you know, brio maple syrup, and then you pour it and it’s got the glitter in it.

And like the bottle itself is beautiful too. It’s all cake on the sides. But then you just kind of pour it on the pancakes or waffles or whatever.

It’s probably the same, same thing. Yeah.

[00:26:12] Randy Detrick: Yeah. In fact, do you wanna see it? Should I grab a bottle? Should I grab the camera? Yeah, see it?

[00:26:15] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. Grab the camera.

[00:26:18] Randy Detrick: Run over here quick.

[00:26:19] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah, I’m, I’m looking at a picture on the website. It’s just, it seems like what a great way to just enhance the, make wine fun.

[00:26:24] Randy Detrick: Exactly. Yeah. It really does. It makes wine fun, that’s for sure. So there,

[00:26:28] Bianca Harmon: I bet it’s a hit God. You gotta have some like glitter parties. Do you ever do like glitter’s parties?

[00:26:34] Randy Detrick: Yeah. So here. So you can see. See,

[00:26:35] Bianca Harmon: But there’s a pain in the ass though. Once, if you actually have it at your property, you’ll have glitter there forever.

[00:26:42] Randy Detrick: You see this one here? You see it? See that one screen? Ok. There’s one and then here’s another. I’m trying to find one that’s, that’s bronze.

[00:26:54] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Super interesting.

[00:26:57] Randy Detrick: Oh, here, here’s the bronze one. The bronze one’s very dramatic. Get it going here and you’ll see. See me? Pretty neat, right?

[00:27:10] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I would think I could think of so many people. Oh my gosh. What a, what an interesting thing. What’s the most popular color?

[00:27:17] Bianca Harmon: Oh, I like the blue.

[00:27:19] Randy Detrick: Yeah, there’s the blue. So the most popular color probably is this bronze one you see here. Just cause it’s so dramatic. But during, like during Valentine’s, there we have ’em. They come in pink. You know, there, there’s pretty much for every holiday there’s a different color, you know? And I’m wondering if there is an underground bottle up here somewhere.

I’m over in the vineyard room here. So this, this is the label for the, the aboveground. It’s kinda what? It’s in our art series. That’s a really, it’s a cool looking label.

[00:27:47] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah, that one’s neat.

[00:27:48] Randy Detrick: Really, really neat. Yeah. The underground. We only have the underground wine downstairs now cause it’s all sold out up here.

You know, but. Do, do you wanna see, do you wanna see the underground room? Should I run down there real quick?

[00:27:57] Bianca Harmon: Yes.

[00:27:57] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah.

[00:27:58] Randy Detrick: Wanna take a look? Okay, here we go. So I cut across here and here. I’ll give you, I’ll pan around. So this, this is the, I’m out on the deck right now. You did some snow. Oh yeah, it’s totally crazy.

Here is the this is called the lower patio. So there’s a set of steps going down over there. There’s pergolas over here. We have an outdoor, outdoor tiki bar right here. This is a stage where we do live music. There’s, this is the lower vineyard. Off the distance is a Christmas tree farm out there. And have couple fire pits out here.

And then this is the vineyard room where just came out. We have all the decks wrapped at the winery, so we actually blow heat in there. So this weekend, even though it’s gonna be 30 degrees out here in there, it’s like 70. And, but yet you’re outside. It’s kinda neat. Yeah. And then here’s a, this is just a, a, a set of steps that leads down to the underground room.

And be beneath me is that underground room that we’re gonna be heading to, but I’m gonna cut you across here then. Now I’m ba I’m in the covered deck at the, on the main building here. And remember I told you about the quotes of my kids. Here’s one of Maggie. Here’s a kiss later too. Dad. Here’s a quote.

Here’s a quote of my mom. Pursue all your dreams with all your imagination and ignore the full sense of fear. And now I’m in the main building here and you can see there’s the main building and there’s the, this is the original bar that we built back when we first started. We have a line of wine here called the Strength and Honor labels.

It’s great stuff. We do a barrel festival here. Every Labor Day weekend, and we release the wine called strength and honor. And I buy weird barrels like tequila barrels, scotch barrels, rum barrels, and I age wine in them. And then we taste it right from the barrel and we pre bottle it up so you people can buy it right on the spot.

[00:29:26] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s pretty incredible. How, what would a tequila age? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a tequila aged wine.

[00:29:31] Randy Detrick: Yeah. So I, we, we do a chardonnay, tequila, a chardonnay. You would not believe how good that is. So here this, here’s a peach brandy symphony. You know, the grape symphony? It’s like kind of a delicate, white grape crossed between like a, you know, symphony.

Yeah. Here’s a, here’s a vanilla barrel, age merlott, you know, and that’s, that’s a neat one. Down here is a strawberry brandy symphony. Here’s some of the gli

[00:29:58] Drew Thomas Hendricks: You were pushing the envelope of what’s, I mean, this is

[00:30:00] Randy Detrick: Oh yeah. Right. Absolutely.

[00:30:01] Drew Thomas Hendricks: One of the most, most incredible experiments I’ve seen.

[00:30:03] Randy Detrick: Really, really, really neat stuff. We, this is a wine. We have a wine here called the Estate. And the Estate wine is grown in the upper vineyard. And what we did was, we called it the Estate, but then inside the bottle, we put a picture of the winery inside the bottle. See it?

[00:30:18] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah, that’s, see, yeah.

[00:30:19] Randy Detrick: So it would be estate right here. We, we’ll keep going. I can get hung up. I know. Here we go. Yeah.

[00:30:23] Drew Thomas Hendricks: How many, how much of your land is under Vine? Or how, what are you?

[00:30:27] Randy Detrick: It’s all about 10 acres here. Yeah. We, there’s 10 acres of vineyards and I’m not gonna plant more here. We get

[00:30:31] Bianca Harmon: And you guys had this whole property before you planted wine grapes?

[00:30:36] Randy Detrick: Yeah. Yeah. We, we’ve owned the farm for a long time and, back when I bought it,

[00:30:39] Bianca Harmon: What was it prior to a winery?

[00:30:42] Randy Detrick: Originally it was soybeans and corn. And then when I bought it, I turned it into a horse farm and then we got rid of the horses and took down the fence and planted vineyards.

[00:30:51] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Nice.

[00:30:51] Randy Detrick: Yep. Yep. Fun stuff. And so here, we’ll head down this way. So we’re gonna, we’re going into the wine cellar now, and this is where everything, we produced everything, and you’ll see now. So here’s the wine cellar. Here’s our cross-flow filtration system, right? You know, a couple wine pumps. There’s some tanks behind me here.

And then here’s our bottling line. Cause we’re, you know, everything gets bottled up. And then around me, this is all bottled wine, all these stacks everywhere. And then, and this is the original building. So this building is around eight years old. And then what happened was about two years into it, we decided, why don’t we do the expansion?

And then we cut a hole in the wall, see the, see the doors behind me. So we cut, pulling the wall, removed it, and then this, we’re entering the underground room here. To this. Right, right. It’s kinda neat. Right. So now we’re completely underground. And we’re cut across here and, and this,

[00:31:46] Bianca Harmon: And you paid that?

[00:31:48] Randy Detrick: Yeah. Neat right? It’s a, it’s a, it’s a weeping cherry tree. Yeah. And so the first one I built was this guy right here, built this one first. And then this one used to be over here. And then when I built the bigger one, I took that one down, moved it over and put this one here. And then literally today, just now, I’ve been working on one for the past, I don’t know, three months, and just now.

We hung it up in the ceiling here. This is the third one. Notice how there’s no crystals on it. It’s not even tied up. It’s all dangling down here. But there now there’ll be three in the room and believe it or not, this is, this is like to this. It’s only been up here for like 20 minutes. Like it’s, yeah. First time we showing it.

[00:32:34] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Premier.

[00:32:34] Randy Detrick: Premier, yep. Premier. Really cool. And the way it’s designed is I put it all on fiber optics. So let me, let me see if I can turn the, I’ll turn the light on for you. I’ll show you what it looks like.

[00:32:44] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s unbelievable.

[00:32:46] Randy Detrick: One second here. Fun stuff, right?

[00:32:48] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I mean, you’re usually, you’re, you, the whole winery is your playground for creativity.

[00:32:53] Randy Detrick: Yeah. Right.

[00:32:53] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Outlet of your expression. I love it.

[00:32:56] Randy Detrick: Fun stuff. Let me turn the lights out real quick. I was gonna show you what it looks

[00:32:59] Bianca Harmon: How do you put the crystals on it once you’ve already hung it

[00:33:03] Randy Detrick: Okay, so. Okay. So yeah. So, so, so what I did was this little crystal right here. It’s there, it’s, it’s, they’re, it’s the real deal, all Krakovski crystals.

