Weekly Crush: Marisa Sergi, the millennial making waves in the US wine industry

Thank you to Cellr for featuring our winemaker in their Humans of Wine Blog!

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Harmon Brothers: From Poop to Gold Podcast ft. Marisa Sergi

From Poop to Gold Podcast – by the Harmon Brothers

Benton Crane, of the Harmon Brothers, interviewed our winemaker, Marisa, while they were both at Skysprout summit in Columbus, Ohio. Take a listen to learn about what it takes to build a wine company and much more!

Link to listen:

***Side note – if you listen in….we did hire a new full-time winemaker to help team redhead! Crisis averted 🙂

RedHead Wine Expands Distribution in OH with Heidelberg Distribution

“What started as an idea for wine in 2013 has turned into a bona fide business. Now, the young woman behind RedHead Brands LLC is seeing so much success that she’s planning a massive expansion.

Not long after graduating from Lowellville High School, Marisa Sergi came up with the idea for ReadHead wine when she was studying winemaking at Cornell University….” Watch more at the link above

Valley-made RedHead Wine expands Walmart offerings – WFMJ Today

Marisa Sergi has become almost the poster-child for entrepreneurship in the Valley, and her RedHead Wine brand is expanding its reach yet again.

She’s only 25 but has big plans for what’s next.

Whether it’s putting in the work at her family’s winery or showing off her own brand on social media, Sergi is always pushing toward what’s next.

“My goal is really simple. As long as you’re moving forward; it could be baby steps, it could be big steps, it’s something that I want to strive for,” said Sergi.

She created RedHead Wine at 19-years-old while she was still an undergrad at Cornell and it’s been a steady climb ever since, especially after Walmart started carrying one of her varieties.

“Sometimes I feel like it’s not even real because it’s a dream come true,” said Sergi. “I’ve been able to survive my year and a half test market with Walmart with RedHead red blend.”

Now, Walmart is adding two more of her wines; the RedHead Rose’ and Purple Rain concord, this one under her family’s L’uva Bella label.

“We are so excited to be able to share our wines beyond Youngstown,” said Marisa’s mom, Ruth Sergi, who owns L’uva Bella Winery and Bistro in Lowellville. “We hope that we will attract out of towners to come visit us.”

Everything is made at the warehouse at L’uva Bella. It is always a busy place, and that is only going to increase down the road.

“The more we grow, the more people we could hire locally,” said Marisa Sergi.

The plan is to double or even triple the warehouse space in 2020, another part of the steady march forward for the 25-year old entrepreneur in an industry where that age-range is the exception, not the norm.

“It’s all about the mindset,” said Sergi. “You could be 40-years-old, you could be 21-years-old. It doesn’t matter. As long as you have the determination and you put in the hard work, you could be successful at any point in your life.”

That point of view and this success are two of the reasons she’s become a hot commodity when it comes to speaking engagements. She’ll be a featured speaker at the Walmart home office in June along with the SkySprout Summit in July.

“Everything’s coming together. I still feel like it’s too good to be true. Sometimes you only dream about opportunities like this, but when it’s handed to you, it’s just one of those moments where you need to take a deep breath and appreciate every moment,” said Sergi.

Which in her case means taking a moment to stop and smell the Rose’.

You can learn more about Sergi and RedHead Wine on the company’s website, or follow along on social media.”

Link to news story + Video:

Join us on the Mahoning Valley Wine Trail

“L’uva Bella owners joined the wine trail this year because they saw how wineries came together to promote the local industry “and we wanted to be part of that,” said Marisa Sergi, chief financial officer at L’uva Bella, and CEO and winemaker for RedHead Wine. The third-generation winemaker’s father, Frank Sergi, founded L’uva Bella in 2001.

The wine trail is a boon to the area because it “offers something unique for our communities to do,” Sergi said. From a business perspective, it promote the wine culture in the region, which she said is a very “family-oriented industry.” Rather than nurturing a “cutthroat business attitude,” regional winemakers are open-minded and eager to share ideas and help each other grow and promote the area as a whole, she said.

“Yes, we are competing against the local wineries, but it’s more of a community effort,” she said. “We’re very excited to see what the impact is going to be, especially this year.”

Read more here:

We started a Youtube Channel! Check out the first video

Do Pop Rocks Pair with Wine?! & much more! by RedHead Wine

Celebrate National Cheese Lover’s Day

Photos of my recent visit to a small creamery out in Petaluma, California.

Photos of my recent visit to a small creamery out in Petaluma, California.

