Heather Hudson, founder and owner of Revolt Wine Co., is singlehandedly disrupting the San Diego wine industry.
Founded in 2018, Revolt Wine is not only packaged in kegs and served on tap in restaurants and bars around town, it also connects with music bands to create San Diego-based events that cater to a younger wine-drinking demographic.
“We connect to music by either popping up and doing a tasting before a concert or show, or by hosting a meet-and-greet with the band before its performance,” said Hudson, who is originally from Nebraska but has lived in San Diego a handful of years.
Additionally, Hudson said every few weeks Revolt will interview emerging artists, as well as more established performers on a quarterly basis to create content that is then released digitally to Revolt followers.
“When there is so much tradition behind the wine, it is awesome, but it can also close certain people out,” she said, referring to “young people. The whole thing may seem overwhelming and pretentious (to them)…I’m not targeting the traditional wine drinker that wants a stem glass and the traditional wine drinking experience. I’m targeting a younger person, someone that frequents craft breweries or someone at a concert that may want to enjoy some wine.”
Wine, Music Untapped
Before Revolt Wine came to be, Hudson, who discovered her passion for wine while studying in France in 2007, worked at a winery in Napa around 2011. It was there that Hudson got the idea to launch her own wine company, originally funded by family investors and called WTF (Wine That’s Fun).
Last year, wanting to provide more than just a traditional wine drinking experience, Hudson decided to rebrand and launch the company as it is known now. She describes Revolt as an alternative wine brand that partners exclusively with music and craft beer communities to serve wine on tap.
Inspired by her own love affair with music — she is also the executive director of San Diego’s SpringBoard West annual music festival and conference to be held Jan. 9 to 11 — Hudson decided to combine the two. Some of the musical artists Revolt has partnered with include rapper Warren G, pop-punk band Yellowcard, and rock band Pepper.
Another “nontraditional” feature about the Revolt brand is Hudson recommends her clients to purchase stemless, stainless steel Revolt-branded glasses for an alternative way to drink it. She added that Revolt is purposeful in its sustainability approach, as there are no bottles or corks to be discarded and the kegs are sterilized and reused. No bottles mean less storage for the facility, as well, Hudson said.
7 Locations, for Now
To make Revolt wine, Hudson buys fruit from vineyards across the state, sends it to her partners in Napa for blending, production and kegging and then it is transported down to San Diego. A glass of Revolt Wine goes for about $8, she said, while a keg cost about $225 and equals 26 bottles of wine.
Revolt Wine is sold in seven food and beverage places around town, including Amplified Aleworks locations in Pacific Beach and East Village; Mother’s Saloon in Ocean Beach; 710 Beach Club in Pacific Beach; Barefoot Bar & Grill at Paradise Point Resort & Spa; Navajo Live in La Mesa; and The Brewers Tap Room in Encinitas.
In the next couple of months, Hudson said she plans to find a distributor in Southern California that can help grow the brand. For now, she said she hopes to continue to create cool wine drinking moments for those that indulge.
“It’s not just about the glass of wine or if the wine tastes good,” she said about Revolt, “it’s about creating an experience and a memory that takes you back” to a place and time.