And we build them out in the room. So you connect it with the little eyelet here, and then you connect this one here, and I drill the hole through the branch every two inches, everywhere. And then this, the fiber optic light is pushed through that hole. And then there’s a little eyelet right there.

And the crystal hangs from that eyelet. So on this tree, there’s around like a thousand eyelets, a thousand holes that after I get it all up, we already have our crystals. I saw ’em in a box over here. We will take, they’re right here. So this is the these are the crystals. They come like this and packages they, here, you’ll get a check outta this.

So right here. So right here is, see, right, there’s, there’s a this, this will end up being on. On that tree and we’ll, we’ll build it out on the table here, but there’s a whole lighting system, you know, built throughout this thing. So let me show you, let me pull the, turn the lights out and I’ll light it up for you.

See if it, okay. One second here.

[00:34:08] Bianca Harmon: Podcast and a show.

[00:34:10] Drew Thomas Hendricks: This is unbelievable. Very laboring.

[00:34:12] Bianca Harmon: My mind is blown right now.

[00:34:14] Randy Detrick: Neat stuff, huh? One second here. Okay. Okay, so watch this. Turn. It’s gonna get real dark here.

[00:34:20] Bianca Harmon: Guess you’re gonna wanna watch this one on YouTube, that’s for sure.

[00:34:23] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah, you’re definitely, yeah. This is one you’ve gotta see.

[00:34:25] Randy Detrick: It should come alive here. Whoa. Oh, it’s neat, right?

[00:34:37] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That is really cool. I can see how it could just really captivate and just really be an immersive experience.

[00:34:43] Randy Detrick: Yeah. Fun, fun stuff, boy. Is that some uplighting, but yeah. And in the room here, I mean the, the room is basically, there’s two big tables in the room and we built the tables in the room.

They’re all, it’s one piece of wood and the people generally come down through, remember that I told you that the other set of step right there, would that make.

[00:35:09] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I see.

[00:35:10] Randy Detrick: Yeah. You walk in here and then boom, away we go. Great stuff though. But yeah, this, if you’re ever out in this area guys and you’re able to jump in on the underground experience, I will get you in. Okay.

[00:35:22] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah, I would, this is seems like something to be seen.

[00:35:25] Randy Detrick: Yeah, it’s a lot of fun.

[00:35:26] Drew Thomas Hendricks: So then for tho those people that weren’t lucky enough to get the underground experience tickets, you’ve got a full tasting room and you’ve got a full, you know, the fire pits outside the tiki bar as well.

[00:35:35] Randy Detrick: Oh yeah. Yeah. I’ve designed the winery where I have more parking than I do tables, so that way if, if you pull into the winery and you get a parking spot, I will definitely have a table for you. Cause sometimes on the week, on a, on a Saturday in the summertime, there, there could be, you know, 1500, 2000 people on the property.

And they pull in, they think, oh my gosh, it’s gonna be packed. And then they get, they walk in, they go, oh, there’s lots of space. And we purposely design.

[00:36:02] Bianca Harmon: So I, you said you had a tiki bar too, so are you serving cocktails?

[00:36:07] Randy Detrick: No, no. It’s, we call it tiki bar. We only do wine. We do wine, we do slushies out there in the summertime like wine made slushies.

But we don’t do cocktail-type stuff here. All wine.

[00:36:20] Drew Thomas Hendricks: We spent a lot of time talking about Covid and we’ve moved on, but in your case, I gotta talk about this because your winery is so experiential and everything’s just so hands-on during the pandemic. How did you adapt?

[00:36:32] Randy Detrick: Yeah, no, that was awesome. Also in a sense it was a big problem and I would say the bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity. And that was a big one. You know, what we did during Covid is I’ve, I bought here, I’ll show you, I’ll walk over to it. To, there were all kinds of space restriction rules, right?

And I, and basically what I did is we went to the vineyards. We had seating all throughout the vines, okay? Because, I mean, there’s 10 acres of vines out there, and it was the biggest job in the world. Busing it at the end of the day, cuz like you’re literally busting 10 acres of a restaurant, in a sense.

We went to the vines. We, I also bought, you see this giant tent out there? The tent. So I bought a tent that’s 120 feet by 40 feet, and then we put it right in the parking lot. And, and that created tremendous amount of seating. And by doing all this, it’s transformed Blue Ridge into something that we can never go back to what we were, because, you know, as everyone else was contracting and withdrawing and kind of in a, I don’t wanna say playing it safe, but, you know, making sure they didn’t get in too deep.

