That women buy wine more often than men is no longer news, and it’s not hard to find wine that specifically aims to catch the female eye, including Olympic Cellars’ Working Girl wines and Bitner Vineyards’ Menopause Merlot, featured in the last issue of Wine Press Northwest.
Nor should it be a surprise that when two sisters working with the family winery in Walla Walla wanted to start their own label, they knew who they’d be selling wine to.
“It’s not necessarily intended only for women, but it’s how we think, because we are women,” said Angela Reynvaan Garratt, who with her sister, Amanda Reynvaan, operate the Walla Walla winery, Result of a Crush.
The winery released its first bottling, a non-vintage red blend in August 2012, (followed shortly after by a rosé, wine made by their brother, Matt Reynvaan).
None of the three were complete strangers to winemaking, as all had spent some time helping their parents start and run Reynvaan Family Vineyards at the base of Walla Walla’s Blue Mountains in 2004. And it was at their father’s urging, that “you girls should do this,” that they formed their company, Girls Can Play Too.
Still, they’re relative newcomers to the Walla Walla Valley and to winemaking.
“We grew up on Bainbridge Island, and we have zero farm background,” Reynvaan Garratt said, who, like her father, left behind a legal career to go into the wine industry.
Matt Reynvaan may not have been born into a winemaking family, but he put in his time learning vineyard management and winemaking, his sister said, studying at Walla Walla Community College’s Enology and Viticulture program and working at K Vintners in Walla Walla. Matt Reynvaan also spent time in France’s Bordeaux region, working harvest there, Reynvaan Garratt said. Matt Reynvaan splits his time between the family winery and his sisters’ operation.
At their father’s prompting, the siblings launched the separate winery, looking to take a slightly different direction.
“Reynvaan is a serious label,” Reynvaan Garratt said, “So we decided it would be great to do something not as serious and more approachable on the grocery shelves.”
The name would have to be a big part of that.
“We knew we wanted something different. We were sitting around the table talking, and my aunt, an elementary school principal, suggested Result of a Crush,” Reynvaan Garratt said. The name was perfect, playing off the early step in winemaking, but also calling on the giddiness that is part of wine and infatuation.
“My aunt’s a genius. She gets the credit,” she said, and in appreciation, she also gets some of the wine.
The wine label, while definitely appealing to someone shopping for a girls’ night out, also isn’t going to turn off a dude: simple sans serif black lettering for “Result of a Crush,” and a sexy red lipstick “kiss” as an accent.
The wine itself, available at Amazon.com for $24.99 a bottle, also should win fans, regardless of gender, a Syrah blend with Cabernet Sauvignon as the second-most predominate grape, all sourced from the valley, Reynvaan Garratt said. They are looking for the right white wine to make, “but we’re being pretty picky,” Reynvaan Garratt said.
“That’s the next project,” she said, and a necessary step for marketing wine for weddings, bridal showers and other romantic celebrations.
While their brother’s work is well defined, the sisters split up management of the business as work needs to be done, although her background in law leaves licensing and other legal issues for Reynvaan Garratt, while Amanda Garratt, with an accounting background, handles those tasks.
“This business lends itself to cooperation. People want to be a part of it. It’s romantic, but its a lot of work,” she said.Working with siblings requires a certain closeness.
“Absolutely,” Reynvaan Garratt said, and sometimes things are said that wouldn’t be said to anyone but a sibling.
“But overall, it’s a great experience being siblings and co-owners,” she said.
This August the sisters participated in the Auction of Washington Wines’ Picnic and Barrel Auction on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville. As unseasonable rain sloshed between drizzle and downpour, both sisters carried bottles of their wine, offering pours to participants.
“I’m a little more of an extrovert than my sister. But I have to say it is fun to get out there, and she doesn’t mind pouring,” she said. “It’s a fun way to get our name out there.”
Result of a Crush
P.O. Box 3330, Walla Walla, WA 99362
--Jon Bauer is Wine Press Northwest’s Salish Sea correspondent. The longtime newspaperman lives near La Conner, Wash.