Scout & Cellar winery, club 'keeps things simple'
An interview with Kristie Killen, independent wine consultant for Scout and Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine.
Q: Tell us a little bit about the venue/business.
A: We source Clean-Crafted wine from all over the world, creating and bottling wildly delicious wines with an authentic sense of place, working directly with growers and producers who embody our Clean-Crafted Commitment in their daily practices. We walk through the vineyards, visit the cellars, share meals together.
The end result? Delicious wines. Better in the bottle. Better in your glass. Better for the planet.
At Scout & Cellar, we believe in a lot of things, but above all else, we believe in keeping things simple. This, at its core, is the definition of clean-crafted wine: A no-additive, no-pesticide, no-nonsense approach to wine. Just like nature intended. And the wine you have in your cellar now is definitely not clean-crafted. There's a reason mass-produced wines don't have an ingredient statement on the bottle.
Welcome to Scout & Cellar ... we're a funky little winery and wine club that does wine differently: We feature monthly curated vintages hand-selected by our sommelier. We bring those vintages straight to your living room. And -- most importantly -- we only deal in wines that are clean, free of additives, and naturally delicious. The clean-crafted wine concept is still somewhat new, but wineries all over the world have begun converting to this cleaner, more delicious, better-for-you concept. Clean-crafted wine -- you heard it here first. Scout & Cellar is the only place you can get them.
Q: Explain the history. How did it get started?
A: Scout & Cellar launched just over two years ago with one Winery Team member -- Founder & CEO Sarah Shadonix -- in a one-room field house in North Texas, with 50 independent wine consultants. Suffice to say, over the past few years, it has become so much more.
While that little field house will always be near and dear to us, today Scout & Cellar has more than 65 employees and almost 8,000 Independent Wine Consultants. Together, we're sharing a better wine experience with everyone we know and changing the definition of what it means to do better. For our bodies. For our loved ones. For our planet.
Q: What is Clean-Crafted?
A: For a wine to be considered Clean-Crafted, it goes through two rounds of independent lab testing to guarantee that it's free of yucky stuff like synthetic pesticides and chemical additives and has fewer than 100 ppm of total sulfites. We also evaluate and review farming and production practices to confirm that they are, in fact, Clean-Crafted.
Why do we do this? Because we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Because we're committed to offering a more natural, altogether better-tasting wine experience.
What do we offer when it comes to corporate meetings, private parties, taste testing/team building events, wine club as gift giving during the holidays? What we can offer is just about anything we can dream up, as long as we comply with the liquor laws in each state, which Corporate keeps us informed about very clearly. We are able to host private events by invitation. In businesses after hours. In private rooms at corporations. We have no geographical territories, so the sky is the limit. Our Scout Circle Wine Club are exclusive wines hand-picked by our Level 3 Sommelier Founder, Sarah Shadonix. They come in 4 bottle ($89), six bottle white ($129), six bottle mixed ($139), six bottle red ($149), twelve bottle mix ($279) and twelve bottle red ($289). As a Scout Circle Member, you have exclusive access to the wines in the club. You can choose Monthly, Bimonthly or Quarterly delivery. No membership or cancellation fee.
You can cancel at anytime. New members even receive a $50 credit toward more wine after their third delivery, for a limited time. At the holidays, our company has gorgeously boxed gift sets. I also offer a concierge service, where if a business wants to gift wine, I will wrap the bottles and deliver them for holiday gifting.
Q: Describe the atmosphere.
A: The atmosphere at Scout and Cellar is all about fun, personal success and our core values. Our Core Values: Do the Right Thing, Be Authentic, Transparency, Passion & Family. In the very beginning of February, I attended our national sales conference,
AMP, with about 800 other independent consultants in Houston. The event was more than I had dreamed it could be. The camaraderie, support and sense of connection are something I will carry with me throughout the year, until our next conference.
Q: What are people in your industry talking about? What is trending?
A: We are working on our Virtual Wine Tastings, since we all must practice our Social Distancing at this time. Our company has provided us with the means to conduct virtual tasting with customers, so that we can continue to work from home.
Other trends include Rose, Bubbles, Cans, Cider, Selzer & Wine Cocktails. Just this March, we released Epic Pursuit. Epic Pursuit is a White Wine Spritzer. It is made from Clean-Crafted wine and infused with botanicals of lemon, ginger and mint. Bubbly, refreshing and light, it pairs perfectly with casual hangs on the patio and connecting (virtually for now) with family and friends.
In April, Wilderness Road is coming out. Delightfully smooth, it is a charcoal filtered Clean-Crafted Neutral Grape Spirit Mixable. It can be used as a mixer, much like Vodka or on it's own on the rocks with a twist. Our 14K Cans in October contribute to Breast Cancer. Coming out in November, we will be introducing the 12 Days of Giftmas, which will be 12 different varietals of our mini bottles.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What is your past experience in the industry?
A: I am a born, and bred Chicago girl! I grew up in a town in the far South suburbs called Homewood. It was a typical idyllic, small town upbringing, where everyone knew everyone, and you could ride your bike everywhere. I graduated undergrad from Loyola University with a degree in Communications.
Shortly after I met my husband and moved to Pittsburgh. I worked in sales for many years, selling various items such as cellphones (yes, the first bag phones, they were sexy! ha-ha!), real estate, long distance phone service, and lastly Yellow Pages Advertising, where I moved into management.
Once I had children, I went back to get my Master's Degree in Education, and have been an educator for 16 years. I also am a certified Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Now that my children are grown, I was looking for
something to sell that I could really get behind, something that I really believe in, something closely aligned with my personal beliefs, healthy pursuits and ethics. That something is Scout and Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine.
Q: Tell us one interesting fact about the business that most people may not know.
A: What is "mass produced" wine? When we refer to mass-produced wine, we are talking mainly about wine brands that are made by "The Big Three," three huge wine companies that control 70% of the United States wine market. These companies buy very large quantities of grapes from various growers, usually at a deep discount, and then manufacture their wines in labs and add things to them such as FDA-approved chemicals, extra sugars, mega purple, etc., in order to make sure they taste, look, and smell the same from one vintage to the next.
The other thing that people don't know about wine, is that many are purified, or fined, with what some people consider to be icky things, such as egg whites or isinglass (fish bladders).
Q: List two Twitter accounts that you would suggest and why?
A: Wine Folly & Wine Enthusiast. Both are very informative about quality wines, production and food pairings.
Scout and Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine4531 Simonton RoadFarmers Branch, Texas 75244www.scoutandcellar.com/kristiekillenOwner: Sarah Shadonix
Number of Employees: Over 65 employees and almost 8,000 independent wine consultants
When business opened:
Who is answering the questions: