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Watch the Kutch Wines harvest via a webcam mounted in the cellar

September 05, 2013|By S. Irene Virbila
  • Jamie Kutch of Kutch Wines in Sonoma.
Jamie Kutch of Kutch Wines in Sonoma. (Kutch Wines )

Jamie Kutch, founder and winemaker of Kutch Wines in Sonoma, has mounted a $149 DropCam in his cellar to capture what goes on there during harvest.

He doesn’t have it on all the time, only when something’s happening. Today that might be sorting of grapes. Tomorrow he and his one employee might be pressing grapes from McDougall Ranch, his top Sonoma Coast vineyard, using a basket press. 

“You’ll be able to see the grapes being pressed and the juice coming out,” Kutch said.

Later, he plans to turn on the cellar cam when the wine is transferred into barrels.

He’ll be tweeting what’s on camera at any given time. You can follow Kutch on Twitter at @jamiekutch, and here's the link to the webcam. 

Though not a hard-core geek, Kutch said he’s long been fascinated by technology. When he got into wine, he was a Nasdaq trader for Merrill Lynch and became active on wine chat boards, primarily Robert Parker’s. That’s where he learned the most about wine, he said, exploring the world through the adventures of other passionate wine lovers.

“It’s all about sharing,”  he said.

“That was 10 years ago. I embraced the wine boards and got pretty geeky, posting that I was doing a first-growth Bordeaux tasting at the restaurant Montrachet, for example, talking about it, taking photos and writing up my notes.”

Through that, he said, he became part of an alliance of online wine friends. 

When he left finance and moved to California to start a winery in 2005, he brought those friends along via his posts. Before he even left for California, he said, he had 400 people signing up to purchase the as-yet-unmade wine.

Since then, he’s tried to bring them along on this adventure.

“That led to thinking that the ultimate vehicle for showing people how I’m making wine is a webcam," he said. "The technology is such that now you’re not just adding still life photos to your winery site. You can incorporate video where people can see the sorting table and the grapes" coming into the winery facility he uses just off the square in Sonoma.

“There’s no hiding in live video,” he said.


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