Hardy Wallace

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Wine blogger Hardy Wallace (left) with actor David Arquette (center).

Hardy Wallace is an American winemaker living in Napa, California. Moving to California from Atlanta, Georgia, Wallace was a writer publishing the Dirty South Wine blog.[1][2] In July, 2009, Wallace won in a field of 2,000 applicants in the "A Really Goode Job" promotion by Murphy-Goode, a winery in Healdsburg, California, to earn a position as the winery's "lifestyle correspondent".[3] After fulfilling his contract with Murphy-Goode, Hardy began producing his own wines in 2010 under the Dirty and Rowdy Wine label.

History[edit]

Wallace is a former IT worker, who lost his job at Kodak in January, 2009.[4] He was planning to enter the wine industry as a profession when he heard of the Murphy-Goode contest. In April, 2009 he flew to San Francisco, and was first in a line of several hundred to register in person for the contest.[5] To support his application, he created his own viral marketing campaign to attract support and votes.

Murphy-Goode position[edit]

Wine blogger Hardy Wallace

The contest, described in one article as a "publicity stunt",[6] was modeled after the "Best Job in the World", a similar campaign by a government tourist office in the state of Queensland, Australia.[3][7] It was a public relations success, generating several hundred million "web hits", as well as news coverage in the New York Times, Today Show, and other national media.

As part of winning the promotion, Wallace earned a six-month contract as a wine writer and promoter for Murphy-Goode, as well as housing in Healdsburg.[3] The winery stated that it had also offered jobs to several of the other finalists in the contest.[3]

Murphy-Goode considered the campaign a success. Total Sales increased 72%, Direct to Consumer sales increased 133%, Distribution presence increase 60%, CPM went from $7 to $.24 [8]

At the end of the six month position, Wallace was offered a role in the marketing department of Jackson Family wines, but turned down the offer to pursue other projects in the wine industry.[9]

Winemaking[edit]

The day after leaving Murphy-Goode, Wallace began working with winemaker and friend Kevin Kelley,[10] on his wine labels The Natural Process Alliance ("The NPA") and Salinia. At The NPA, Wallace would focus on their natural winemaking and reusable packaging, often being dubbed "the milkman of wine".[11] Along with Wallace's role at The NPA and Salinia, during harvest, he assisted Kelley with production of LIOCO, Heintz Ranch, and Spot-On Cellars. Wallace also moved from Murphy-Goode supplied housing to the 100 acre Michel-Schlumberger property in Healdsburg's Dry Creek Valley in exchange for consulting services.

The NPA was Wine Business Monthly's #6 Hottest Small Brand in America in 2011,[12] placed number 14 on San Francisco Magazine's 2010 Best of the Bay, won the 2010 Western Wine Award's "Green Award", and was featured on NPR,[13]

After working with The NPA, Wallace moved from Sonoma County to Amador County to work on Shake Ridge Ranch Vineyard as part of the Summer vineyard crew. In September 2011, Wallace moved to Calistoga, California to work harvest for 2008 Winemaker of the Year,[14] Ehren Jordan of Failla Winery and to make his second vintage of Dirty and Rowdy Family Wines.

After his stint with Failla, Wallace began working for 2011 Winemaker Of The Year,[15] Cathy Corison of Corison Winery. Wallace managed the tasting room and social media for winery.

In August 2013, Wallace left Corison to focus full-time on his own winemaking.

Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery[edit]

Hardy started making his own wines under the Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery label in 2010 with his friend Matt Richardson of Atlanta, Georgia. The focus of Dirty and Rowdy was on single vineyard Mourvèdre, a grape rarely focused on in California. Starting with just two barrels of wine, the duo quickly gained notoriety. Over the next years they would add more than six vineyard designate Mourvèdre wines as well as their unique take on Semillon.

Hardy’s focus earned him spots on Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40: America’s Tastemakers, The 9 People You Need To Know in American Wine Right Now, 7 of Napa Valley's Most Exciting Winemakers

References[edit]

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