SOURCE: Crushpad


April 30, 2012 20:30 ET

Crushpad Announces Grand Prize Winners to Contest

Two Participants Win Barrels of Wine and Brand Support Valued at $8,000-$12,000

SONOMA, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 30, 2012) - Crushpad, the world's leading small-lot, custom crush facility, has announced the winners of its Crushpad Challenge, a contest that gives participants the chance to make their own wine, create their own brand and in the process win one barrel (25 cases) of extraordinary, luxury-class wine. The total value of the prize is worth between $8,000 and $12,000.

According to Crushpad CEO Peter Ekman, "When we launched our Crushpad Challenge back in January we had no idea how popular it would be. The participation and response was incredible! On March 23, after being deluged by weeks and weeks of online activity, we decided to offer two Grand Prizes. By the end of the contest we had a total of 380 entrants who generated nearly 40,000 votes on Facebook."

After the polls closed on March 31, Crushpad tallied the ballots and announced the top-10 vote-getters to the world. Each of the finalists had received at least 1,500 votes, a testament to their dedication, ingenuity and social networking abilities.

The next step was the video interview portion of the contest conducted from April 9-11. The Crushpad team spent roughly 30 minutes with each entrant getting to know them and discussing their brand and business ideas.

Continues Peter Ekman, "We all agreed that choosing a winner was one of the most difficult things we have ever had to do, but in the end two entrants were at the top of our lists. These are individuals who are fully immersed in the world of wine. Much of their free time, including entertaining and travel, is centered on wine. They are students of the grape and have done everything possible to expand their knowledge base. They are focused, charismatic and have creative brand and marketing ideas that will serve them well as they move forward. We wish them all the best and are confident the barrels of wine they have won will help launch them on the road to success."

Grand Prize Winner Meggan Sorensen (3Sum)
Meggan has been passionate about wine since the mid 90's while living in the Central Coast region of California. She and her husband have since visited wineries in Australia, South America, Croatia, France, Germany and other top regions throughout the West Coast. In 2010, Meggan pursued her vinous dreams and launched a small wine company called New Craft Cellars. The brand she plans to create with Crushpad is called 3Sum. The concept for 3Sum is to create a blend or series of blends combining three varieties. Her first release will be a mélange of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Meggan lives in Long Beach, California.

Grand Prize Winner Kyle and Casey Kaczmarek (Black Belt)
It was a trip to New Zealand's wine country during college that triggered Casey's interest in wine. Ever since the couple first started dating and throughout their marriage, they have spent as much time as possible tasting and visiting wine regions around the world. In addition to their love of wine, Kyle and Casey Kaczmarek share a devotion to martial arts. Kyle earned his black belt in 2011 and Casey, who has been dedicated to the discipline for more than 22 years, is a third degree black belt. The name of their brand is, appropriately, Black Belt, and it will be built around Pinot Noir.

All of the runners-up are engaging people who share a love of wine. Each has a great story, clever marketing ideas and a huge network of friends. They are: Andrew Major (Major Wine), Paul Brown (Wild Grouper), Eddie Hernandez (Cuban American Wines), Pete Johnson (Tatouage), David Zakur (OneFortyWines), Bob Johnson (Acappella), Quinn Donovan (Quinn Donovan Cellars), and Tara Newman (D20 Vineyards).

About Crushpad
As the world's finest custom crush facility, Crushpad works with wine enthusiasts, individuals, groups and small wine companies to produce anywhere from one to 1,000 barrels of hand-made, luxury-class wine from highly-acclaimed vineyards in California. Founded in San Francisco in 2004, today the company is based in the town of Sonoma. Crushpad's services include: grape sourcing from more than 50 world-class vineyards in California, winemaking support (sorting, de-stemming, crushing, pressing, aging, blending), label design, storage, shipping fulfillment, logistics, wine club and allocations, licensing, permits, direct sales, compliance and reporting. For more information, visit: or on Facebook.

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