ConsciousWine launches from Ashland
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Jeff Weissler launched ConsciousWine.com to educate consumers.
Oregon's eco-conscious wine industry got a new player on Earth Day when the wraps came off the Ashland-based website ConsciousWine.
Part educational site and part e-commerce hub, the gorgeously designed ConsciousWine.com is aimed at teaching consumers about well-made, earth-friendly wines that line up with principles including sustainable farming, organically grown grapes and great taste.
And the website may become the platform to launch the West Coast's eco-friendly answer to Gary Vaynerchuk.
Like Vaynerchuck, who leveraged social media to become the ubiquitous everyman of fine wine, ConsciousWine founder Jeff Weissler is a passionate wine guy.
Also like Vaynerchuck, Weissler happens to be a fast-talking East Coaster, a recent transplant to southern Oregon.
Weissler professes a love of what he calls "vital" wines — one of ConciousWine's core principles.
"Vital products have a life force," Weissler said. "Making a wine that is delicious on the first sip takes a lot of manipulation. (Vital) wines unwind when they hit air, they take time to stretch."
In talking about how he came to launch ConsciousWine, he wends his way through topics including a stay at a raw food detox health center, the book "Cradle to Cradle" by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, and the Pachamama Alliance.
He'll also tell you that as a long-time wine store manager in suburban New York, Weissman became annoyed by two things: wines from all over the world starting to taste the same and wines with an organic label tasting bad.
"What I want to do is empower consumers to know what's behind the label," Weissman said.
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