a bung for all seasons

Monday, April 23, 2012

I am not a winemaker, but I have a passing knowledge of winemaker gear – eggs, barrels, pumps, tanks, filters, presses and on and on. Recently, a low tech, high style product came my way that combines utility and design so elegantly that I promised its inventor that I would dedicate a blog to it as soon as he had his patents and production set up.

Don Corson is the multi-talented proprietor of Camaraderie Cellars, located on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state. He makes a generous line-up of mostly red wines, but that is not the focus today. Good as the wines are, Don has just introduced a product that may well be the ticket to wine immortality.

The Lux Barrel Bung was quietly introduced a few months ago and quickly sold out all 1200. The picture here tells the story. A glass bung with a silicon base, it combines the best attributes of both materials. “Currently,” notes Don, “a glass bung is often placed on top of a silicon bung in the barrel of showcase barrel rooms and cellars. The glass bung is only there for show”, he says, “but with this new invention the whole thing works. It's sanitize-able, the cup is replaceable and it's gorgeous. What's not to like?”

I would have to agree. I have one in my office (I don’t need your suggestions on where to put it, thanks) and it really is a work of art. The second order (this time for 5000) is selling out quickly – 2000 are being shipped directly to France where Seguin Moreau will market them throughout Europe. Rumor has it Ch. Margaux is already interested.

Here in Washington, Rob Newsom of Boudreaux Cellars was the first to place them in his winery. For the U.S. Phillipe Michel will be the exclusive marketing agent. He is getting strong initial interest from wineries in the Napa Valley and the Northwest. Ron Bunnell of Bunnell Cellars will represent the Lux in Canada.

Next up will be customized versions of the Lux – perhaps using colored silicon, or engraved crystal. “We are looking at all the ways these beautiful glass fixtures can be customized,” says Don, “and the sky is the limit.”

For the record, I have no financial interest in this product (too bad for me); I just really think it’s brilliant. If you are interested in learning more, contact Phillipe Michel at 707-318-0002.


Anonymous said...

Thank you this is great!!!

Erik said...

CHip and break resistant? It would be a bummer so see a chard fall into the chardonnay...

I like that they can be cleaned and resued. Looks interesting.

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