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Sept. 1, 2021

Crypto and Wine w/ Jeff Andrews & Ray McKee, Trothe Winery

Crypto and Wine w/ Jeff Andrews & Ray McKee, Trothe Winery

Jeff Andrews was such a crypto fan that he built 4 crypto mining rigs in his family’s winery lab. A mini-meltdown of one of the rigs didn’t diminish his enthusiasm, making it a no-brainer for Trothe, the new winery based on the best blocks of the 1,300 a


Jeff Andrews was such a crypto fan that he built 4 crypto mining rigs in his family’s winery lab.  A mini-meltdown of one of the rigs didn’t diminish his enthusiasm, making it a no-brainer for Trothe, the new winery based on the best blocks of the 1,300 acres of the Andrews Family Vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills in Washington State, to accept crypto right out of the gate. Jeff and winemaker Ray McKee talk about their passion for crypto, the process for accepting it as payment for wine, and the benefits for customers and the winery of using crypto in this episode of XChateau.

Detailed Show Notes: 

  • Jeff’s background
    • 4th generation farmer in Horse Heaven Hills, Washington
    • 1st winegrapes planted in 1980
    • A lawyer by training
    • Family farms 1,300 acres of vineyards (Andrew Family Vineyards)
    • Exclusive source of grapes for Trothe Wines
  • Ray’s background
    • 2nd generation winemaker in Washington
    • 29 vintages in Washington in 2021, 1 in Australia
    • Was the red winemaker for Chateau Ste Michelle for 10 years
  • Trothe
    • uses the best blocks of grapes from Andrew Family Vineyards
    • Trying to make the best wine possible
  • Crypto enthusiasts (both Jeff and Ray)
    • ~2016-2017 - started investing a bit in crypto
    • Built 4 mining rigs in the winery lab to mine Ethereum
    • 1 mine had a mini-meltdown, which ended the experiment
  • Benefits of crypto for customers
    • Security of transaction - more secure than credit cards
    • Authenticity/provenance for ownership of the wine - creates a secure record of wine ownership with the future potential to link each bottle to an NFT
    • Trothe bottles have unique identifiers and custom made holograms on them - have the potential to link to an NFT in the future
  • Benefits of crypto for the winery
    • “Get more crypto”
    • Connect w/ customers with similar interests
    • Trothe can see where the wines are going in the world w/ crypto
    • Some marketing benefits - positive feedback on social and via email
  • The crypto transaction process
    • Uses Coinbase Commerce
    • Puts an upper and lower bound on transactions to deal with crypto pricing fluctuations
    • Currently on Vinespring e-commerce - does not yet integrate w/ crypto
    • Customer needs to email / call the winery to request a crypto transaction, and then the winery sends an invoice via Coinbase Commerce
    • The transaction constitutes a sale of crypto from wine buyer to the winery and a purchase of crypto by the winery for tax purposes
  • Crypto sales - none yet, wine has only been released for 1 month
  • Other wineries accepting crypto - Mondavi Sisters’ Dark Matter and Aloft Wines
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