Vista, CA – November 5th, 2011 – Saturday, November 12th, marks the Grand Opening of California Fruit Wine Company, a new winery in North County that makes wine from fruit other than grapes. The winery was started by 25 year old twin brothers, Alan and Brian Haghighi back in 2009. The Grand Opening celebration, to take place from 12-5pm, marks the move of the winery to a new 4,500sf facility in Vista’s business park, a popular destination for microbrewery tours and tastings. “In many ways we’re more like a micro-brewery,” brother Alan Haghighi explains. “We don’t grow any of the fruit, we just purchase it from local growers and then turn it into wine.”
The brothers have built the business on a shoe-string budget. “We literally started this business with nothing,” brother Brian explained. “All we had was the courage to believe it was possible, and here we are, two years later, looking back in awe on where we’ve come.” Brian, the director of marketing and compliance, graduated Colgate University (NY) in 2009 during the worst job market in decades. He notes, “We’re the entrepreneurs created by the recession. Although we didn’t have money to invest, we did have time. So we’ve had to be resourceful.” Instead of buying brand new, expensive equipment, the Haghighi brothers were forced to bargain shop using second-hand classified sites like Craigslist. “Our tanks are all Craigslist purchases. So is our bar and office furniture,” notes Alan. A large part of California Fruit Wine’s success has been through their guerrilla marketing and sales at local street fairs. There, the brothers had opportunity to introduce this new product to the San Diego market. At their soft opening two weeks ago, California Fruit Wine had over 125 guests, most of whom were people who signed up for their newsletter at one of the street fairs.
In an industry that thrives on exclusivity, the Haghighi brothers are bringing a sense of the common. “When you think about the traditional wine industry,” Brian explains, “there are a bunch of barriers to entry for a first-time customer. Not only is the customer confronted with a vast array of choices, but they aren’t given the tools to navigate through those choices. How am I to know the difference between a Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon? Better yet, how am I even supposed to pronounce them!” Fruit wine has the advantage of being less intimidating to emerging wine drinkers since a potential customer can imagine how a peach wine or plum wine might taste. But fruit wine is far from just a “gateway” wine, it stands on its own rite as a high quality wine. “One of our biggest hurdles is dealing with people’s misconceptions about fruit wine. They think it’s some syrupy sweet mess or some sort of wine-cooler. Our wine is neither,” states Brian.
Today, Alan and Brian along with their newest partner, brother David Haghighi, are loving the process of growing the business. “Business,” Alan explains, “is all about relationships. It’s all about treating your customers like people instead of like wallets and purses.”
California Fruit Wine Company is a local winery that makes wine from fruit other than grapes including apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, plums, pumpkin, and strawberries. They are open for regular tasting hours on Thursdays and Fridays from 4-8pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5pm at 1040 La Mirada Ct, Vista, CA 92081. If you want to find out more about the brothers or about their wine visit their website at californiafruitwine.com.