Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 23, 2013.

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We are resurrecting the lost art of craft distilling in wine country with a custom made state of the art alcohol still.

Our Story
Three years ago my wife Amy and I followed our dreams and moved our family to Sonoma to start handcrafting specialty spirits. We fell in love with the place and creative people who were producing exceptional quality lifestyle products. From wine to bacon to bread Sonoma was the place. We ditched our previous careers and started HelloCello in 2009 as a boutique specialty spirits producer. We currently produce fine liqueurs like award winning Limoncello di Sonoma, FigCello, OrangeCello and Hooker’s House Bourbon, Rye and General’s Reserve. Sugar Daddy Rum will be released in late 2012. 


Enhancing our capabilities and experience by acquiring The Federal and State permits to operate a still and manufacture brandy was the next logical step for our small start-up company. After almost a year of legalities we are now the first licensed Distillery and Still in Sonoma Valley since Prohibition began! With such a great history of distilling we decided we wanted to resurrect craft distilling in Sonoma and enhance the wine country experience. 

Our current still needs some help
Our current still needs some help


Our current handmade still is not adequate for production and we need your help to build a new, state of the art, handmade custom brandy still to meet our growing needs. The fabrication of these works of art is costly and time consuming due to materials (copper and stainless steel) costs and precision manufacturing. 

Modified Still design. Courtesy Artisan Still Design
Modified Still design. Courtesy Artisan Still Design

We have identified the still design and fabricator to make this custom still for us. Now we need your help to creatively finance the cost.
Funds raised from this Kickstarter campaign will go directly to the fabrication and installation of the still at our Sonoma distillery.

This is the still design you are helping to fund with Kickstarter. Courtesy Artisan Still Design
This is the still design you are helping to fund with Kickstarter. Courtesy Artisan Still Design

Why this is important
We are a strong believer in farm to table to glass and eat\drink local philosophy to help preserve this amazing environment. We realized there is a lot of wine, wine pumice and surplus fruit that currently goes to waste in close proximity to us in Sonoma. By distilling these products into specialty spirits we can reclaim and recycle something that would have been lost and create something truly special and tasty. Our goal is to work with local wineries, orchards and farmers to reuse and recycle agricultural byproducts into something great.
Everybody loves something shiny!

Memories of a historic Still at Buena Vista in Sonoma
Memories of a historic Still at Buena Vista in Sonoma

Distilling has deep historical roots in wine country that must be revisited, resurrected, preserved and maintained. The distilling of fruit into brandy has a long and successful history in Sonoma and Napa dating back to the mid 1800’s but for the most part has been a lost art since prohibition. Great distillers like Remy Martin, Christian Brothers, and Chauvet produced amazing brandies in the area. Our Kickstarter project will pay respect to these pioneers in distilling by resurrecting the craft in Sonoma. Craft distilling of specialty spirits takes us back to a time when drinks were local and had personality and not dominated by big global brands.  Drink Local!


Why we will succeed with your help
We are not starting from scratch on this “Start the Still” Kickstarter project. We have spent three years gathering knowledge, resources and expertise in spirits production. We have already committed time and finical resources to successfully start a spirits business. We have a facility and most equipment for production. Licenses, permits, bonds are in place. We have a great network of customers (buyers) for our finished products.
Please help if you can. We have fun and unique rewards for all levels of contribution. If you cannot help financially please pass this story on and spread the word on our “Start the Still” Kickstarter project. We cannot due this alone.
The Money for this campaign will go directly to the fabrication, construction and installation of our new Still.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

With any project that requires precision manufacturing of a costume design there is the possibility of delays. We understand this and have added additional time as a buffer. We have done the best to maker sure things that are in our control are in place. We already have State and Federal licenses to operate the still and a licensed and bonded facility. The hard part is done.

FAQ

  • To select two or more rewards add up the total and add to the top box. Then select the highest reward level you are choosing. Once successful we will ask you what extra rewards you want. Unfortunately Kickstarter dose no let you select multiple awards but this is a good way around it.

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  • Please check out our Facebook page to learn more about reward details. http://www.facebook.com/StartTheStill…

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106
Backers
$22,689
pledged of $15,600 goal
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    2 backers

    Cheers to you!

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    8 backers

    An autographed picture postcard of the shiny new Still that you helped bring to Sonoma. Suitable for framing, bragging rights and dreaming. Salute to you!

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    19 backers

    $25 Your name or Company name hand painted on our wall at the distiller as a member of our “Distillers Inner Circle”. Instant stardom and a great view of the Still.