We were diving in huge,

[00:37:32] Drew Thomas Hendricks: A lot of peoplewent small, but you went the opposite way and went huge.

[00:37:37] Randy Detrick: We did. Yeah. mean, it’s, we just kept diving in more and more and you know, we bought the, we bought the tent. We went to the vineyards that we hired more people.

And we basically designed something that we could follow the rules and we morphed into whatever we needed to every week as the rules were changing and we kept up with it. And now, I mean, it’s, we can never go back. Blue Ridge, it’s turned us into something that is just, my gosh. You know, we couldn’t go back to what we were, we used to do tastings where people would stand at the bar and they would taste the wines that they’re standing there.

Now we do it with a little flight carrier where they get it and they go sit at their table and do it. And in the past we would do maybe two to 300 tastings a day. During Covid we were doing like 700.

[00:38:19] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s, that’s amazing. Yeah. People were looking for someplace to go.

Cause so many other, so many other wineries contracted and just said, see how when it’s over? Which I think is a mistake for sure.

[00:38:30] Randy Detrick: Yeah. Yeah. But it’s, it was. And it was, it was a great transformation. We really, we came out with all kinds of new wines. There’s so many ideas that came outta that. We did close down the underground experience like that stopped just because it was, yeah.

Everyone’s in one room. You can’t do that. You know, we stopped it, but all the outside stuff, my gosh. I mean, we now have sun sales in the summertime, which is beautiful. It’s just, you know, it’s turned into like a, mainly an outdoor resort type place.

[00:38:57] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s incredible. I gotta, so much creativity.

You’ve done so much. I even hesitate to ask this. What’s the next project?

[00:39:05] Randy Detrick: Yeah, so there’s always big things. So one day, my ultimate goal here is that I would love it if one day I could, I could do it on the project over on the Christmas tree farm side. I don’t own the Christmas tree farm and they have no plans to sell it today.

But one day I tell, I tell ’em, if you’re ever gonna do it, guys, I’m your guy. I’m your guy, right? And I would love to build a winery over there and it would be completely underground. So you look across there. All you would see is a glass door, but there’d be bound 5,000 square feet all underground. And then what I would do is I would connect this deck with, over there with a gondola.

And I would build no roads to get to that winery. So in order to get there, you come here and it’s a true destination. You gotta get on a gondola, you ride over. It would all be reservation-based over there. Very, just great experience. And but that’s, you know, one day that’s the plan.

You know, we’d have a gondola ride this summer. We’re doing hotter balloon rides here. We’ve done helicopter rides, we’ve.. I mean, yeah. We’ve, you know, if you could think it, it’s possible. So let’s think –

[00:40:03] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Unbelievable. I could even keep the Christmas tree farm on the top if you go down far enough.

[00:40:08] Randy Detrick: Exactly. Yeah. That’s the plan. Yeah. No, we would, we would, I mean, I would plant vines or trees right up over top of it.

[00:40:13] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. Rent. Rent the land underneath the Christmas trees.

[00:40:16] Randy Detrick: Yeah. Yeah exactly.

[00:40:17] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s fantastic. What’s the landscape like for us, from around the country? People that maybe aren’t having the opportunity to visit you, and are there other wineries in the location?

Is it a wine destination or are you standing alone there?

[00:40:30] Randy Detrick: When Tiff and I started Blue Ridge Winery, we started the Pocono Wine Trail. To pool everyone together, you know, because it was somewhat fragmented and there’s probably seven to nine wineries.

You know, within a 15 minute drive of Blue Ridge. And I always say, you know, if our mission is to add value to someone’s life, they can come here and enjoy Blue Ridge and then drive up the road and go to Sorrenti’s winery. You know, it’s not like buying a refrigerator. You just bought us wine.

You can buy wines from anywhere. Right. So you know, and we operated the wine trail for a couple years and then there was friction, you know, just from the different personalities of the wineries. And, and we kind of that happens in the wine show, I guess, and it’s kind of dwindled since then. But my brother owns a winery. It’s called Renegade Winery in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

[00:41:10] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, cool. How, how far away is that?

[00:41:12] Randy Detrick: Like 20 minutes, you know, in that range.

[00:41:15] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, your brother owns one too. Did he grow up drinking wine or did he just

[00:41:19] Randy Detrick: No, no. I got a no.

