Baja East Enters the Wine Biz

by Eddie Roche
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Baja East’s John Targon and Scott Studenberg are no strangers to dabbling in new ventures, and now the boys are entering the wine biz with the recent release of their red blend, Thirsty, which is 50 percent Cab Sauv and 50 percent Petit Verdot and 100 percent delicious. Deets, please. 
How did this collaboration come about?
John: It actually came about through our friend and stylist James Demolet who linked us up with the direct wine producers Winc. We met with the team and started tasting various wine varietals and thinking about the right region and what really told the story of Baja East. The label and packaging were super important to us, which you can see in both obvious and unexpected ways—the label is our “psychedelic tiger” print from our latest runway show and we love the surprise element of having “Thirsty” written on the cork.
What was the process for coming up with the taste?
Scott: We taste-tested a ton of samples but we kept finding ourselves drawn to the Lodi region of California. The area is known for its experimental winemaking and we thought the region really mirrored what we’re trying to do with Baja East. And of course we loved the idea of having a red blend for Fall—purely based on our personal love of pasta, wood-burning fires, and being flirty.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: General atmosphere at the CITIPHILE and Baja East host CITIPHILE Supper Club at The William Vale Hotel on September 12, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for CITIPHILE LLC)

How was the name “Thirsty” born?
Scott: We have such a love for being shirtless and sexy that we couldn’t think of any better name. After a long day, with friends, on a date, you’re thirsty…no?

What notes are in the wine?

Scott: Cherry, violet, and cocoa—and a few R&B hits.

Why did you go with red over white?

John: It seemed like the perfect wine for fall and we wanted to launch this in time with our September show.
More to come?

John: We have an amazing idea around a champagne. It’s top secret of course, but the name is already set!

What else is new with Baja East?

Scott: We just launched a buy-now collection that’s shoppable on bajaeast.com with the Minions, and we’re launching a special T-shirt for Hillary called the BE With Her tee.

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