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May 10, 2015


May 23, 2015


May 30, 2015


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Paul Gospodarczyk
Vagabond Winemaker & Certified Sommelier

Gospodarczyk is one of the lucky few who legitimately majored in alcohol (wine science) in college. From there, he embarked on an international adventure working for top winemakers in New Zealand and Oregon where he developed his own unique style and acquired an insatiable appreciation for a vast variety of grapes.

He has been fortunate to work as the consulting winemaker for six winery start-ups. For five years he was the Associate Professor of Enology & Wine Service with a culinary college; one of the few programs in the U.S. whose students passed the Certified Sommelier examination.

In addition, Gospodarczk has a master’s degree in Education (food science minor). In 2010 he served as a U.S. AID volunteer in El Salvador where he advised in the design and establishment of a tropical fruit processing facility…for once, no wine was involved.

Paul's Story

  • Erik and I have been friends since the second grade. His family owned the local apple orchard. We spent a lot of time at the orchard “working.” I became quite enamored with agriculture, food processing, and local business.

  • Eventually, I proposed that the apple orchard begin making wine. They weren’t terribly interested. It was in that moment an idea had been planted in my own mind; I realized that I could be a winemaker.

  • So, I went to college and earned a degree in enology (wine science). Yes, I was one of the lucky few who legitimately studied ‘alcohol’ during their undergraduate studies.

  • I was lucky to work at some great places. My Vagabond shoes lead me to 2 internships in wine research and an internship at a Colorado winery. (The bunkhouse where I lived is circled in the background).

  • My Vagabond shoes lead me to New Zealand where I officially became a “Cellar Rat” (an endearing term) and shoveled a lot of grapes.

  • My Vagabond shoes lead me to Oregon where I also shoveled a lot of grapes.

  • Then, I became a professor at a Culinary College where I began training Cellar Rats and aspiring Sommeliers.

  • All my Cellar Rats signed the door at our host winery…I’m very proud of them.

  • I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to judge some nice wine competitions.

  • I’ve also worked as a consulting winemaker for 6 start-up wineries.

  • Time elapsed, but Erik and I continued to be friends. Eventually, I was honored to be the best man at his wedding.

  • It was that night I met his bride’s college roommate, Melissa…

  • …So, I asked her to dance. It was the first time I asked a girl to dance whom I did not know.

  • It worked pretty well because it turned out we had a lot in common. We both have an affinity for interesting foods and tasty wines…

  • We both love to learn…

  • We both enjoy being Vagabonds. (This is in the Philippines; it was the first time she met her grandfather).

  • So, we got married too. (Erik was the best man).

  • Now, Melissa and I are making our own wines inspired by our favorite things: tasty food, love of learning, and the experience of being Vagabonds.

Vino FIND

First Kiss Concord ~$10

Sweet Red

A ‘First Kiss’ is remembered because it is so sweet. Like a ‘First Kiss,’ this sweet Concord wine is exhilarating anytime and anywhere due to the intense grape flavor only found in North America. It is great when served chilled. This wine pairs well with picnic fare, barbecue, classic down-home cooking, and people you love.

Cocoa Vin ~$12

Chocolate Dessert Wine

If you like port, then you will love Cocoa Vin! The Vagabond Winemaker scoured the United States until he found the best brandy and most pure chocolate extract he had ever tasted. The two ingredients were married in this wine where they support the dark berry fruit from the grapes.

Vidal Blanc ~$14

Delicate Off-Dry White

If you like Riesling, then you will love Vidal Blanc! After graduating with a degree in Wine Science, the Vagabond Winemaker moved to New Zealand where he learned to craft expressive white wines. White peach. Flower Petals. Ripe Melon. This crisp off-dry white pairs perfectly with cheeses, pasta with cream sauce, and pizza.

Chambourcin ~$16

Light Easy-Drinking Dry Red

Interested in red wine, but having a hard time finding one you actually enjoy putting in your mouth? This wine has low tannin levels; meaning, it won’t leave your mouth feeling like sandpaper. This light bodied dry red wine offers plum and blackberry aromas with a hint of vanilla and sweet spice. One of the best compliments (for which we are not worthy) came from a loyal vagabond enthusiast:
"Back in the 70's...when I was a [Playboy] bunny...I had a boyfriend who was, like, a billionaire by local standards. He took me to the best restaurants and we would drink Margaux. Your Chambourcin totally reminds me of that."

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