Alecia Moore’s earliest memories of wine growing up in Doylestown are not particularly pleasant.
“I think every 10-year-old at Hanukkah hates wine, so, to be fair, it’s an age thing, probably,” the pop music superstar known worldwide as Pink said with a laugh during a video interview from her home in Santa Barbara County, Calif. “I mean, we didn’t grow up with money and my mom drank terrible wine and I felt like it was a punishment.
“But as I was traveling and going around the world, my manager, he’s Australian, I visited a bunch of wineries there with him. [He] had really good taste and a really nice budget, and I started drinking Châteauneuf-du-Pape and I fell in love. That was the a-ha wine for me, the first one. And then it sort of just became a rabbit hole for me.”
She hasn’t crawled out since.
But Moore, 39, isn’t just a wine connoisseur. She’s also a serious winemaker, following a passion five years in the making that, until recently, was unknown to all but her closest confidants.
This fall, five years after she and husband Carey Hart bought a 25-acre vineyard in Santa Barbara County, she made her wines available to the public — an accomplishment that, for the time being, lasted all of about 24 hours.
Moore’s label, named Two Wolves after a Cherokee parable about the war between good and evil that rages within all humans, officially launched online on Nov. 26, and by Nov. 27, all 114 cases were sold out. The wines included a cabernet franc, a cabernet sauvignon, and a petit verdot.
The next online-only release is scheduled for April, with plans to start selling wholesale in the fall. The initial batch was available for purchase only in nine states and Washington, D.C., including Pennsylvania, but not New Jersey; Two Wolves hopes to expand its availability in the spring.
“I want this to be sustainable. If my children [Willow, 7, and Jameson, 2] decided to do this one day, which would be magical, I want it to be small enough that it’s fun and manageable, but it also has to be sustainable, right?” Moore said. “At some point, we were going to have to put it out."
“But I have to tell you, it has been a wonderful five-year secret for me. I haven’t had a secret in a really long time, and it has been really fun getting a chance to learn a new craft on my own.”
The learning has been constant, from taking online courses while on tour, the most recent of which brought her to Philadelphia in April; to enrolling in winemaking classes at UCLA; to bringing in experienced winemaker Alison Thomson as an expert assistant; to discovering she actually enjoyed chemistry after never taking that subject as a student at Central Bucks West.
“I dropped out of high school to pursue my career in music, and it’s the first time I felt like a student again,” Moore said, “and I’m a really good student, it turns out.”
Her education included pilgrimages to winemaking regions around the globe and eventually landed her at work in her own vineyard, where she, Hart and Thomson, along with occasional “help” from Willow (“give her a hose and a cluster of grapes and she seems pretty happy”) have spent much of their time pruning vines, picking grapes, and handling other down-and-dirty, back-to-nature chores.
Notably, this is Alecia Moore’s passion project, not Pink’s. There’s a reason the name Pink does not appear anywhere on the Two Wolves website, and she’s not even making a pink wine (which would have been a marketer’s dream).
Asked whether there was a perfect glass of wine for fans to drink before a Pink concert, Moore answered: “I don’t know. I would say have a beer. One really has nothing to do with the other.”
She acknowledged, however, similarities between her recording and winemaking careers, such as the nerves that come before an impending release.
“Just like when I put out a new record I get really nervous because I care so deeply and it’s been my baby. You know, it’s a part of me, and this is as well,” Moore said. “But also, I’ve kind of let a lot of that go because this is my love, and I think I’m really proud of what we’re making and what we’re doing, and I think people that want to love it are going to love it.”
As a winemaker, Moore’s earliest endeavors weren’t nearly as auspicious as her music career, during which she’s sold more than 16 million albums over two decades and earned 20 Grammy nominations, most recently for best pop vocal album for 2017′s Beautiful Trauma.
“I tried in my closet about 15 years ago in a carboy, and basically made poison,” she said, laughing.
Fortunately, nobody died from her concoction.
Moore started to explore winemaking in earnest after Willow turned 3.
“We’d been talking about it for so long, and so we moved and we live on an organic vineyard, and I started making wine in my garage and I started really getting into the farming of it. I really didn’t know that I would even enjoy the farming aspect, but a good pair of shears and a good album and a beer, and 17 rows later, you feel pretty proud of yourself,” she said.
They originally planted 18 acres but later added seven more — “because I’m nuts.”.
“It’s a lot. I feel like I have three full-time jobs,” Moore said. “Being a touring artist, making wine and launching a wine brand, being a mama. Sometimes I ask myself, what the hell am I thinking, but I love it all."