Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cthulhu & Cabernets: An Interview with LoveCraft Wines!

One of the fascinating new ventures slithering out of California this season is LoveCraft Wines, which is in its fundraising round to create a variety of wines inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. "What could possibly go wrong?" Fortunately, they know what they're doing, but could use another $2,000 in the next few weeks to meet the minimum to get this mad venture started. I spoke with owner James Knouse to hear more about his peculiar vision.

If they reach $100,000, they'll open up a Lovecraftian-themed tasting room, which I think is almost too tantalizing to let it slip by. But see for yourself:

1) How did you get inspired to do this?

I have had a passion for wine since moving to Central California 5 years ago. Being a horror fan and organizer of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival® I decided to combine booth my passions. Lovecraft himself has been an inspiration to me but I also have a soft spot for the artists of the genera. Most artists create just for the joy of creating and don’t ever make much of a living at it. So wanted to offer a profit share with artists that work with me on LoveCraft Wines. It is a win win for us all. The artists get paid and they help me produce the best collectors wines around.

This is a family business and it takes a lot of hard work to turn from home brewer to wine produce and we aren’t your mom’s Franzia boxed wine. In my daily life I run a digital media company called Walking Kind of Bird Productions and over the course of the last few years I have been putting money aside to get all my licensing in order to produce LoveCraft Wines. After a ton of hard work I am happy to say our fundraiser is a go!

2) How much are you asking for, and what will it help you accomplish?
I set the IndieGoGo campaign at a minimum of $5,000 so we can get our first varietal off the ground. Each 5k we raise will allow us to produce our 2 additional varietals The King in Yellow: Pallid Masque and The Great Olde Ones: Cthulhu Pinto Noir.

Of course we have stretch goals. 20k opens up many more sets of labels by artist such as Richard Loung from Tentacles and Teeth Fame. At 25k we will supply booth the H.P. Lovecraft Film festivals with wine donations and much, much more.

Our grand stretch goal is 100k. If we generate enough start-up capital we will create a tasting room along the Central Coast of CA that will host Lovecratian art exhibits, book signings by your favorite authors, movie screenings and more. Think Herbert West the Reanimator’s laboratory with casks or wine and Lovevraftian props all around.

We hope to produce multiple collectors editions a year but time will tell!

3) How have the fans been responding so far?

We are 51% funded for our 5k goal in just 4 days. We are very optimistic about the future of the fundraiser.

4) What are some of your favorite H.P. Lovecraft stories?
I have always been a fan of "Herbert West the Reanimator" and "Memory."

5) Will we be seeing Cthulhu Pickles at this year's HP Lovecraft Film Festival?

Yes, you will see Cthulhu Pickles! I never thought that they would have been such a hit but they are! I recently had to rebuild my greenhouse. The last storm we had wiped it out completely destroying my pepper and cucumber crops. My greenhouse is my zen area where I can unwind from the stress of the world.

6) What's something the fans have really been asking for that you hope to bring to the market soon?

We have been asked if we can sell wine to tasting bars and restaurants as well as the public. We are happy to say that we will be able to deliver wine to those establishments in a May 2015 time frame. So ask your local pub to carry our wines!

We have also been asked if we could help sponsor a few indie lovecraftian films recently. So we decided that once our stretch goal of 15k is met we will donate 10% of our bottle sales to film grant that indie film makers can apply for. We hope to start awarding grants for filmmakers at the 2016 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival® San Pedro.

I have been asked for label art by Abigail Larson… which I am happy to say am in talks with at them moment. We are hoping to release a special edition holiday wine with her artwork in early 2016.

7) What are some of you other big plans for the year?

Big plans? The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival May 1st-3rd we plan for each fest half a year in advance and this one is coming down the pipe even faster that last year because we switched dates with Portland.

Would you like the scoop on a top-secret project I am working on? I have commissioned the talented effects artist and movie prop builder Anthony Parker to build a giant 6ft animatronic Cthulhu Head for a Grand Raising to kick of this years H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival® San Pedro. 6 months and many trips to LA and Home Depot were are almost done. We are about to reveal the build progress of the project on the LoveCraft Wines Facebook page as well as release a new perk on the Indiegogo campaign. Those who donate will get a shirt commemorating the first summoning AND get their name called out in the ceremony ritual that will be MC’d by our very own Cody Goodfellow. Did I leave out the 7ft giant tentacles?

Lovecraft Wines hopes to travel to fests around the country and perform the “Raising of Cthulhu Ritual” for fans.

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