Storytelling

Work with Us

engage your audience

Syrah Block at Cowhorn

Wine. It’s simply crushed and fermented grapes. The
variations and the stories are what make it so fascinating.
I love that we talk about wine breathing..it is a reminder
that wine is alive and changing.

Scarborough Wine Company Hunter Valley Australia

Perhaps even more important, is the story of the winery,
the winemaker and the people who love these wines. It
gives us an opportunity to learn their philosophies and the
different ways they bring their reverence to the grape.

IN THE VINEYARD

The best way to tell these stories
is to hear them first-hand from
the people who know the place
and the vines best, in the
vineyard. Capturing the stories as
they flow naturally, allows an
intimate and authentic look at
these places and people.

Red Willow Vineyard Chapel on the Hill

What's your story?
Let us help you tell it.

Spring, Pappardelle with a Illahe Viognier

We tell the stories of the regions, the
wineries, the people and the wines.
Then we add food and work to create
those magical pairings and those
moments we all cherish gathered
around a table.

Malaysian stir-fried hawker noodles with shrimp

This is our Story

Robin Renken CSW (photo credit RuBen Permel)

ROBIN RENKEN,
CSW

I have always loved people’s stories. I
spent a career in Theatre helping to tell
stories, as a Stage Manager.  I
enable artists to freely and safely tell
stories through their art.
Then I fell in love with wine. There are
so many details, so many nuances, not
just in the glass, but in the vineyard,
the region and the people. As I met
winemakers and vineyard owners and
even the people in the tasting room
excited to pour me a glass and tell me
the story of this wine, I knew these
were stories I wanted to share.
I completed my study and became a
Certified Specialist of Wine and
continue learning daily as I meet and
interview people in this industry.

Robin Renken
Explorer & Chronicler

702-604-8103
[email protected]

Michael-Panorama in Vineyard

Michael Renken

Michael Renken

42 Aspens Productions LLC
Photography & Video
Production
702.604.8101

42 Aspens Productions Web Site
[email protected]

After years of putting together
shows, lighting them and making
everyone look good, Michael turned
his skills to the camera, capturing
moments and telling stories
through photos and video.

Chronicling the story of the grape
from Dirt to Glass

A snippet of our wine visit with Rudy Marchesi, Montinore Estate

A little about Rudy Marchesi

Rudy Marchesi had just stepped down as President of the Montinore, handing over the reins to his daughter Kristin. He was returning from his first vacation in years and was kind enough to spend his morning with us before heading off to lunch with the grand kids.

Rudy’s grandparents were from Northern Italy, where they grew their own food, as well as grapes to make their own wine.   At that point in time, sustainable was just what you did.  Rudy sold wine on the east coast, he also grew grapes and made his own wine.  While working for a distribution house dealing with fine wine he came across Montinore.  He began consulting with the vineyard in 1998, worked as their president of Operation and then President and became the proprietor in 2005.  In 2008 the vineyard became Demeter Certified as Biodynamic.  The family is committed to sustainable agriculture and living, just like Rudy’s grandparents.  It is a legacy that Kristin continues.

Montinore Vineyards Entrance

The History of the Montinore

We spoke first about the history of the property.  John Forbis came to this area from Montana where he was an attourney for a copper company.  He and his family moved to Portland where he worked for the railroad.  The property here in Forest Grove reminded him of his home in Montana, and so he named it Montinore.

As we talked about the land Rudy painted the picture of the vineyard, before it was a vineyard.  It had been planted to hazelnuts for a time and been a cattle ranch.  I had forgotten how close Mount St. Helens was.  In 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted, the lower fields then were planted to vegetables and the eruption buried it in 4 inches of ash.  Visualizing that will stick with me.

We will be digging into all the loess and basalt and ancient redwood forests, that lie under Montinore Estate in our next post where we speak with Rudy about the proposed Tualatin Hills AVA and what sets it apart.

Don’t forget to check back with us here at Crushed Grape Chronicles as we continue to explore Oregon Wine Country and beyond. And remember, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

42 Aspens is our own production company currently designated to create our own content in a couple of ways.  We schedule a visit with a winery and shoot B-roll of the property and the vines, the winery and tasting room.  If possible, sunrise and/or sunset on the property provide poignant moments in the vineyard.  Then it is time to sit down and learn about the property with the vineyard manager, winemaker, general manager or another passionate member of the team.  This is often followed by a tasting, to discuss the wines in the winery’s portfolio.

Lowe Interview side shot
Syncline interview behind the scenes

From this visit we create 3 to 4 videos about the wine region, the wines and other topics discussed.

Quady North Behind the scenes

In addition, we create a couple of videos pairing the wine with food.  This we relate back to the winery with content regarding the particular wine.  This format allows us to show our readers a little about the region and the wine, as well as,  how it pairs with food. These videos are spread along the year, so new content about the winery is available and refreshed to keep people up to date.  This allows us to follow up and create more interest.  Social media on these posts keep people engaged, wanting to follow the winemaker and the newer wines.

Giradet behind the scenes

Wine Samples — At Crushed Grape Chronicles, we are wine lovers, so we are happy to accept samples.  We are, however, not in the business of doing reviews.  We are story tellers.  Ideally, tasting your wine would include a visit to your winery or vineyard.  When this is not possible, we will request background information from you, as well as compiling our own research, to create a picture and a story behind the wine.  We like pairing food and wine, so quite often we will include a pairing with our post.  If you have a suggestion, or an old family recipe you would like to share, we are completely good with that.  We do reserve the right to not post.  My mom always said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  We try to adhere to that and won’t waste either of our time, by saying unkind things.

If you have a sample you would like to send, email me at [email protected].  In this way, we can be prepared to receive the shipment and make sure that there will be time in our schedule to taste the wine.  We often have a backlog of terrific content we are putting out and we don’t want your wine to sit for too long.

No conditions can be accepted for receiving samples; if you have conditions, then the samples won’t be accepted, period.

We will disclose to our readers and social media followers if a wine has been received as a sample.

Press Events — We would be happy to participate junkets, dinners for wine tastings, events, or lodging at/by wineries – but we won’t accept them if they come with any conditions, and if we take part in them we reserve the right to write objectively about the junket and its wines (or possibly not to write about it at all).  All photos and videos taken at such events would remain the property of Crushed Grape Chronicles for use in posts on the event location.  We are often willing to share these photos with the winery or event team, as long as we are credited.  Please ask.

Privacy

We do not provide e-mail addresses or other information that may be collected on Crushedgrapechronicles.com (through the contact form or through the comments engine) to any third parties; they are stored only in the password-protected systems of my E-mail program and the blogging platform (WordPress), only because we need some way to contact you back with a response.  WordPress cookies are employed by this website because, well, it’s running on WordPress.

Comments Policy

We want to encourage lively, respectful and fun debate on Crushed Grape Chronicles with a push to educate and explore, a wine region or winery.  In fact, this thing is really boring without YOUR input – so feel free to contribute often.  We need to keep it clean, though, so any comments that appear to fall into the following categories will be deleted (repeat offenses will get you booted from leaving comments altogether):

  • Spam (duh)
  • Comments that violate any U.S. law
  • Obscene or threatening language, or attacks/insults that are personal in nature this is a site for adults, and colorful language is okay, but don’t take things too far)
  • Blatant product promotion
  • Intellectual property right violations (or potential violations)
  • Private information / data published without prior consent
  • Comments that are blatantly off topic or that link to off-topic material

Crushed Grape Chronicles Videos

Vineyard Stories