The former Murphy-Goode social media dispatcher has agreed to do sales and marketing for Kevin Kelley’s Natural Process Alliance and Salinia labels in Santa Rosa. He was offered a marketing position at Murphy-Goode but declined.
“This was the perfect opportunity for me,” Wallace said. “Kevin’s wines are my absolute favorite wines in the U.S. , and it’s an amazing company, a great story and a great approach. The natural winemaking, the packaging … it’s exactly what I want to do.”
Kelley’s wines are sold in reusable metal canteens within a 100-mile radius of the winery. “We pick them up and drop them off just like the milkman,” Wallace said.
Downsizing from Jackson Family Wines, which owns Murphy-Goode to Salinia Wine Company, which produces about 800 cases a year, won’t be a challenging shift, Wallace said. On the contrary, he said he looks forward to the job’s scope. “I’m going to be doing everything,” Wallace said. “Sales, marketing, social media, cellar rat. There are only four of us.”
Wallace will also be doing consulting work for Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate in Healdsburg. He’ll be working for the winery one day a week on blogs, tweets and videos in exchange for a one bedroom suite in the property that also houses the tasting room.
The arrangement is an “open ended contract” according to Jim Morris of the winery, who said “it will be an interesting experiment. He (Wallace) has a particular skill set that no one at the winery has … it’s a perfect fit.” Morris said he’s hoping Wallace, who writes the popular blog “Dirty South Wines,” will increase traffic to the winery’s blenchlandblog, as well as foot traffic to the winery.
How will Wallace promote two wineries? “I’m not promoting Michel-Schlumberger wines,” Wallace said. “I’m helping them promote themselves. Ultimately they’re the face of the winery. I’m not.” Wallace said his full-time job is with NPA, but he doesn’t expect to be the “face” of it either.
Asked about the compensation with NPA, Wallace declined to answer. “This is an opportunity for me to do exactly what I want regardless of the compensation. This is my full-time, long term gig. Do I expect to be there in five years – yes, absolutely.”
Wallace’s much publicized contract with Murphy-Goode officially ends today, a sixth-month post which he won in an “American Idol-esque” contest, beating out 2,000 contenders. The Really-Goode Job paid $60, 000 and free board, a two-bedroom suite on the Murphy-Goode property.
Mark Osmun of Jackson Family Wines said “Hardy is a remarkable talent and we are proud to have uncovered him through Murphy-Goode’s “A Really Goode Job” search and to have been able to highlight his abilities to the wine-loving world.”