What a crazy past few months trying to launch a new product. Initially, we thought we would only be producing a “handful” of cases of our new Ventura Orangecello Blood Orange. This was due to the limited supply of blood oranges from our original source: The Petty Ranch. While lemons are their main crop, they due have a few acres of young blood orange trees. Not quite up to full growth yet, but enough for us to know we could launch the product. The product we desperately wanted to release following the results of the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Double Gold Medal, Best in Class.
We came across an article in the LA Times about another blood orange grower in Ventura County: Old Gold Farms. Howard and Amy Gold planted 6 acres of blood oranges in Somis, CA quite a few years ago, 1994 to be exact. We spent a few weeks tracking them down, only to find out they were looking for us too. They had read about our intentions of launching a blood orange liqueur. We performed a “test batch”, which we do with all our potentail fruit sources. It was a success and we had access to all the blood oranges we could use (and eat).
We re-worked our production plan for the balance of the spring season. We ramped down Limoncello production, and converted to 100% Orangecello production. We quickly discovered blood oranges are harder to peel than lemons. In addition to producing the Orangecello, we had to scramble to increase the label quantities, order/make hang tags, update cocktail cards, etc. All of our vendors helped us meet our needs and timelines.
The first shipment was picked up by our distributor, Young’s Market Company on Tuesday. Any store that carries Ventura Limoncello should now be able to order Ventura Orangecello. We believe we’re in good shape for the balance of the year. Remember, blood oranges are seasonal in Ventura County. When it is sold out, it will be until next year. You can find availability here.
We are bottling the last of the Orangecello production tomorrow. Just in time too, we leave for Italy next week…