The Blending Lab, a start-up winery concept that creates personalized wine blending experiences, is taking its wine national. The Blending Lab offers a new spin on the wine scene for people to experience the steps it takes to create a custom wine blend. What started as a passion project and a tasting room in the heart of Los Angeles has turned into a virtual activity that people around the country can participate in from the comfort of their home.
The Blending Lab founders, Michael, Magdalena and Chris, were inspired to create this wine blending experience based on the actual trials and experimentation winemakers around the world use to create “finished” wines. After having to shut its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team pivoted its business model to bring its at-home wine blending kits to life and into the homes of local and regional residents in select states. Now, The Blending Lab is expanding its reach and will be available across 24 states around the country with a plan to expand and distribute nationwide by 2022.
“At The Blending Lab, we believe that wine blending is a true expression of science and art,” said Blending Lab co-founder Michael Keller. “The Blending Lab was famous for our in-person wine blending classes, and we were crushed when we had to close our doors, but this has allowed us to offer virtual experiences for a wider audience that didn’t have the ability to travel to our tasting room. Although the combination of instruction and materials is not new, the actual kit brings the experience to wine enthusiasts across the country.”
The Blending Lab makes its own wines right in the Los Angeles area from grapes from vineyards around California, with a specific emphasis on grapes from Paso Robles. The team uses its hand-made, low-intervention single varietal wines in all of its blending kits, which include three 750ml or 375ml bottles bottles of The Blending Lab red wine, in addition to everything needed to complete the wine blending process (beakers, a graduated cylinder, a funnel, a pipette, a 375 mL bottle and stopper, a detailed instructional booklet). The kit is made for one or two people, allowing customers to recreate the one-of-a-kind blending class experience that The Blending Lab was so well known for hosting at its tasting room in Los Angeles. The kits are not only reusable to allow customers to repeat the blending process, but they are also universal, meaning the materials can be applied to any wines from around the world.
The wine blending experience itself follows a simple process that invites customers to explore their favorite type of wine; taste The Blending Lab wines and find a favorite; and determine what elements of each wine they would change to make it perfect. Then, they are invited to try some basic blends to get a feel for how blending can fundamentally change a wine.
Those who purchase wine blending kits can partake in a DIY blending on their own or join a fun and educational virtual tasting and class on Saturdays at 3 p.m. PST, hosted by The Blending Lab co-founder Michael Keller. During the one-hour hands-on class, Michael walks participants through a thorough, but unpretentious wine tasting experience before guests are taught how to create their own blend, allowing everyone to be a winemaker for the day.
In addition to the single varietal wines that are used for classes and tastings, The Blending Lab also produces and bottles five or more signature blends with each vintage every season. Currently, The Blending Lab has more than 10 different varietals of red, white and rosé wine that can be bought through its online shop and shipped to customers across 24 states.
Beginning May 1, The Blending Lab wine blending kits and private label wines will be available in:
- New York
- North Carolina
- Washington, D.C