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    3 backers

    “Start the Still” T-shirt in super soft stain resistant material.

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    4 backers

    YOUR name printed on every packaging box of every Chavet Brandy produced. This will be our main distilled grape product. Increase your party status to Brand Ambassador with your name in print and on the shelf and on the bar.

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    Limoncello Lifestyle Set. A perfect way to experience our award winning Limoncello with friends. All things Limoncello including a special Limoncello di Sonoma decanter, four custom Limoncello glasses, Limoncello covered almonds and a personally compiled "mixed tape" of Italian.

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    26 backers

    Start the Still Distilling Party. Be the first to see the Still you helped bring to Sonoma in action. If you know how we roll you will not want to miss this one. A full afternoon of distilling plus live music by the Whiskey Thieves and a whole pig BBQ. At our Sonoma Distillery, June 2013.

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    A 10 pound basket of Sonoma's world famous Gravenstein apples at the peak of ripeness.

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    3 backers

    A 10 pound basket of Sonom'a world famous Pears picked and shipped at the peak of ripeness.

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    13 backers

    VIP access to the Start the Still Party. June 2013 In addition to party access you will receive a gift bag. Also includes a professional picture of you and the still. At our Sonoma Distillery June 2013

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    YOUR name only on the labels of 100 bottles of apple brandy. Instant stardom as “John Smith Master Distiller” recognized on 100 bottles.

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    3 backers

    Speak Easy Poker night at the Distillery. Play poker with 20 of your friends Al Capone style. We will host your late nigh poker tournament in our intimate gaming distillery. You choose the night. Secret password provide.

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    Private movie night for 30 at our Distillery. Enjoy your own private movie screening with our amazing audio\video set up. You pick the movie and we will provide everything for a unique movie experience.

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    2 backers

    Limoncello Experience Crafting Class for 10. During this hands-on class you will get intimate with that bright and sunny apertivo, Limoncello! Learn about the history and culture of Limoncello. Hands on crafting of Limoncello were we go through the entire process at a small scale so you can make it at home. Includes mixology demonstration and recipes cards. Everything you need to impress your friends and get in the spirit. Flexible dates.

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    1 backer

    Private Distillery after hours Dance Party for 60: Use of our Distillery for a Private party. Dance in the shadows of the Still you helped bring to Sonoma. Part distiller party dance club we have it together includes sound reinforcement, Club lighting, & DJ D-Still (4 hrs). You provide the fun. Flexible dates.

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    Rum Experience class for 10. This educational hands on experience teaches you all there is to know about rum. Learn about the differences in raw products, distilling, infusions, barreling, aging and proof. Learn about different rums styles and what makes them good. Flexible dates.

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    1 backer

    Whisky Experience class for 10. This educational hands on experience teaches you all there is to know about history, culture and production. Learn about the differences in mash recipes, distilling, barreling, aging and proof. Flexible dates.

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    1 backer

    Moonshiners Distillers Class for 10. You and your friends are the distiller for an afternoon as you learn the historic ins and outs of distilling. Hands-on from mash to glass. Approximately 4 hours. Starting Summer 2013. Great corporate or team building event. Flexible dates.

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    2 backers

    Custom Still Run. Transfer 200 gallons of your finished grapes to us and we will distill a custom product for you. We will transfer the finished product back to you. (CA 02 grape growers only)

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    Caribbean Night at the Distillery. Enjoy a private Caribbean themed dinner party for 16 of your best friends. Exotic food pairings that will make you believe you are sitting on an island with your toes in the sand. Talking like a pirate optional!

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    4 backers

    Southern Style Distillers Dinner for 16: Enjoy a private intimate dinner at our distillery in Sonoma with your friends. Enjoy live Blues paired with great BBQ and Fixins' at our distillers table made from whiskey racks while admiring the shiny new still that you helped fund. You pick the date

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    The Ultimate Sonoma Experience: A 3 day and 2 night personal experience of Sonoma from a food and drink driven perspective. Two days of touring Wineries of Sonoma Valley with your Distiller and as your behind the scenes guide and private driver. Personal and private access, plus behind the scenes experiences at our Distillery and Sonoma Valley wineries. Visit hidden artisan food producers, cheese, olive oil and more. Breakfast, dinners and lodging at our Home in Sonoma included (VRBO ####). Meet winemakers, visit locals only places and maximize your time with someone who Loves Sonoma. Pretty much a combination of all the above and the best of Sonoma. You choose the date. Ask for details or if you have questions.

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Funding period

- (31 days)