The Mark Wine News The Mark Wine News - 10th Anniversary Issue - Page 21

300 stores and more than 1.1 billion dollars in sales. “It had become the biggest wine program in the country and I had a great run there; 11 plus years.” The dream of owning his own wine company, kept re- surfacing. Especially after helping launch brands like Coppola and Bogle and helping develop brands like Blackstone and Electric Reindeer. Electric Reindeer you ask? “It was a seasonal brand,” says Albrecht, “only available two months of the year.” Which is probably why most of us have never heard of it. This is when Albrecht teamed up with Larry Holman (Cline Cellars) and they developed what they called a nostalgia brand; Red Truck. “Larry was talking about a brand called Cowboy Junction and I was talking Timbuktu.” This was the turning point and the updated catalyst for starting Roots Run Deep. “I sold my house and everything in my house. Two weeks later I drove off with my dog, my clothes and my TV. For some reason, I had kept my TV. I literally lived for years in furnished rentals in San Francisco and then Napa.” To start Roots Run Deep, Albrecht recruited friends and family to invest. The first year, 2005, he sold 18,000 cases. That number today is around 90- 100 thousand. “It was mostly Educated Cabernet Sauvignon then and it still is today,” he adds. “People are always asking me how I did it and I tell them, anything can be done but it was really hard, and I think its way harder now to do what I did.” .” Roots Run Deep was founded on the promise of producing unparalleled wine from the Napa Valley at prices everyone can afford. These days, Albrecht is no longer in furnished rentals. He has a house right outside the Silverado Country Club and an office in Yountville. He also has a wife. “We got married at 14,000 feet at the top of the mountain in Vail. Her family is in Denver. And he has 10 th ANNIVERSARY two young sons; 5 year old Brooks and 1 year old Graham. As far as his wine company, well, up until very recently he was the only full time employee. Albrecht’s business card says; Owner, Operator, Janitor and CEO. And in reality he does even more. Vineyard manager, marketing, communications, etc…“And it’s also about partnering with good growers.” But things are changing, a little. Legendary winemaker Barry Gnekow is still consulting, “he has a remarkable palate,” adds Albrecht, “and his expertise is reverent.” But Albrecht recently brought in Macario Montoya, formerly the associate winemaker at Piña Napa Valley. “I really love Macario’s style. And as a company, we’ve really grown and it’s become way too much for me. He is young, in his late 30’s and he will be here day in and day out.” And it’s a good thing. Roots Run Deep has a serious following and continues to grow in popularity and in the press. “We’ve had our fair share of 90 point scores, which is great, but I love the stories. We have this wonderful young couple in medical school who loves our wines. She told her parents about us and they have the money to drink anything they want, but they fell in love with our wines too.” Not surprisingly they drink Hypothesis, but so does she. She tells us how she says to her med school study group, ‘let’s drink Hypothesis’ and at $50 a bottle it’s a stretch for students, but they love it. And there are so many stories like that.” And we love stories like that too. Great wine. True Stories. 19