Tuesday, December 9, 2008

'Paint cans' stirring again at Paradocx

The paint can is back, just in time for the holidays.

Mark Harris, one of the four principles involved in
Paradocx Vineyard, in Landenberg, Pa., said one of the signature products of the operation is back on shelf after a three- to four-month absence. These are gallon paint cans that have a bag in them containing 3 liters of wine, the equivalent of four bottles. The white is called Whitewash, a mix of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Vidal; the other is named Barn Red, a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc.

Each sells for $40.99, equal to about 10 bucks a bottle. Harris said they’ve found a following since they were introduced. He called them “nice for parties and those sorts of things, because basically they have a spout on them so you can just pour yourself a glass, and the bag keep the wine, even thought it’s opened, safe for about six weeks or so. They’re popular for holiday parties and taking on vacation.”

It’s an idea others have inquired about, he said in response to a question. “But for right now we’re keeping it to ourselves,” he continued. “We did patent it and trademark it.”

For those who haven’t visited, the winery is owned and operated by the Hoffman (Carol and David) and Harris (Joann and Mark) families. All are practicing physicians, hence, Pair of Docs as the seed for the name. The winery produces about 5,000 gallons of wine annually; 15 varieties of grapes are grown on the property. Mark Harris said that while their 15 wines are a mix of red and white, they essentially make only dry wines, except for the dessert wine, a
Muscat Ottonel. “[Otherwise] our sweetest wine [we make] is in the paint cans, the max is a 2 percent sugar.”

Other than the comeback of the cans, the news out of the winery has slowed for the moment. The Candlelight Christmas event, which included hayrides, got an added boost from a snowfall that provided a holiday feel. Harris said the winery also is pouring at two local Christmas tree farms; otherwise just getting ready for more sales related to the holiday. Two releases of specialty Chardonnays this past weekend will give customers a couple more options: One is an American oaked and the other is unoaked, more along the lines of a naked Chard.

Perhaps the one other visible change isn’t so much at the winery at all, but on its Web site. Upgraded in the past month, one notices the improvement as soon as they hit the home page.

“Our Web site was woefully outdated,” Harris said. “We now have an events coordinator who has the time to work on those kind of things. Her name is Kellie Caldwell. She actually has spearheaded getting our Web site updated, and when you call to schedule an event, she’s the first one you talk to. So our response time in terms of those kinds of things have improved dramatically. It used to be that one of the four of us were handling all that kind of stuff. So now we actually have someone who is dedicated to take care of those things and can get back to people in a prompt fashion.”

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