[00:41:21] Drew Thomas Hendricks: I love it. This, that’s incredible.

[00:41:23] Randy Detrick: Yeah. You know, my brother and I were raised by a single mom, and I don’t think she would’ve had money for winery.

[00:41:29] Bianca Harmon: Did he, did he start his winery after you. Did he get inspiration from you?

[00:41:34] Randy Detrick: Yep. Yep. Yeah. So what happened was he, it kind of goes both ways. He was talking to me abouta beer business. And I started researching it and I’m thinking,I already owned the land. It’d be easier to do a wine business.

And then he was encouraging me, and then I like, took the plunge and jumped. And then what happened was that maybe two years after we were open, he came to me and he goes, “Hey, do you mind if I name, if I open a winery and I name it after your bottle of wine called Renegade.” We have a wine called Renegade here, and I’m like, “Go for it.”

So his winery’s called Renegade.

[00:42:01] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, that’s awesome.You’ve got, you’ve given us so much advice, but what advice would you give someone that wants to start a winery?

[00:42:10] Randy Detrick: Yeah. Wow. So, okay. So if you wanna start a winery, I would tell you right now, go on your phone and download every single book that you can find to listen to the book audio, audio Audible on your phone.

You need to just drown your mind in every book that exists on winemaking. Cuz in the wine business, what you don’t know will hurt you. And a lot of winery, winemakers, and wine owners, they make the mistake where they overextend things. Do what you can with what you have right where you are.

And you’ll always have peace of mind. And in the wine business if the feel of the winery matters more than anything. And if the wine owner and winemaker, if there’s friction there and there’s tension and like there, there’s bills to be paid and you don’t have the money to pay it. And there’s anger and frustration going on that is gonna, everyone in the room’s gonna feel it.

The reason Blue Ridge is, is what it is, is because my wife and I, were the only owners of the business. We run the business based upon our peace of mind. And there’s no stress. There’s no pressure. If we don’t sell wine today, that’s okay. We’ll enjoy today, we’ll enjoy tomorrow. You know, and that, that is the way to live.

You know where, and I tell people, don’t make wine that you like to drink. Make wine that your guests wanna drink. A lot of wine wineries go wrong with that, where they, I like a good Cabernet. That’s what I’m gonna make. It’s like, well, do your guests like that? You know, make what they want, not what you want.

And you know so it’s, but really a lot of the success in the wine business has to do with to never, ever, ever think that you’re going to arrive. You’ll always get better. You’re always gonna learn. And the day you think you’ve arrived is actually the first day of the last day for you. Because once you’ve arrived, there’s nowhere to go.

And so Blue Ridge will never get stopped getting better. Kinda like Disney World. Disney World will never get, never end. It’ll always expand. Just like Blue Ridge. It’ll always get better, you know? And it’s, I don’t know. Never the key to the success in wine business is to know the history of the wine world.

And to know the big guys, the Mondavis and the Rothchilds, and understand what made them great. And then don’t try to copy anybody. You do you be the best version that you can be and you watch the world will come and see.

[00:44:19] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Yeah. Such good words of wisdom there. In hindsight, I hate looking at hindsight, but is there anything you would’ve done differently starting the winery?

[00:44:27] Randy Detrick: Yeah. Yeah, always, there’s always stuff that I go, wow I wish I, I mean there, there’s been times where I’ve built things just to tear it down, you know? And yeah, when it comes to the wine, I don’t think there’s anything I’d be doing different with wine. Because, you know, wine, we think that stuff out.

Cause once it goes in the bottle, you can’t, you’re, that’s it, you know? Yeah. But when it comes to like the structure of the winery, the design of it, I could have saved a lot of steps. I could have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by not doing something just to redo it. I am guilty of doing things pretty fast.

I move quick and when you move quick, sometimes you make mistakes by going too fast.I’ve bought a bunch of tents that we never use and I spent a lot of money there and they still sit up in the barn. So things like that. But all and all

[00:45:06] Drew Thomas Hendricks: But if you, but if you weren’t so quick to move, you wouldn’t be where you are today.

So it’s kind of a no. Your ability to like rearrange and just redo it. I mean, a lot of people, they build it. I think one of the biggest mistakes people do is they live with it because, they spend so much time creating it that they have to, that they’re too afraid to start over again.

Doesn’t sound like that’s the case and maybe part very much the reason you’re so successful.

[00:45:31] Randy Detrick: Yeah. You know, when you think about the word, we’re talking about the word maintaining here. Right. You know, like people, they build a winery and they maintain it. And if you think about that word, maintaining that is the most dangerous thing that people could ever try to do in their life.

Because nothing that’s alive is ever maintaining. The grass is growing or is dying. Yeah. The tree is growing or it’s dying. A marriage is growing or is dying, a person is growing or is dying, a business is growing or is dying, no one’s maintaining anything. You’re either, I tell everyone don’t coast cuz you’re coasting, you’re going downhill.

Right. Yeah. So, and that is that, like it’s Blue Ridge, we improve one thing every single day, even if it’s the slightest little thing. And it’s that classic saying, you can eat a whole elephant one bite at a time. And it’s, but yeah, I mean, it’ll, it’ll every time. It’s funny, even the people that work here in the summertime, there’s about 120 people that work at Blue Ridge.

Right now it’s closer to maybe 60 in that range. And if they’re not here for like a week or two, when they come back, they’re like, “Oh my God, everything’s different.” Like, oh yeah, it changes fast.

[00:46:28] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s the mark of a vibrant company. What about, so you have what, three children?

[00:46:34] Randy Detrick: I do three babies. Yeah.

[00:46:35] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Are you positioning this for multi-generational winery?

[00:46:38] Randy Detrick: Probably, yeah. Maggie’s eight. Joseph boy is five and Natalie is three. And if they wanna do it, I tell ’em, you know, I want them to pursue their dreams. You know, not my dream, and if it’s something that they would enjoy doing, absolutely.

If not, that’s okay too. But it’s, yeah, I wouldn’t wanna push ’em into it. Right now they’re really enjoying skiing and they’re gonna have their first race this weekend, and but, but it’s,

[00:46:59] Drew Thomas Hendricks: They inherited your competitive skiing skills.

[00:47:02] Randy Detrick: They do. They’re excited for it. Really excited. But yeah, I mean, if they, you know, Maggie already, she makes these scarves out of yarn she buys from Hobby Lobby.

And then she’ll weave them into scarves, and then sure enough, she comes down the winery on a Saturday and she sets up a little booth. And she sells out of her scars.

[00:47:20] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Oh, that’s entrepreneurial, I love it.

[00:47:21] Randy Detrick: Yep. Yep. She really is. Yep. Great stuff.

[00:47:24] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s fantastic. Well, Randy, as we’re kind of coming to the end of this thing, where can people learn more about you and Blue Ridge Winery and your motivation podcasts?

[00:47:34] Randy Detrick: So you can find me, if you just Google my name a lot of stuff pop up, Randy Detrick. Or if you wanna listen to the podcast, I would go to Apple Podcasts or Spotify. It’s right there. Where you’re about to break a hundred episodes. There’s a new one that comes out every Sunday, and it’s a message that can add value to someone’s life no matter where they’re at in life.

For the winery, I’d probably go to the website,the Blue Ridge. If you just Google Blue Ridge Winery, Pennsylvania or Blue Ridge Winery, Saylorsburg, it’ll pop up. And you know, the winery we’re open every single day of the year, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those are the only two days we’re not open.

And on a daily, today it’s snowing, you know, but generally we’re open. We were open this morning, we just decided let’s not do it. No one’s coming out today. It’s pretty cold and windy. I tell everyone, if you’re in the area and you can treat yourself to a wonderful afternoon at Blue Ridge, you will be glad you did because you’re gonna walk away going, God, I feel good leaving that place.

It just feels so good there. And I wanna go back to soak up more of it. It’s just, it’s a feel good. It’s every, every worker that works here has the power to do anything they want to serve the person in front of them. It is a true place where we wake up in the morning and we wanna serve the people that we not just serve them wine, but we wanna serve them so they experience a better moment in their life.

And the mission is to add value.

[00:48:44] Drew Thomas Hendricks: That’s incredible. Randy, thank you so much for joining us today.

[00:48:47] Randy Detrick: I’m grateful guys. Thanks for having me.

[00:48:48] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Everybody’s gotta go to his website and I just am in awe of what you and Tiffany have done. It’s

[00:48:53] Randy Detrick: Well thanks, Drew.

[00:48:53] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Incredible facility.

[00:48:55] Randy Detrick: The best is yet to come. You watch. Yes, I’m excited.

[00:48:59] Drew Thomas Hendricks: Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:49:01] Randy Detrick: Thanks y’all. Thanks, guys. Thanks for your time. See you soon. Bye, guys.