All foodies sound the alarms, sharpen your knives, and dust off your cutting board, today is National Cheese Lover’s Day and it’ll be a crime not to celebrate! Wine’s perfect marriage is a well-done meat and cheese board, and I have a long resume decorated with cheesy experience, pun intended. To celebrate, I’ve compiled a simple guide to help jump-start your party.

  1. Dare to buy beyond cheddar.

Trust me, I am guilty as charged! Sometimes I am busy and bee line through the grocery store grabbing my go-tos and do not think outside the box. More often than not, I grab a block of white cheddar and call it a day. But, in order to indulge and explore the cheesy flavors of life, we need to buy cheeses other than those in the cheddar category. Most grocery stores have a decent cheese section. If you have absolutely no idea about what to chose, buy with your eyes! What looks good? What names sound appealing? Just go with your gut and buy small samples of each. Most cheese counters have various sizes of the same type of cheese. You can invest in your experience without completely breaking the bank. Artisan cheeses can be pricey, but the way I see it, I like to invest my money in food and experiences. We are what we eat, you know! 😉

Anatomy of a cheese board, photo credit, google (LOL)

Anatomy of a cheese board, photo credit, google (LOL)

2. Not fond of a messy kitchen? Go grab Fondue!

I am a sucker for The Melting Pot. If you’re close to a major city, they usually have a location. They have amazing cheese fondue selections and eating here will make National Cheese Lover’s day a very memorable and delicious experience. I’ve made homemade fondue before (this requires a double boiler and a lot of patience) but, going out to the Melting Pot can help avoid the mess! But, if you’re feeling adventurous, here is an “easy” recipe for house-made fondue.


3. Don’t have any cheese on hand? Learn how cheese is made, instead!

I absolutely love learning new things. Although it is great to learn while enjoying a snack, you may be snowed in right now (like most of the Northeast) and are most likely unable to grab the cheese this day (and yourself) deserves. (But that’s ok!) you can still celebrate this amazing holiday thanks to technology, but in a different way….Here is a great video on how cheese is made!

Share with me how you are celebrating #NationalCheeseLoversDay by tweeting me at @RedHeadWine

Cheers! – Winemaker, Marisa

“RedHeaded Vampire” Wine-Cocktail Recipe

If you’re like me, you are trying to prepare for halloween last minute but act like you’ve been planning your costumes, party menu and house decorations since September….

I whipped up a last minute costume last night (stay tuned) but also created a fun, easy and SIMPLE red wine cocktail.

Personally, I love fancy drinks that have unique and complicated ingredients when I go out to bars, but when I have to make them myself I want to be a mixologist with what I have available!

Try this simple RedHeaded Vampire Wine Cocktail recipe to impress your guests….or yourself… with something so simple, yet so delicious!

If you try this recipe, share your thoughts and photos with me on twitter, instagram and facebook by tagging @RedHeadWine. CHEERS! – Marisa

RedHeaded Vampire Recipe by winemaker, Marisa

RedHeaded Vampire Recipe by winemaker, Marisa

Mondays call for Coffee…

This crisp Monday morning inspired me to try a new coffee. I bought this (in photo) last night from TJ Maxx and I have to say, it’s delicious!

Sometimes products don’t always get their descriptions right, but this coffee truly is smooth, buttery with hints of macadamia and chocolate notes.

I may be one of the “worst” coffee drinkers out there, as I enjoy my cups with 1/2 coffee and 1/2 2% milk. I did try it black just to ensure I did not “dilute” the flavor… and definitely… this brand is very smooth without milk. I was tempted to switch up my bad habbit and ditch the milk, but I couldn’t resist pouring it in until it turned a light caramel color. As a winemaker, you’d think I would enjoy my coffee black, but some habits you just can’t break!

I prefer to support local coffee houses rather than buy products like this from TJMaxx, but when I picked up the bag in the market to smell it, I instantly was hooked! I had to look over my shoulder out of guilt, because 15 minutes earlier I ran into a good friend and owner of Stonefruit coffee in the home decor aisle. So once the coast was clear, I snatched the bag and ran to the check out counter. (Stonefuit coffee is absolutely amazing, so if you’re in Boardman, Ohio you must try it!)

Monday mornings are a little “sweeter” when you take a risk to treat yourself with even something as simple as a cup of joe!

Tweet or tag me in your “sweet” coffee moments on Intsagram, Twitter or Facebook @RedHeadWine. I’d love to see what you are enjoying and learn your thoughts about other types of coffee. Cheers! – Winemaker, Marisa


Daily Kona Blend

Sourced from TJMaxx Boardman, Ohio

Winemaker, Marisa, has been named a Gladys Magazine Women of Influence!

Read the feature here:

To buy the paper copy, click this link: