We took a day trip down to Portland, Oregon to catch up with Huichica Music Festival co-founder and Fruitbats frontman Eric D. Johnson and Portland’s famous BUNK Sandwiches chef Tommy Habetz. The two talked endlessly about their mutual love for sandwiches and rock and roll—we managed to capture a few tidbits along with details on Tommy’s sandwich pairing with Gundlach Bundschu’s Mountain Cuvée wine at this year’s upcoming Huichica Music Festival.
The Art Dept.
Muffuletta sandwich by
We are still glowing from the campfires, live music, good friends and glittering waters of the first annual TIMBER! Outdoor Music Festival.
Congratulations to our friends at Artist Home for so successfully creating such a beautiful weekend immersed in nature and music. From the bald eagle soaring over Quasi’s set and the sun-baked dips in the river to the late laugh riots around campfires and music always drifting through the pines—this was a weekend no one who attended will forget.
We’ve collected some of our favorite photos from the weekend below—keep an eye out for videos!
First—credit where credit is due. Once upon a time a wonderful, whimsical, wry little nugget of a narrative seeded itself in the brain of Gundlach Bundschu Winery Marketing Director Susan Sueiro. Perhaps (just maybe) after sipping on a glass of Gun Bun Merlot—a come-hither, ruby slipper of a wine, that—under the right circumstances—transports you over the rainbow. It’s no laughing matter, this wine. It’s just, well, much maligned. How to tell its story with winks rather than winces?
After what we can only imagine was a richly inspirational foray sliding down various rainbows, one of the things Susan did after putting fingers to keyboard was to call us. And we’re so glad she did. Our own Art Director Peter and Susan together finessed the script and shot list so as to make it possible to capture in one day, Peter clicked his heels down to California and ta-dah, they did it. One day. By jove. Peter behind the lens, Susan directing, coordinating scenes, costumes, wings, prayers and wine.
Back home Peter edited, nipped, tucked and nipped some more. Refined the flow and polished the audio, added graphics and selected the songs. Creative Director Sarah said things like, “That looks good,” and “Nuh-uh” and “But…” (She was pregnant anyways.) Peter burned the midnight oil night after night. He felt he owed it to Merlot. And Susan. And rainbows.
Their efforts paid off. Last month A Brief History of Merlot nabbed Wine Spectator’s 2012 Annual Video Contest.
A Brief History of Merlot humorously depicts the trials and tribulations of a varietal misunderstood—even shunned—in the aftermath of the movie Sideways, before its redemptive return to greatness.
After its debut in March of this year, A Brief History of Merlot quickly went viral on YouTube—accruing nearly 20,000 hits in a matter of weeks as major media outlets and blogs across the wine world shared in collective laughter before passing it along. It currently boasts more than 36,000 views.
The video was then submitted to Wine Spectator’s sixth annual video contest this August, where it won the popular vote. According to Wine Spectator, this year’s competition drew entries from all over the world and broke the record for the largest number of voters.
So there you have it. The little Art Dept. video that could. Proving that anything is possible if you put a little blood, sweat and tears into it.
Thanks to all the voters out there who displayed phenomenal taste in choosing A Brief History of Merlot. Thanks to our creative friends at GunBun for having faith in us, for their good wine and their great storytelling.
It was June in California—when all everyone expects is sunshine and blue skies for miles—but it rained. And rained. And every event in the area was cancelled. Except one: the second annual Huichica Music Festival.
In fact, it’s our belief that the inclement weather made an outstanding music festival that much more “rock and roll.”
“The music was mesmerizing, the vibe was infectious, and Mother Nature was awesome,” says Gun Bun president and festival co-producer Jeff Bundschu. Cramming into tents and clinking wine glasses together during periodic downpours only seemed to further the bonding experience.
Take a look at these short videos we produced for Cult Sonoma capturing the experience—included in part one (above) are performances by David Williams, CB Brand, Tu Fawning and Breathe Owl Breathe.
Way back in August, the Belle Creative home offices took their show on the road to beautiful Orcas Island in the San Juans—we started off the workcation with a weekend at the stellar Doe Bay Fest enjoying meteor showers and some amazing music (we called it “band camp for adults.”) Check out our video recap and keep an eye out for Sonoma’s own Ryan William Lynch and his band Indian Valley Line . . . !
As total music geeks, we were beyond thrilled to help Jeff Bundschu and the Gundlach Bundschu Winery team promote the exciting first annual Huichica Music Festival. Featuring several of our favorite bands—Citay, Fruit Bats, Vetiver—the festival was a complete success and we’re already excited for the second annual ballyhoo. In the meantime, a trip down memory lane via photography . . .
There’s rarely a moment around the Home Offices when music is not playing. Sure, it may range from our youngest team member banging out a primary-colored glock riff to the Jackson Five to a full on dance party to the latest jam—but it all boils down to one fact: music is a huge inspiration around here.
For this reason, we’ve been beyond excited to work with Gundlach Bundschu on creating a public relations campaign, including this poster, for their first annual Huichica (wee-CHEE-kuh) Music Festival—especially as the event will feature some real favorites around here.
For instance, Citay’s album has maintained regular rotation for quite some time now (see song above.) We were able to see the Fruit Bats play at Gundlach Bundschu last summer (see video below) and they blew us away with their billowy ‘bootgaze’ sound, and Vetiver—whose musical cadre often includes Devendra Banhart—conjures the voice of Donovan on a languid afternoon in Golden Gate Park.
This is sure to be a fantastic music fest, growing right here in the soils of Sonoma Valley. Tickets are already for sale here.