Monday, September 3, 2012

A Brush with the Big Boys



(For those who have never heard the story before........)

John and Tim Crouch began their respective careers as classically trained musicians.  When they entered the wine industry, they brought their interest in music to their winery through its name (Allegro) and the naming of some of the wines.  When John created a Seyval Blanc and peach wine blend, he christened it “Opus 1.”   Yes, “Opus 1,” just like any composer might.

Now, in the early 1980s, Robert Mondavi and Baron Mouton-Rothschild decided to enter into a partnership with a new winery in Napa, California.  Millions were spent on the development of the winery and the vineyards.  This “Napamedoc” wine needed a name.  They chose “Opus One.”  Wouldn’t you know it....

After the big announcement at a press conference, a voice from the back of the country was heard to say, “Ahem.  We already are using that name.”  Therewith, a fleet of lawyers was sent to Pennsylvania.  A deal was struck.  Allegro was not allowed to use the name “Opus One” for any of its wines.  Allegro received a monetary settlement as well, paying for the honorary “Opus One Bridge” and “Opus One Corker.”  Both are still in operation.

Additionally, it was noted that Mondavi was to come to this small hamlet and taste the wines.  He never showed....

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