Shushi Shiraga, the Founder & CEO of a wine e-commerce startup SoCalization Inc (Tokyo, Japan |www.socalization.com ), was a regular customer at Wilson Creek during his 7 years of life in San Diego, working as an expat, then studying as a grad-student. He became interested in wine because of Wilson Creek’s signature Almond Sparkling.
SoCalization Shushi at Wilson Creek
In 2019, as he graduates from Sports MBA program at San Diego State University, he went back to Japan to work as a consultant to projects at Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
However, something was missing for him. It just felt wrong. Living a happy, stress-free life in a SoCal city changed his perspective so much. A workaholic, who was on international conference calls regularly until midnight, questioned “Why are people in Japan working so late?”, “Why are people here not enjoying their personal life?”, “Why are people not having a quality time with their family?”. He was culture-shocked to his own country.
That feeling just got stronger and stronger, every time he recalled receiving unconditional love and support from his American “family”, a Christian family in San Diego who had been accepting international students to live together at their home.
Shushi was intrinsically entrepreneurial as he built his career at start-ups prior to MBA degree. However, if he was to build a company, he wanted to do something impactful to the society. So, he founded SoCalization, to promote relaxed and loving SoCal people’s value to Japan through SoCal food culture.
“I need an ‘Ace’ product…” Shushi thought. Something that is unique and has potential to become nationally popular but also represents SoCal value. Wilson Creek Almond Sparkling wine, he thought. He flew back to San Diego and drove to Temecula without an appointment with us (Wilson Creek), January 2020. We welcomed his passion and agreed to do business once he incorporates and receives necessary licenses.
He came back with them, but the pandemic hits the US. With both of us patiently and carefully checking off the boxes, Almond Sparkling Wine landed to Japan for the first time in October 2020!
Almond Sparkling is gradually gaining awareness and served at wine bars in Tokyo. Shushi and SoCalization promote family-first value to Japan through the taste of Almond Sparkling – like the “stick” of cuttings clones and shares Wilson Creek’s founding values through their branches and vines.
For former SoCal-residents in Japan, below is the direct link to purchase our Almond Sparkling wine in Japan from SoCalization! (English check out process available from link below.)
For those of you moving to Japan, now you know where to get us! 😉
Celebrating his brother’s birthday at the first restaurant in Tokyo to serve Almond Sparkling
Do we have some exciting news to share with you!
We are building, expanding, and building even more as we strive for a better experience for our Extended Family members.
Since June 21st, the Upper Room has become the new exclusive Wine Club Members Lounge! What does this mean? It means as a Wine Club Family member, you will be able to enjoy an exclusive area featuring bar tastings, wine by the glass, and sit-down tasting service daily as part of your membership. Small bites and appetizers will be added to the available array from noon to five Friday through Sunday for a nominal charge. No need to make reservations any longer! However, if you are a Reserve member, you can call your wine club team and have them reserve a table just for you.
Fear not! The Upper Room guided tasting experience will return. A new sit-down tasting experience area is expected to open in late Spring of 2019.
Wilson Creek will continue to host sit-down wine tastings at special events during the year in the Upper Room Wine Club Lounge so you will not miss out on the sit-down experience. Watch your email and our website for date and time announcements.
In the meantime, we invite you, as a wine club member, to join us for a glass or two in the Lounge from Noon until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday!
We are excited about expanding our facilities once again and bringing you the very best wine tasting experience in the valley. As always, we look forward to seeing you and sharing the beautiful views from the second floor, and of course some very special wines!
Oh! Let’s not forget about our current expansion excitement! Learn more by clicking here on “Our good problem to have, but still a problem that needs fixing,” and what we are doing about it!
UPPER ROOM IS NOW OPEN!
Open 12 noon – 5 pm, seven days a week!
For an elevated wine tasting experience, join us on the second floor overlooking the courtyard and vineyards in our NEW Upper Room! Tasting are $50 per person ($25 for wine club members) and will include a guided tasting of our most exclusive reserve wines with small food pairings exclusively designed by our Executive Chef. Bottle service is also available on the outside patio for more secluded atmosphere to enjoy the beautiful view of the winery grounds and vineyards!
To make a reservation today, click here!
Keep reading for some FAQs answered by one of our owners, Mick Wilson:
As a Sommelier, when I visit other wineries I really enjoy those times where I could sit down and learn about the winery and the wine in a quiet, more personal setting. So, as you can imagine, I am excited that we will be offering an “elevated” wine experience in our new Upper Room, the area on the second floor above the Tasting Room. I know many are wondering, “what is it?”. Here are some answers that may help.
How will this be different from the tasting experience now?
Right now our tasting room offers a “stand up at bar” experience, which is fun and informative. I love tasting at a bar at wineries, but there is something magical about sitting down, relaxing, and really focusing on the wine. So, in addition to the tasting we currently offer downstairs, we are offering a separate “sit-down” experience on the second floor. In the Upper Room, you will be guided through a flight of four to five Library Wines, Reserve Wines, and Special Selection Wines. These wines will be paired with bite-sized foods, prepared by our Executive Chef. Our trained wine servers will be present to answer any questions and guide you along the experience. These wines will be served in Riedel Stemware, which is the most prestigious, crystal wine stemware in the world. Seating will be inside or outside on the balcony overlooking the grounds. A sit-down wine and food pairing experience will last about 60-80 minutes.
What about wine classes?
Later in the year we will be launching some new wine classes for you to enjoy. Some classes to look forward to are dessert and wine pairings, holiday food pairings, Temecula wines vs. other appellations, and more! If you are interested in a certain type of class or have a fun idea, we would love to hear from you! E-mail your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we choose your idea, you will receive four free passes to a wine class of your choice, maybe the one you e-mailed in!
This place looks amazing, can I book an event here?
When will it be open?
~ Mick Wilson (Owner, COO, Sommelier)
We are finally well underway with our Tasting Room Expansion and improvements at Wilson Creek. No, you don’t need a hard hat when you visit, that’s just a fun picture. During the construction, our team will be laser focused on making your visit the best experience possible. We always strive to make you, our guest, feel warm and welcomed, construction or no construction. We are going the extra mile working days and through the night to minimize as much ancillary construction dust and noise as possible. We are proud of what we are doing and can’t wait to have it ready for all of you to enjoy. If you want to see what we are doing as well as keep track of our progress, go on our website, there you will find a 3D video fly through rendering or check it out on our You Tube Channel. It’s pretty cool! Keep up with all of our exciting news, events, sales and more by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and You Tube.
Even though Valentine’s Day is just behind us, keep your love flourishing with those small gestures! Showing how much you care about your significant other is key to keeping your relationship strong! Our very own Rosie and Gerry are a perfect example, being married for 63 Years! As Rosie would say, “Marriage isn’t 50/50, it’s 80/80,” and that is what she always tells our brides!
Rosie and Gerry being the foundation of Wilson Creek, and building upon their legacy, is what makes our Winery so special. If you have had the pleasure of meeting them, you know what wonderful people they are. You can just see the love that they have for each other and that love spreads to everyone around them. Check out this super adorable article that The Valley Business Journal wrote this month about Rosie and Gerry and their Love Story for the Ages…