« January 2014MainJanuary 2015 »

Duck Dynasty Goes to Napa
filed under: Hip Tasters


I get a lot of invitations to head up to wine country for industry events - but with a busy consulting schedule it's tough to entice me to make the drive to wine country. But when I heard that the Duck Dynasty family - the bearded Louisiana crew known more for cammo than Cabernet - had created a wine in Napa, curiosity took over and I headed north.

The gist: the Southern family that's captivated millions with its A&E reality series - in which the gun-toting, tongue-in-cheek backwoods crew hams up their country lifestyle - partnered with Napa's Trinchero family to produce a line of wine for Wal-Mart stores. Korie Robertson, wife of series star and family company CEO Willie Robertson, told me the family was motivated to reach out to a California wine partner after a televised failed attempt at making their own wine.

Dynasty is the top reality show on cable television in the U.S., with an estimated 11.8 million viewers per season. How could I not look into this fascinating mashup of pop cult and vino?!

pictured: signage at the Napa event, held at the Trinchero winery in St. Helena

Awkward Beginning
"We tried [making wine] already ourselves and decided we'd better stick to making duck calls and work with someone who knew what they're doing," Korie explained of the decision to partner on production. For the uninitiated, the family made a fortune after developing a novel duck calling device, the Duck Commander. How apropos that their wines, now available, are marketed under the label Duck Commander.

pictured: posing with Dynasty's Willie & Korie Robertson

Launching the Wine In Napa
Touching down late last year in Napa after wrapping filming for the new season, Willie and Korie saw the visit as "kind of a work trip, but one of those good work trips," according to Korie. "This is our first time in Napa, it's been a great experience." While in town they dined with the Trinchero family and checked out Bottega and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen.


Easy Drinking Style
The wines are straightforward and made for an audience perhaps transitioning to wine for the first time, whether from beer or soft drinks. There is a Chardonnay, Pink Moscato, Zin, Merlot and Cab. Labels riff on cammo prints, changing up colors for varietals.

I was surprised to find the Pink Moscato a standout before recalling that the Trinchero family is famous for pink: they pioneered White Zin back in the day and still boast record sales for the stuff. (Trend alert: I'm just back from Sonoma where a promising young winemaker poured a still-unreleased version of White Zin - which totally rocked.)

Korie confirmed that the buzz is about the blush. "Pink Moscato is already a favorite, people are loving it - Miss Kay and some other women in our family like the sweet, fruity taste."


Dessert Time
Off dry to medium sweet, it's not exactly a wine for dinner, which the family famously is seen enjoying together at the end of shows. I think they've got the flavor direction right, pairing with other moments - like dessert. "We had it last night like as a dessert wine, with an apple tart," Korie explained.
Sounds like a good call.

pictured: a recent cast shot, via A&E

pictured: #DuckStyle - I hopped on an ATV at the party to get in the Duck Dynasty spirit

pictured: Korie & Willie mug for the camera with "Redneck Wine Glasses" - via A&E

Posted by Courtney at Comments (0)