It’s not every day that we as wine lovers get to stumble upon a truly good show about wine. I’m not talking about something that involves some guy dressed in tails and swishing aged, thin wine in his mouth and spitting…no, I’m talking about three renegades digging deep around the world to find new wines to grow, to sell and to chug by the bottle: Three Thieves (Twitter) aren’t here to mess around.
Already known around the wine biz as the triumvirate to buck any stodgy trend with their affordable and tasty jug wine, Bandit Tetra Pak wines for that on the go tipple among many other fun and innovative wine brands, the guys have fully branched out with their first tv gig, Three Thieves now on The Cooking Channel. I managed to hunt down thief Charles Bieler (Twitter) to chat about his Cooking Channel adventures with his fellow vino amigos, Joel Gott (Twitter, WineLog) and Roger Scommegna.
1. Ward (Twitter)/Vinopanion – WineLog (Twitter): I’ve been a big fan of the Three Thieves vino concept for some time. You guys seem like you know how to rock the party and that said, how did you *really* come up with the original plan to collaborate together…or can you remember those deets, at all? 😉
Charles Bieler (Twitter)/Three Thieves (Twitter): Joel and I were friends through a common distributor we had and I met Roger when I was investigating doing something on the Sonoma Coast. I decided that we’d be better all together… Neither Joel or Roger liked the idea at first but I think they are pretty happy about it now.
2. Ward (Twitter)/Vinopanion – WineLog (Twitter): A lot of my readers are in the wine biz and are always itching for new opportunities to push the boundaries of wine + biz + media + social media. How did you get the show started and off the ground?
Charles Bieler (Twitter)/Three Thieves (Twitter): Roger had always thought that a camera should follow us on our trips. Joel and I thought he was nuts but he kept pushing (for years) and eventually managed to get a meeting with Cooking Channel that had just started and was looking for something. It was good timing.
3. Ward (Twitter)/Vinopanion – WineLog (Twitter): Now that you have visited some very cool wine places of the world to film the show, where would be your dream spot to start a vineyard (besides your current ones, of course) and what varieties would you plant?
Charles Bieler (Twitter)/Three Thieves (Twitter): That’s a really hard question. There are loads of places that I’m excited about and couldn’t pick just one. And generally speaking, I like the flexibility of not owning vineyards.
Charles Bieler (Twitter)/Three Thieves (Twitter): I’ve got a long NEXT list. I do a lot of projects on the side outside of the 3T’s group and they tend to be pretty weird. As for next with 3T’s I want to go to China! Apparently 500,000 hectares of vineyards were planted last year. There’s got to be something interesting.