Thank you for stopping in today to read about this amazing sustainability driven wine company, Proud Pour. I hope you enjoy the interview below.
First, I love the idea for your company! Second, thank you Berlin Crystal Kelly for doing an interview with Sustainability Kid.
Let’s start with a bit of background about Proud Pour…
Can you tell us when Proud Pour started? And, where did the idea come from?
Proud Pour started in 2014. At the time I had experience making beer, kombucha, and ciders. I had friends who were starting breweries, and I was also looking for a way to enter the fermented beverage industry. Yet there was no point in making meads, beers, and ciders just to get it slightly better, and to have it be my own brand.
I was only going to do an alcoholic beverage if I could join it into something important.
One of my ideas I thought about was to help to save the cider trees; they’re a dying-breed, and maybe trying to help preserve them in someway would be beneficial?
As well, I was looking for something local and environmental. We used to have 220,000 acres of oyster reefs in New York City, and now they are all gone due to overharvesting. Now the oysters you eat are farmed, which is great for the environment as one oyster cleans 30 gallons of water per day, but this local habitat of reefs is still missing. Oyster reefs are like coral reefs in that they provide a habitat for thousands of species. Furthermore, they clean water and prevent flooding and erosion. I decided to start with helping to replenish the wild oysters.
Your first wine, The Oyster, is a North Coast Sauvignon Blanc that restores 100 wild oysters per bottle. Tell us why it is so important to help rebuild oyster populations.
We have lost 85% worldwide of our oysters, and 95% of them in much of North America. One oyster cleans 30 gallons of water per day.
They also offer critical habitats for fish and help to prevent flooding and erosion. Recall Hurricane Sandy? Basically, that hurricane put lower Manhattan out of commission for three months. Had there have been enough oysters acting as a barrier, the flooding along the shorelines from that Hurricane might have been reduced. And then there is the issue in Cape Cod where houses are being affected by erosion.
Furthermore, if we had more oysters, we would have local fisheries being more successful. We would then not have to bottom trawl, which is incredibly damaging to the environment. If we get back oysteries we can help habitats become healthy and create sustainability for fish populations that doesn’t currently exist. People could fish from a pole; pole lines are more sustainable.
Eat as many oysters as you can of the farmed kind, as that will help to clean the water. As mentioned previously, one oyster cleans up to 50 gallons of water a day. It averages around 30 gallons of water per day since part of the year they are spawning.
Where does your wine originate from and why Sauvignon Blanc? Is your wine in Canada yet?
Our wine comes from Lake County, California, which is just north of Napa. Sauvignon Blanc is great pair for Oysters, plus many people are familiar with this varietal and most people enjoy it. We want as many people helping as possible.
No plans for Canada yet… We are still trying to get into California! We want to change the rules, and get everyone involved. We want to be the TOMS shoes of the alcohol industry where everyone is participating.
Can you tell us some tidbits about a nonprofit partner that you work with to help restore oyster reef ecosystems in New York, New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts?
One of the nonprofits we work with is the Billion Oyster Project in New York City. They collect shells from restaurants and use that as the foundation to rebuild reefs! NYC eats about half a million oysters per night! Currently, I work with them the most, given the convenient and close location.
How many oysters have you saved so far? Do you have any oyster number goals?
Since launching Proud Pour in 2014, we have funded the restoration of 3.4 million oysters!
We are still a mom n’ pop shop. Our primary concern is to sell as much wine as we can to sustain our business. We plan to have our Pinot Noir hit the shelves in 2017 that will help wild bees.
Tell us about your latest project, supporting wild bees! Why is it so important that we look out for the wild bee?
Bees pollinate much of the produce we eat. It is said bees provide $16 billion dollars of pollination per year. We are focusing on wild bees rather than honeybees since honeybees have been domesticated and have many people trying to help them. The wild bees get less attention, yet we are affecting them with habitat loss and insecticides and pesticides, so the populations have decreased significantly.
How can we help?
Definitely drink our wine when in New York, or in other places where we offer it!
As well, I think people so easily fall into habits or trends. While we think our wine might be come a habit or trend – “Oh this Sauvignon Blanc is awesome” – trends can be very destructive too, as they are just that, a trend and they don’t last…
We want people to think about who is behind the wine, how the grapes were grown, and where it came from.
So, you can help by getting out and talking about Proud Pour. Be open about hearing about products. When it comes down to it, we are an educational company that supports environmental restoration.
Hashtag #cheerstochange if you buy a bottle, or have a glass! Share this ethically and sustainability driven company!
Connect with Proud Pour:
Facebook: Click here.
Here are some other articles about this amazing company: