Harry & David unveils wine clubs

Harry & David unveils wine clubs

For decades, Harry & David hung its hat on the Fruit-of-the-Month Club rack. On Monday, the Medford gourmet food and gift company unveiled two similar programs for wine: the World Wine Club and 90 Point Rated Wine Club. It is offering both in conjunction with

"We have a reputation (for) providing outstanding fruit gifts," said Jim Smekal, vice president for merchandising. "We saw an opportunity to take that platform and introduce a couple of categories for alternative or other choices on a monthly basis. We're looking for ways to better offer customers a variety of gifts they will enjoy throughout the year, not just at Christmas."

Harry & David also recently introduced a monthly pie club, Heritage Pie Club.

In its first month, the World Wine Club highlights two vintages from Washington's Columbia Valley and one from the Willamette Valley. 90 Point Rated Wine Club — based on critics' scores — features three Napa Valley, Calif., selections.

Smekal said local vintners were excluded from the clubs' initial offerings because they couldn't have produced enough wine on short notice. "The quantities needed to supply our customers is larger than what any of the local wineries can do, especially on the fly," Smekal said. "We did not choose a local wine only for that reason."

He pointed out three Rogue Valley wineries are paired with high-tier gifts promoted by the company. The Founder's Favorites Banquet, honoring David Holmes, comes with RoxyAnn Winery Pinot Gris and Cowhorn Vineyard Syrah. Harry's Collection is paired with Del Rio Vineyards Pinot Noir.

"They had enough production to where we could build gifts and satisfy demand," Smekal said.

The World Wine Club will explore vintages from premier production areas around the globe, Smekal said. Members will receive briefings that include tasting notes, pairing ideas and background on featured wine appellations.

"The selections are done by committee," he said. "We have a couple of people who understand the wine business and help us make those decisions. Our club is unique in that they are real wines from real wineries and not someone buying juice from South America and slapping their private labels on the bottles."

Harry & David is promoting Central Point artisan cheesemaker Rogue Creamery products, as well as its own, in its "Perfect Pearings" for the wines.

"There is a lot of planning that goes into our production schedule, and Harry & David has been very accommodating in understanding the emphasis of quality and that we have limited capacity," said David Gremmels, co-owner of Rogue Creamery. "They've been very flexible in understanding the artisan nature of our cheese. Our capacity is limited to the number of cows and goats we have producing milk, the number of cheesemakers we employ and the amount of aging before we release our cheese."

Share This Story