Wine from Birichino, a tiny label co-founded by Alex Krause ’91, has gotten sparking notices in recent years from The New York Times, Forbes, and Food & Wine. His 2018 Saint Georges Pinot Noir was served at the White House Thanksgiving two years ago.
But being part of the third annual Bates Alumni Holiday Gift Guide was an especially rosy proposition for Krause, whose Santa Cruz-based winery has a staff of four, including Krause, who describes his job as “CFO, CTO, trucker, bottle waxer, tasting room server, assistant dog-treat hospitality specialist, and marketing director.”
If You Have the Gift
The 2023 Bates Alumni Holiday Gift Guide is still accepting entries from alumni-owned businesses.
‘Tis the season for gift-giving, and for members of the Bates community, often a time to ponder Bates-connected ideas. Such gift ideas sometimes jump out from the pages of the newspaper, such as this New York Times best-selling holiday children’s picture book by author Matt Tavares ’97.
Or, an idea can come from a familiar place, like the Bates College Store, which offers gifts to help someone dance into the new year.
To provide a convenient online opportunity for Bates folks to support alumni businesses, the team in the college’s Alumni Engagement office debuted the alumni gift guide three years ago.
This year’s alumni guide features distinctive hygge-inspired artwork, artisan cheese from Vermont and, from the same family-owned farm, paintings inspired by landscape, animals, farms, and food.
Other alumni offerings include memoirs and novels, sustainable home furnishings, literary adventures, delicious treats, and educational services to help students with dyslexia thrive.
For Krause the wine maker, “the idea of appealing to my Bates alums without significantly denting our non-existing marketing budget held special appeal.” He says that Birichino wines are “modestly well-known among a small set of wine dorks.”
Those dorks that include the Times, which recently praised Birichino’s 2021 Saint Georges Zinfandel, noting that the winemaker “has been making terrific, moderately priced wines from the Central Coast for a decade or so.”
Since its debut in 2021, the Bates holiday gift guide has “been one of our top-performing pages,” says Associate Director of Advancement Communications Danielle Beckwith, with up to 3,400 views each year.