you don’t see a lot nowadays. It’s really,
really helpful because you get the
While Bullard quickly admits he knew
nothing about the wine business before
his investment, Hoffman says he has
been a quick study.
“He has a really amazing ability to
see the vision, understand the vision
and provide a lot of insight toward that
vision,” she says.
She also appreciates his analytic
approach to business.
“He’s one of my favorite people to
converse with when it comes to strategy.
We could do that all day long,” Hoffman
says. "For example, we’ve done a lot
of talking about our next products.
Moving forward, we’d like to branch
out to different brands of wine and also
different product lines.”
Bullard agrees. “We’re the first
premium spice-wine product in the
United States and there’s a lot of room
to explore and create. There’s no
boundaries to what we can do. We can try
to produce a spicy rose, a spiced white, a
spicy sparkling wine.”
But that is all down the road. One of
the biggest recent challenges has been
developing a new bottle and label. The
process took more than a year working
with a designer. The final product has a
big sultry “S” on the front of the bottle.
“It’s bold, it’s eye-catching. You see
it and it screams spicy at you,” Hoffman
says. “You have to capture the essence of
the brand and product in one vision. We
had to really think about what it was.”
Bullard says the wine endeavor has
been a labor of love. Shortly after he
joined the team, Spicy Vines moved from
San Francisco to Napa Valley in the heart
of California wine country. The company
bought from local growers and wanted to
bring production closer to the source and
to be closer to wine-industry talent.
For Bullard, it has also made for
wonderful business trips. He says he
loves going out to visit and tour the
wineries. As an industry insider he
gets behind-the-scene access and
complimentary tastings, although he
usually finds himself bringing back
several bottles from each outing.
It is a perfect way, he says, to mix
business and pleasure.
Drew Bullard relaxing at DePalma's restaurant in downtown Tuscaloosa