The first time my path crossed with Michael Juergens of the Bhutan Wine Company was in May of 2019 when he posted pictures of him planting vines in the country of Bhutan via a WhatsApp Group we are both members. Seeing the pictures, I thought it was cool as all get out, but it didn’t blow my mind at the time.
Before COVID was a thing in 2020, he sent out a message to the same group mentioning if you wanted to be on his wine newsletter to send him an email. So naturally, I jumped on it hotter than the mid-July pavement in Southern Georgia. His newsletter is called “Drinking and Knowing Things,” aka DAKT. As with any newsletter, you learn about the person behind the newsletter. He started doing live DAKT calls via Zoom and got an Instagram account.
I think it was his interview on the “Black Wine Guy Experience” podcast where my mind blew its top off when I heard the back story of his vine planting in Bhutan. He went to a marathon in Bhutan, and while running, the question, “Where are the vineyards?” kept going through his head. So long story short, Micheal is the “Pioneer of Bhutan Wine” creating the Bhutan Wine Company. He created the business plan and the wine laws for the entire country of Bhutan! Can you recall the last time laws for a country were designed for wine? Neither can I!
Next week Michael is taking his Master of Wine exam. The last couple of times, the tasting portion of the exam has kicked his patootski. Here is an excerpt from his newsletter earlier this week.
Yes, this is my final shot at this thing. If I fail (again) I gotta sit out at least a year and then I am eligible to re-apply. Who knows, I’ve been at this thing for eight years, so I’ll have to think long and hard about whether I want to take the do-over or just punt.
That said, my goal is to pass so hopefully it will be a moot point. Stay tuned…
The structure of the exam is simple. Day one is all white wines. Day two is all red wines. And day three is a grab bag of sparkling, sweet, rosé, fortified etc. Anything goes. Because you have to pass all three days, you gotta have your game tight across the entire spectrum of wine. Also, you’ll note that it isn’t a “Master of Fine Wine” certification. It’s a “Master of Wine” certification which means you have to understand the entire quality spectrum of wines. We’ve had everything on the exam from $6 bottles of rosé to Dom Perignon and Grand Cru Burgundy, and everything in between.
I will say this right up front. Don’t listen to this episode of the podcast for those who don’t have colorful language. But, for everyone else, this episode sheds light on vineyard issues in Bhutan, wine NFTs with Club DVin, a glimpse into Prowein, a debate on screw caps verses corks, rice wine, and so much more!
Michael Juergens, Bhutan Wine Company Transcription
A.J.: Cheers to another episode of a wine note podcast on your guide, PJ wine Jule on this journey of story, showcasing the people behind the wonderful world of wine, where we dive into conversations ranging from PIR, viticulture to favor music, superpowers, and more. Please enjoy this episode of the winos podcast.
A.J.: Right. Michael, thank you so much for taking the time today. I really, uh, appreciate you taking the time and, uh, you know, it’s, I’ve heard a lot of crazy stories and hopefully we can, uh, talk about some of those stories
Michael Juergens (Bhutan Wine Company): today. Well, I’m stoked to be here, AJ, and, uh, yes. Let’s, let’s tell some crazy stories.
A.J.: Yeah. So, you know, it’s, everybody’s wine journey is a little bit kind of, kind of different and, uh, you know, how you just end up crossing path with people is quite interesting. The first time I actually came in, CR came in contact with you was I think it was. April, 2019, you posted some pictures of planning, some vines in a Bhutan in a, in a shared WhatsApp group that you know, that we’re constantly on for like a, like a men’s self-help group.
A.J.: That was, that was amazing. And then, uh, February, 2020, I was in, uh, Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a, uh, N uh, NLP, uh, conference. And there were some. Some of those same guys that were there. And I remember at dinner, we were talking about wine, opening it up and I’m like, Hey, have you read Michael Jurgen’s, uh, wine newsletter?
A.J.: And they’re like, no, I’m like here, let me open up, you know, an email and read it to you. So it, you know, the very first one starts off with, oh, you’re a wine guy. What’s your favorite wine. I hate that fucking question. First pro tip of the day, don’t ask the fucking question. Um, and I wish you could have been there to, to see everybody’s response and, uh, what, what, you know, what they were saying and everything, cuz right.
A.J.: Then they were like, we gotta get on this newsletter. And it was just, it was a D downhill spiral from there.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): What’s funny is, is like, like I never started, um, to try to like create a wine newsletter. It was quite the opposite actually. I refrained from, from doing one and then I was reading this book. On the plane about wine and in it, the author was making fun of Shein, bla, and I, they literally said she, Blanc is a garbage grape.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And I was like, no, it is not Shein. Blanc is fucking great. And I was pissed. It’s really like, literally I was on the plane and I was mad. And so I popped open my computer and I wrote an email to like 10 of my friends saying. If you don’t know about she block, you start drinking some right now. And that’s how the only started it wasn’t like I had this huge, like master plan.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): It was, I literally was just sending some shit to my friends, uh, that I thought they might be interested in.
A.J.: Yeah. You know, and some of the best things just kind of happened that way.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. It was weird. I mean, it, there was never, there was never any foresight behind it. There still is to this day. basically when I get around to it, I pop open my, you know, email and.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Write up, whatever is on my mind at the time. And I send it out and yeah, no, I,
A.J.: no, it it’s. It’s awesome. It’s fun. And I’ll shut up and I’ll let you talk. No, no, no. It’s
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): what I think is hilarious about it is, um, like that people either love it or really, really hate it. And uh, like if you look on like my Amazon reviews, it’s 95% of ’em are five star, but 5%, the one star and those people, those reviews are pretty interesting to read.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Cause they’re like he curses, he doesn’t treat wine with respect and he. It’s like, yeah, but
A.J.: they, they don’t even begin to understand you because you are totally respectful of, of the wine. And it’s just, it’s the way you talk is just who
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): you are. Yeah, I write the way
A.J.: I talk. No, right, exactly. The, one of the things I’m kind of curious about, you know, I’ve heard stories, you know, of, um, of the self-help group that, you know, we were both members of, or still kind of members of, or whatever.
A.J.: Um, You were on some crazy, crazy journeys and, and whatnot. And I think I kind of got in on the, uh, the last half of it and, you know, it was more about, you know, um, deep, inner game work and whatnot, but I think that y’all were blowing up cars or, you know, out in the middle of the desert. And like, you got like, 20 hours to get back to the strip.
A.J.: You got no cell com you know, you got no keys, no cells, you know, go and you were like blindfolded or whatever, and just, just sent out there that, that, that was just absolutely crazy.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Well, and what’s funny is, is, um, you know, some of my best friends to this day are folks that, you know, we met through that group.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so, um, Two of those guys flew out from the east coast this weekend, um, for, uh, from like going away party. Um, and, and one of the two guys was literally, um, my teaming for that, for that trip. We were telling stories about that literally, uh, last night, there’s Mr. Today of what’s going on. Yay. Howdy. Howdy.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): I don’t know. I don’t know if you guys remember each other from, um, from Dak live. AJ used to join doc live occasionally. Okay. All right. And Ryan was the guy who was always wearing the, the, the Eagles gear
A.J.: oh, okay. Yeah, no, it’s been a couple years, so I, I don’t remember, but he’s,
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): um, aside from being an investor in the acclaimed pecan wine company, uh, Mr.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Today is also a w set diploma holder. I mean, he’s no bleeding wine influencer like me, but you know, Nolo
A.J.: of course not that there there’s no way to follow in your footsteps.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): and then AJ, like his hobby is just, uh, you got a ton of followers, I think for, for the Oregon, what’s it called? Oregon Dino country or something.
A.J.: Yeah. Oregon vegan, old country. And I just recently changed it over to wine notes, but yeah, I’m approaching like 8,000 followers, which is crazy. That’s
Michael Juergens:(Bhutan Wine Company) that’s unbelievable. That’s that’s so great, but it same sort of thing, right? did you set out and say, oh, I’m gonna, I’m gonna do this. Or you were just kind of doing it cuz you were interested into it.
A.J.: I was doing it cuz I, yeah, I was interested, you know, one of the really, uh, big things that I wanted to do, uh, was to start a newsletter, you know, so I, you know, I do a weekly newsletter as well and I there’s, I think I’m up to about 1600 subscribers, a 70% open rate, you know, and it’s just, you know, it’s. E evolving every single, you know, you know, every few months and, you know, just like you it’s like, where am I going?
A.J.: I, I don’t know, but this is a fun little journey. Let’s keep going. Yeah.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Let’s just, let’s see what happens, you know, and if, and if people are, are, uh, are interested in the content, you know, great more power to, I think we could all use a little bit more, uh, wine knowledge, particularly in America.
A.J.: I, I totally agree.
A.J.: Uh, I think, well, it was a week or two ago. You’re at, you’re at pro vine. What was that like,
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): dude, if you’ve not gone to proline, you should go it’s spectacular. It’s um, I think there were 17 halls and you know, each hall is like the size of a, you know, a high school gymnasium and it’s just wineries from everywhere in the world and they’re all pouring.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): As much wine as you could possibly drink. And it’s, I, I think the first day that we, we were there, I think I tasted at least 300 wines. We were trying to source cow wine for, uh, the booties air airline. And, um, yeah, I taste, I bet it tasted at least 300 the first day. It was just insane. That that
A.J.: is absolutely insane.
A.J.: I mean, I’ve been to some major, uh, tech conferences and whatnot, so I can only imagine, uh, I’ve actually been to like a, a pizza conference in, in Vegas where, you know, you just, you just gouge yourself on pizza. So I can only imagine what pro vs like.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. So imagine the wine version of that just like seriously by, by, you know, the first out we’re just like, shit, we better pace ourselves.
Michael Juergens: Or this is gonna get ugly fast and crazy
A.J.: fast. And I’m sure there are some crazy after parties, too. Right?
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): well, there were, um, and, uh, the problem is, is that you’ve been drinking all day. And so then you’re in no shape for the after party. But one night, um, the club, the VIN guys were doing an event, um, for the, what their, their whole program with NFTs and wine is.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And they threw this just ridiculous, uh, reasoning party, where we were popping up in like shit from the seventies and magnums of stuff that you couldn’t get. There’s one, one of the magnums that we got, the guy, basically the winemaker was there from the Boel and he goes, here’s the deal with this wine? I made three magnums and I sold two of them.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And this is the only one in existence. And we’re gonna drink it right now. And we’re. Fuck. Yeah. Possible. We did. Yeah, it was, it was pretty great. Did you do the scan thing with it, with the, with the bottle? Did they have that set up yet? They did have it set up. Um, I was basically dizzy, fucking around, like talking to people and shaking hands and stuff.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So I didn’t do it. I just told David that like air, like airdropping to my account. Yeah, you should. You should check these guys out too. AJ. They’re doing some interesting, um, it’s kind of like board ape, but for wine. So, and
A.J.: I was, I, I have looked into, into club Devvin and I was gonna, you know, we can go ahead and segue into that a little bit, because I was, I was really curious about, you know, uh, about club Devvin and, you know, I have it on my, uh, on my radar to, to talk to, I think David, uh,
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): yeah.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah, but yeah, I mean, so I’m happy to enter
A.J.: you if you need one. okay. No, thank you. Um, so my understanding, you know, it, it is a very interesting concept, you know, using the, um, uh, the polygon blockchain to, you know, to keep record of, you know, the smart contracts and whatnot for, you know, opening bottles of wine and, uh, and whatnot.
A.J.: And you know, it. I don’t want to assume everything right. And I’m sure that everybody listening, you know, probably wants to kind of a, more of an understanding of, of club Devvin itself. So I’ll, I’ll let you talk a little bit about what club Devvin is and what its purpose is.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So, I mean, if you think about, um, just the world of wine, you know, counterfeiting in Providence has been an issue for forever.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so there’s a lot of pretty fucking stupid NFT use cases. Um, you know, I care pay a million dollars for. Picture of a rock, you know, it just doesn’t really have any intrinsic value. Um, but if you think about the use case in the wine space, it, to me, it makes an enormous amount of sense. If I buy a bottle of wine, I want to know where it’s been.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Who’s had it, is it legit and, and so sold and so forth. And so attaching NFTs to wine bottles, to me seems like a pretty legit. Um, use case. And then there’s another piece of this that says, like, imagine you’re, um, you know, you’re the head wine maker for, uh, for DRC, you know? And so you put your love and your care and you make this brilliant bottle of wine that you sell to somebody for a thousand bucks.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And then that person immediately turns around and resells it at auction for 10,000 to somebody else. Who’s not gonna drink it, but is gonna resell it at a different auction. That wine might create, you know, a hundred thousand dollars in value trading in the secondary market, but the person who created it gets nothing.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so right. Also standing up NFTs for wine bottles so that when there is a secondary market, um, that the wine maker can participate in some of that value creation, I think makes a ton of sense. Um, certainly from the producer’s perspective it does. Oh yeah. And, uh, and then the third piece of this, which I think is, is interesting is.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): the idea of, you know, uh, a community around it. Um, like, so you, you know, you, you build this community that you can belong to. Um, and with that membership comes access to shit that you would not normally get access to, whether that could be, um, you know, going to get a tasting at Chateau Petrus, um, because you’re a member of the club event.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Or getting to go to Bhutan and participate in, you know, the first harvest ever in a country, which has not been done in a long, long time. Um, right. So I think it’s, it’s the idea of, of solving multiple problems with, uh, you know, a single tech platform. Um, Ryan’s a member too, actually. Yeah. So I, I think like couple to add a couple thoughts to it.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Also, the, what I was kind of, uh, pointing to was like, if you were to open this like rare bottle, Um, you could then log on and say, Hey, we opened this and then you could, uh, scan the code and drop MFTs to all the people who participated in it would have, uh, metadata that would be added on, which is pretty cool.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Cuz like, you know, in that way you could kind of keep a library and like, remember who was there, who participated what you were doing, what the occasion was. Um, so I think that’s pretty cool. And uh, the other thing is like, I guess the. The producer could say, well, you have collected say X amount of these bottles.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so I’m going to allow you to participate in, in like, you know, some, some rare one off. And I think the trade off is that, like, you also know who your customer is, right? Like you have, you, the producer can like directly communicate with the customer itself by knowing what it is that they bought, what their, what their case is.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So I think there’s a lot of use cases in it that are, that are kind of interesting. Um, talking with David, like we kind of both acknowledge it. This may be something that in like five, 10 years becomes it’s, it’s the parlance needs to catch up. Like people need to integrate into their everyday life, which I think eventually will happen.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And that’s sort of what the bet is. Well, and I think what’ll happen too, is, is, you know, me’s working on that, that linkage of NFTs to Instagram mm-hmm so the second thing goes live and you can post your Ft collection on your Instagram account, then the tasting tokens. Yeah. Make a lot more sense. I was in, um, I went to Brussels.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Um, I don’t know. This was a few years ago and I mentioned to somebody that I was going to Brussels and they go, oh, you’re going to Brussels. You gotta get this west letter in 12. And I go, I don’t know what that is. And they go, it’s the best beer in the world. And I go, I don’t give a fuck about beer. And they’re like, well, you need to care about this one.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Uh, it’s the best fear in the world. You can only get it in Russel. I go, all right, I’ll keep an eye out. So I, you into this bar and. And I had written it down in my phone. Cause I knew I was never gonna remember what it was. So I, I go to the bar and I show the thing to the guy and I’m like, do you have this?
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And he goes, yeah, we just got our monthly allocation. I have 12 bottles. I’ll set you up. Like, okay, pulls out this, this, uh, bottle, no label on it. It’s just a bare brown bottle straight out of the, the monastery once, whatever it’s 20 Euro olds. So I give him the 20 Euro olds and he takes the cap off and he hands me the.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And I take the cap and I go whatever, and I put it on the bar and he goes, don’t you want the cap? And I go, no, I want the beer. Like, why would I want the cap? And he goes, oh, you want the cap? And so I go, okay. So I put the cap in my pocket and I forgot it. Then the next morning I woke up and I’m like, is there a fucking bottle cap in my pocket?
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): it’s like Googled it. And the bottle caps sell on eBay for seven bucks. That’s how important this beer is to people who care about that shit. I’ve never forgotten that. But my whole thing about the tasting tokens is it’s kind like the digital version of that. Yeah. Like you don’t need the bottle cap. You got an NFP.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. What’s on the cap is a say, is it just says like west lettering. Okay. And of course, like when you pry it open, like the cap like bends in half. So it’s not, it’s a fucking bent in half cap for seven bucks. Right. No,
A.J.: that that is crazy. You know, one of the things what’s funny is, is
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): my son was, uh, going to Belgium with like a couple of his friends a few years later.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And I told him that story and I go, right. Hey, so just T down some of this beer and he dragged his friends all over Belgium until they found this beer and then they tried it. They all hated it. Oh my gosh. So what did you think of the beer? I thought it was great. Okay. I mean, like I’m not a beer, a fishy auto, but right.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): You know, I, I, my pallets feel good for wine. Um, and I, I enjoyed
A.J.: the hell of it. Yeah, no, that’s cool. One of the things I was, I was kind of really curious about, you know, the club Devvin and NFTs. And I know that the polygon, uh, blockchain, you know, is, you know, working on being carbon neutral by the end of the year and whatnot, you know, but you know, from an energy and gas, you know, standpoint, I mean, You could be popping, like, you know, like you’re at your party the other night, you pop like a hundred bottles or whatnot.
A.J.: I mean, that’s, you know, you’d be popping like a hundred different, you know, NFTs in, in one night and, you know, you have the, the energy conservation and then like, you know, the, the farming aspect and trying to be aware of climate change and whatnot, you know what, I’m just kind of curious. I haven’t had a chance to even like talk to somebody about.
A.J.: Wine NFTs and, you know, climate change and how it impacts the climate and whatnot. I’m just curious of your thoughts.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): I mean, it’s an interesting, um, conversation for, for sure. Right. Does the, does block chain make good sense for the planet? Um, and I, I don’t know that I have an opinion on it one way or the other, right.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Clearly doing this for something like wine is gonna burn some. Right. Um, and so is that a, is that a good thing? I don’t, you know, you, you could sort of look at it from the social value side of like what’s the cost to society of counterfeiting wine. I don’t know. Right. Or maybe what you do is, is so club depends at non-profit, you know, um, so their whole purpose is not necessarily to make money off of this it’s to sort of build a community.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So maybe another way of doing it is you’re you’re taking some of that, that, um, Those fees and you’re using it to buy, you know, carbon credits or you’re, you know, put pushing money back to the community in terms of grants for, um, you know, figuring out, you know, how to do more sustainable, um, you know, Viti, viticulture, I don’t know.
A.J.: Right. No, it was. And, and that’s that, and that that’s fine. I was just, I was just curious, you know, because I don’t know, I know at least here in Oregon, right. We talk a lot about, you know, biodynamic farming and, you know, live organic and all, you know, it, they get really deep into, um, The, the climate side of the, the topic.
A.J.: So I, I, I’m a huge tech geek. I love tech and you know, the whole blockchain I’ve been, you know, thoroughly, uh, engrossed in it. And at first I was like, oh yeah, this sounds amazing. This sounds fun. But then, you know, just thinking about it, you know, it’s, it’s just an interesting conundrum. So I was just, just kind
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): of curious, I think there’s a lot of misinformation that’s out there about this topic.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And I would, I, I don’t want to go like off on a tangent, but I think that like, it’s. People who are listening to do some research about this. Right? Um, because one of the things I think that people don’t realize is that like the minors themselves are constantly seeking like the, the lowest cost energy.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so in like a lot of capacities with become online is like where the, where there’s. Oil, uh, be mined. They have a lot of like burn off and flaring. And so this flaring is basically just wasted energy that goes into the atmosphere. Right. But the printers are like, well, fuck, I could just like capture this and use this at a low cost.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so if yes, it’s using energy, but it’s using energy that was going to be wasted and dissipated. And so, and also at the same time, the minors are constantly driving. To innovate to find cheaper sources of energy. So in a way it becomes kind of a DEAC way of learning about how to find cheaper forms of energy in order to, to.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): To use the blockchain. So I, you know, that’s interesting. So it’s in there. It’s a true capitalistic yeah. Solution in the sense that if they can do it yep. They they’ll make more money. Yep. So why would you not, right. Exactly. So in theory then that would drive innovation or, or allocate resources to lower cost.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. Uh, energy producing technology case, correct? Huh? Yeah. So, so basically, so Bitcoin solves. Energy or it’s trying to, trying to innovate. I actually had not thought about that, but that makes sense. Yeah. Like the way the flaring is, is like, is massively huge. And like the same thing was happening in China where like there, the minors were moving their rigs.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So like, so like there would be seasons where you would have like flooding. And so there were be like massive hydroelectric, uh, cases that like could online and they would just move the rigs to like these dams and use the hydroelectric when it was in season. Oh, interesting. Like, they’re constantly trying to look for the lowest cost energy.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): It’s not like, oh, we’re just gonna like burn energy and like try to burn dollars here and destroy the planet. Right? Like that’s a, it’s kind of like a, a misnomer, I think so.
A.J.: Yeah. No, that, that’s, it’s, it’s a great discussion, you know, I appreciate your inputs on that. So
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): I appreciate it. Ryan’s way more geeky about blockchain than I am.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So I’m, I. I’ll defer to his level of expertise in this one topic only
A.J.: that’s fair. Did, did he help you put, uh, your, um, your punk rocks, uh, album up on the blockchain as well? no, no.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Uhuh, I, I fit. Yeah. That’s that’s funny. Um, what’s what’s interesting is I, I got contacted with. Um, by the, this company that was one of the first to do NFTs for concert ticket admissions.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Right. Um, and he’s a doctor reader actually. That’s how I connected with this guy. And, uh, and I mentioned I was doing this. And so his company got super excited about, about the concept that we had for that album, which is where the entire album, not a song, not a download quote, but the entire album is the NFT itself.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so. He’s talking to me about, they maybe want to do something with that, that whole concept for all the bands that they do tickets for. Nice. So the idea would be like, you know, Pearl jam comes out with the new album and instead of a limited edition LP, you get a limited edition NFT, but they link it through to the tickets.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Uh, for like the fan clubs. Cause I was like, well, I don’t really have a fan club for my music. we, we talk about doing some
A.J.: shit. Yeah, no, that, that is awesome. That’s awesome. Um, earlier you, you were talking about, you were trying to source some wine for the, um, Booton, uh, airline. Did I understand that correctly?
A.J.: Correct? Yeah. So I, I, I know that you have such a crazy story about, you know, how you got involved into the, um, into legis, you know, creating all the laws and everything for, for wine and Bhutan and everything. So, and we, and we can get into that, but first let, how did you get into like the, the sourcing for the airline?
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So, um, when you do business as a foreign entity in the kingdom of Bhutan, you have to have a partner that is a bootie citizen. Um, so I have two partners, um, there that are bootie citizens, and one of the two, uh, is connected to the airline. And so historically the airline. has just kind of like, like they haven’t had a wine program, you know, they they’re just buy whatever’s available and stick it in the, in the planes.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Um, and, but they want to, they want to have like a more kind of thought out wine program, um, for a first class and for coach. Right. And so he had talked to me about it oh, like a year ago. Um, and, and obviously the pandemic and global sourcing and all kinds of crazy shit was going on. and so I said, yeah, let’s, I’ll, I’ll help you with this, but you know, let’s wait until things kind of open up again.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so knowing I was gonna go over to pro wine and I was gonna have access to, to try a bunch of stuff that I might not get to try as easily here in the states. I got back in contact with him and said, Hey, we’re gonna do this. I’m gonna put your wine program together, which it did. And we came up with, I think, some really, really cool stuff we’re gonna do.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Uh, a France in the first class, uh, uh, Saint Emil Gar crew, um, and a white Bordeaux. Um, we had to find one that was the right price point, right at the right quality level, which was why I drank like 300 bucks the first sale there. . Um, and then in the, and coach, we’re gonna do, um, two wines from Italy, a fi and, uh, kind of a red blend, um, that, and I thought the fi was just spectacular.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): I don’t like some of these, some of these companies they’re, they sell wine wholesale for like two euros. And I’m just like, how in the world are you guys making money on this stuff? The bottle. And the cap the closure, the label, you know, is a buck, right. That’s crazy. But yeah, we were able to come up with some, some really high quality stuff.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And yeah. Now, now I can just add that box to my resume. I also created the wine program. the Royal airline of Baton.
A.J.: That, that is absolutely absurd. So, you know, I don’t know if you’re sick and tired of telling the story of, uh, how you ended up, you know, uh, making wine and planting vineyards and Baton and whatnot, but, you know, uh, I I’m sure that a lot of my, uh, my listeners and whatnot have absolutely zero clues.
A.J.: So if, if you could expand upon it a little bit, that would be great.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Sure. So, um, Buchan is the little tiny kingdom in the Himalayas, kind of between Tibet and Nepal. And it’s about the size of Switzerland. Um, and it’s the only carbon negative country on the planet. Um, it’s, uh, they have a high kind of level of, um, environmental.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Uh, awareness. And as a, as a kingdom, they don’t measure gross domestic products. They measure gross national happiness. Um, so it’s widely regarded as this very happy, peaceful place. All of this. I learned way later, I didn’t know shit about Bhutan. Um, other than my girlfriend had read a book about it in high school.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so, um, was constantly talking about how amazing Bhutan was and how much she wanted to go to. So, um, fast forward to, um, us doing kind of crazy, uh, adventure shit around the world. You alluded to some of it, uh, earlier. Um, but I had gone to Antarctica to run a marathon with some of the guys from our group.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And while we were there, we said, let’s go run marathons on every continent and also on the sea ice at the north pole. This seemed like a good idea at the time. Um, and so randomly. I got an email that said we’re running a marathon in the kingdom of UAN. And if you would like to be considered, you know, please submit an application and I go, oh, this is awesome.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): I can go to Asia and check the box off for Asia. And I can get to take my girlfriend somewhere where she’s always wanted to go and everybody waits. And so I said, Hey honey, guess what? We’re going to Baton to run a marathon. And she. Awesome. We’re going to the Himalayas and I go, no, we’re not. Boon’s in Indonesia, it’s an island.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And she goes, no, it isn’t, it’s a fucking it’s in the Himalayas. And I go, so I looked it up, it turns out she was right and it is the Himalayas. So that’s how we, we ended up going there and we ended up going with this group of like ultra marathon. And me being a wine guy while I was there, it just looked like there should be vineyards everywhere because they have all these beautiful Terra floats and they grow all this magnificent, you know, sustainable crops and everything you eat there is like the best, whatever it is that you’ve ever had.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Like, this is the best red rice, or this is the best fucking carrot. And so I just assumed that there had to be vineyards. And, um, we ended up at a, at a dinner one night. With a bunch of government officials who wanted to meet the crazy foreigners who had made the trip all the way to the run a marathon.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so I’m sitting at the table with one of the guys and I go, Hey, where’s your vineyards. I want to check them out before I leave. And he goes, we don’t have it. And I go, no, no, no. Like where you guys make wine. And he goes, we don’t make wine here. And I go, how is that possible? Like, you guys have this beautiful country and you don’t make wine.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And he goes, no, we’ve never had grapes before. and so I’d been drinking and, uh, took it upon myself to educate him on the why it would be a really good idea if his country started making wine. Right. Right. And that led to the next conversation and the next conversation, the next conversation. And I just thought the whole time that it would be cool if they did it.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Like I had not, no designs of, oh, this should be the Mike Turian show. I was like, this place is perfect for it. And you guys should really look into. and they looked into it and they came back and they said, we want to try this. And I go, yeah, you guys should. And they’re like, will you do it with us? And I was like, are you kidding?
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): I get to be in charge of like a whole country worth of wine. Right. I don’t think this has been done before. I think the last country that did this was New Zealand in the 18. That’s where like, Hey, we’re gonna build the wine industry. Let’s get some crazy foreign dude to come in and,
A.J.: and make it happen.
A.J.: That that’s absolutely
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): crazy. Yeah. It’s, it’s been this wild, this wild ride. And, uh, it’s sometimes I get it’s a little nerveracking, cuz there’s so many unknowns and there are so many risk variable. um, that like, I desperately want to not fuck this up.
A.J.: well, yeah, yeah, no, I, I totally get it. And I, I think at one point you were talking about, you know, trying to, how to get all the, um, equipment and stuff, you know, actually into Buton.
A.J.: Um, and then, you know, another thing that you’re, you’re worried about or were worried about is, you know, monkeys coming in and eating the grapes. Yeah. I mean,
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): actually, so, so I, I got a really funny dear story. So we’re learning about all this kind of stuff. But matter of fact, the other day I got a, I have like a constant WhatsApp chat going with all our different vineyard managers over there.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Right. And they’re always, you know, sending me daily updates. So the other day I get a thing on my WhatsApp. And it’s a picture of this caterpillar, this neon green caterpillar. That’s about, about that long and about as bigger out as my thumb. Damn. And it’s on the grape vines and it’s eaten the fucking vines.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And so he sends me a picture of this. He goes, do you know what this is? And I go, dude, it’s your country? Like, no, I don’t know what that is. I’ve not seen anything like that before that looks, uh, like a toxic something or other, right. It’s like this bright knee on green. And he goes, well, what should we do about it?
A.J.: take it off,
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): pick it off the mines and throw it in the grass over there. I get it outta there. But so, so this one day we were having this conversation about, uh, the vineyards. Uh, one of the vineyards deer got into. And so the deer were eating the, the vines and he’s like, there’s deer in the vineyards. Like, what do we do?
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): I’m like, get the deer outta the vineyards, um, and put a fence around it. And he goes, okay, how big does a fence need to be? And I go, deer can jump pretty high. Like that fence needs to be like 10 feet high. And he’s like, there’s no way a deer can jump 10 feet. And I’m like, dude, a dare jump. Easily jump 10 feet overly.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. Yeah. So we we’re having this huge argument over WhatsApp that lasts like a week about whether or not deer can jump 10 feet and so finally I go, yo, here’s a, just an interesting question. Like. How big are your deer? he goes, you know, they’re in an average normal deer size. And I go, well, how big is that?
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And he goes about 18 inches. Oh, like had these little tiny bucket beer, like the size of a dog. Oh my gosh. Oh, yeah, that guy probably can’t jump 10 feet. Yeah. Probably not the grapes, a little higher, if you needed to, that could be a solution. Yeah. Uh, my other solution was let’s get a couple dogs or you can get, like, you might be able to get like, like Fox urine or something like that.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Like some predator that would like scare him off. Yeah. But like scared them all. Yeah. Well, one of the guys was telling me. To put like rubber snakes all over the vineyard and the rubber snakes will keep the, yeah. I tried the rubber snakes thing and all this stuff. I don’t know it’s super successful, but yeah, sure.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): I was like, I don’t know. So yeah, this is all the kind of weird shit that we’re trying to figure out. Right. And even things like the Tring, like yeah. How, how do you tr like I think that Tring could work, right? That could be something, especially if you think well, but then the other question is, is like I’m actually trellising more for climate control.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Uh, huh. More so than pest control. Right? So I, I want to figure out like optimal trellising for phenomenal development. And use other solutions to keep the fucking monkeys and the deer out, right? Yeah. The monkeys. Yeah. This is, this is the kind of weird shit that, that goes on, you know, and I, every time it has this problem, right, like Australia has the kangaroos and like, you know, I’m sure in America there’s deer.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Well, I mean, there’s gotta be deer, probably the deer thing’s probably been solved. Right. There’s probably some information on. Yeah. Given the amount of deer
A.J.: yeah, yeah, no, I mean the, you know, it’s 10 foot fences here in Oregon for deer, so I mean yeah. Easily. Yeah.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. I think, I think the idea of like, so in Bhutan there’s fucking dogs everywhere.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So like if dogs are sort of considered like to be good luck and they sort of belong to the community, so there’s just like, The fucking dogs everywhere and the dogs don’t, you know, they don’t even really have a house. They just kind of go, they live at everybody’s house. Right. And so I always think about trying to get like a pack of dogs and just like put a pack of dogs in the field.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Um, cause I figured that would solve the monkey issue and the deer issue. Maybe not so much the caterpillar issue, but right.
A.J.: Yeah. Yeah. You’re gonna, you’re gonna, your, your, um, your 10th or 12th book is gonna be all about, uh, you know, pest control in Butan or something. Well,
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): what’s, what’s funny is, is, is Bhutan’s a Buddhist country.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So like you can’t kill anything? No. Like if like that applies to like beetles and worms and insects and like, you gotta figure out noninvasive ways of, of managing all that shit. Yeah. And so we’re, we had a beetle problem in one of the vineyards the first year we planted it and, uh, and they put chickens in the vineyard.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company)v: Interesting. Chickens would just eat the beetles. They won’t eat the grapes. No, no. Well, we didn’t have, we didn’t have grapes. It was like the first couple years. Um, but the beetles were eating leaves and so the chickens and chickens, all shit, you know? Right. So you get nitrogen going back in too. um, it was kind of a decent solution, right?
A.J.: Yeah, no, there there’s a, a farm up here in, in Oregon. It’s called anti wom and, you know, they use, you know, zero fertilizers and whatnot. Everything is completely natural. So they have these special pigs that kind, you know, aren’t super big. And then after the pigs and they have geese that come in then after the geese and his chickens, and then after the chickens.
A.J.: Um, it’s, it’s something else. So, but I mean, they have it down to a science and it’s absolutely phenomenal. Actually hear what they’re doing.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. There’s a, um, I think there’s a handful of, of companies who are really trying to do that sort of integrated, um, solutions with like different types of livestock and you bring ’em on it, different points during the day.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): The, the GEA is great for snails and slugs too. Right? There’s a, there’s a winery in South Africa that. Has like 5,000 geese and there’s, there’s some pretty cool videos. Like they open the doors to the picture dollar geese run in and like,
A.J.: that would be amazing. Yeah. That would be absolutely amazing. Um, so we’re trying
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): to figure all this shit out and, and of course there’s no.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): um, there’s no data on, on how any of this works in, in Bhutan. And so we’re, it’s just trial and error. Like, is this working cool? If it is, let’s do more of it if it’s not, let’s try something else. Right.
A.J.: Um, so you’re, you’re gonna have like a fall like harvest party in Bhutan with club Davin. I mean, what, oh, I know that you talked about, I think doing like some cab or something, like what, what are the, what are the barrel samples going to be like in the.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So, so here’s, here’s my thinking around this. And the idea was like, if you had the first bottle of wine ever made in America, like that would be in this Smithsonian. If you had the first bottle of wine ever made in France, it would be in the Lou. It would be like, this is a piece of history. And I’m about to make the first bottle of wine ever in a country that has never had wine.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Right. Like everywhere else in the world that can make wine already does and has for thousands of years. So the idea of, of this, like the first barrel, um, is just a really cool idea. And so then the more we export it, the more we said like, Hey, this could actually be the now imagine not just having a bottle, what if you got to help make Ooh, but the first barrel, right?
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Like would, how cool a wine trip would that be? Like go and, and actually participate in this moment of history. Right. Um, and so that’s what, that’s what we’re planning on doing. We were gonna do it this year, but, um, just with the pandemic and with the way that the, the. The country has been dealing with with, uh, you know, keeping, keeping basically tourists out we just felt it was gonna be too much of, of a pain in the answer.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Try to pull it together for this summer. So we’re gonna do it next summer. Um, and yeah, so the club to in guys are, they’re gonna make that opportunity available to people who are members of club, the VIN. Um, and I, we’re gonna be filming a documentary movie about it and like this whole, this whole thing.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): So back to the whole question about like, what are the barrel samples? So here’s what I, what I’m kind of struggling with a little bit. Okay. I think it would be cool. to, for the very first barrel to make it out of all of the different grapes that we have planted in all of the different vineyards, just the total field.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Like it will be undrinkable as wine , but it would be like, this is a part of the, the first thing in this country. All of these vineyards, all these grapes is everything we’re trying. We’re gonna put it all together. And that’s the first bear. Holy cow. That’s one approach. Another approach is to say like, okay, which of the varietals are doing, you know, evolving the best and let’s, let’s make a cab or let’s make a SN Blanc or let’s make a petite man sang, or, you know, whichever varietals are looking like they could be the best.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): And I go back and forth on it. Like I think both are cool. Um, the other thing I gotta figure out this is, this is an interesting one. AJ, I’m interested in your perspective on this. Oh, oh, I have no rules, right? Right. I have no rules. I have no wine laws. I have no history. I have no traditions or anything. I can literally, if I wanna make a reasoning Cabernet blend, there you go.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Can do it. Right. So do you go screw cap or do you go. oh boy. So,
A.J.: Ugh. You know, there there’s, that is such a huge debate. Right. Um, and you know, there are,
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): and you think about like screw caps. Everyone agrees. Screw caps are a hundred times better than for, for protecting wine, correct? Except for the port manufacturers, they don’t agree, but, um, but you can control osmotic flow precisely.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): You never get spoiled. You never get port tank nothing. They’re great. Right. But there’s this whole sort of PO and circumstance and, and tradition with the cork and the whole routine and doing it, um, that is important to some people. Right, but I have no rules, right? So like logically I should go screw cap.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): But at the same time, I’m also trying to bring a product from Bhutan to the rest of the world. Do I really want it to be in a screw cap?
A.J.: You know,
A.J.: you know, you, you break every single mold in the wine world anyway. You know, people either really love your newsletter or they hate. right. So I, I would go, honestly, I would go screw cap, right. And just say, screw it. This is these, these are my rules. I wanna set it however I want to. And if you don’t like it, oh, well, you’re, you’re just, you’re just missing out.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. Go fuck yourself. Right. That’s that? That’s logically. I keep coming back to that. But there’s a little piece of me that just goes well, should I have some, some corks? Do I really want the first barrel to be
A.J.: screw cap? No, it, it, it, it is tough. Um, I was at a winery, the other, I don’t know, three or four weeks ago.
A.J.: And literally they had like a DM 30 cork and one of their bottles wide. And I’m like, geez, a DM 30. You’re really freaking serious about this aging. And. I mean, I, I guess I, I, maybe it depends on like, if you do the, the field blend or if you actually, you know, try to put together a nice little, you know, you know, blend of a, of a cab or, or whatever.
A.J.: Oh, maybe that might, might make a difference too.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. I mean, all of these, you know, options are on the table. Yeah. And, and, or maybe do you say, Hey, look, for the first barrel. We are gonna use quirks, but like our normal production, you know, we’re gonna use screw crops and, you know, you make it special in, in some way, shape or form.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Did you, it sounded like you maybe listened to a couple of the podcasts. Did you hear the story about the name of our winery?
A.J.: I’m trying to think I’m not recalling it off the top of my head.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Yeah. So the tradition in Bhutan, when a baby is born, you know where I’m going with this? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Go, go ahead.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Go ahead. Go. I’ll tell I’ll tell it cuz it’s it’s a cool story. And I like telling, so what, when a baby’s born, you take the baby down to the monastery and there are special monks whose job it is to name shit and they name the babies and the, you get a first name and a second name. So you can’t tell who’s related to anybody cuz everybody has different last names.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): There’s no such thing as a family name. Um, and so when we were looking at coming up with a brand for the winery, like we kind of kicked it around B Utah’s the land of happiness. And so we thought about, should we call it happy wine? I was kind of into happy wine, but it sounds like. $5 bottle of shitty wine.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): Right? Happy wine. Yeah. Um, and so finally, we, we had this idea, we’re like, dude, why don’t we just have the, the name or monks name, our baby, they, they can name it. Um, and so we went to the master name or monk and we said, Hey, we name our baby. He’s like, absolutely. let us get back to you on that. So about six weeks go by and they come back and they go.
Michael Juergens(Bhutan Wine Company): The name of your winery is Sarah KA, S E R K E M two words, Sarah KA. And I go, okay, what the fuck does that? Right? And so he goes, ah, well, in the Buddhist religion, when you visit a temple, it’s considered Ary to bring at an offering for the gods and the offering could be food, or it could be water. It could.
Michael Juergens: Um, money or it could be alcohol. And if it’s alcohol, then that offering is called Sarah ke, which is the alcohol of the gods. And I’m like, that’s a dope as wine.
A.J.: Exactly. Yeah, no, that, that is definitely dope. That is awesome.
Michael Juergens: The, the downside is I have to tell the story, cuz otherwise people
A.J.: are just like Sarah cam, like what does that mean?
A.J.: Well, you know, yeah. Yeah. You’ll probably get tired of telling the story, but it’s a great story.
Michael Juergens: I I’m sure it’s going on the label in some capacity. Yeah. It, it, yeah. Figure out how to put it on the label.
A.J.: Yeah, it definitely
Michael Juergens: has to. Yeah. So it’s, uh, what’s funny is, is in Butan. Um, there’s this huge wine tradition, but it’s all rice wine.
Michael Juergens: So every family makes their own rice wine and they, each family has their own secret recipe and they argue about who’s who’s better. And if you go to someone’s house, they greet you with the bowl of rice wine. Of their own making. And so I think the, the culture around the, the idea of a wine community is, is pretty strong there.
Michael Juergens: Um, and we just get to be able to now introduce, you know, Vene into that mix, which is cool.
A.J.: Yeah, no, that, that is, you’re doing so many things there and it it’s absolutely. Uh, it’s absolutely awesome. And I can’t wait to hear it, how it turns out it’s it’s going to be amazing dude,
Michael Juergens: 50 years from now. it’s it’s gonna be awesome.
Michael Juergens: Yes. Yes. Mine is not a game for the, the easily. Uh, you. gratify. Yes. Yes. But I think, you know, if we do it right, you know, we can not, it’s not just about having a vineyard and a bottle of wine. It’s about building a whole ecosystem where, you know, picture, you’re a, you’re a farmer you’re growing some rice.
Michael Juergens: So you got some patties, uh, and the rice grows on the patties, but the Hills in between the pat. That’s not usable. You don’t like sill grape finds. So maybe we teach them how to fill in the Hills with the grape finds. And then we have a co-op model and people show up with their, you know, their crop of this year.
Michael Juergens: Great. They bring it down to the COUM the whole, the whole country can, can participate in the prosperity, uh, of it. Right. And then of course you get the tourism angle and, uh, people making, you know, trips to come, and then they’re gonna need hotels to stay at. They’re gonna need restaurants to have some food with their wine that they’re enjoying.
Michael Juergens: And yeah, we, we think the potential is there to really do something amazing. Yeah, no
A.J.: worries. Don’t fuck it up. Yeah, no, you’re, you’re not gonna fuck it up. You’re you’re doing a
Michael Juergens: great job trying, man. I’m trying. Yeah. Yeah. Ryan, Ryan’s an, uh, an investor in the company, so he’s, he’s also a big fan of me. Not fucking it up.
Michael Juergens: Yeah.
A.J.: I can imagine. So you’re moving from, uh, California over to the east coast. Yeah. What is what’s prompting? All of that.
Michael Juergens: Taxes. Oh, in a nutshell. Okay. I mean, it’s the, the tax situation in California has just gotten outta hand and that’s why you’re seeing companies and rich people flee like rats, you know?
Michael Juergens: Fleeing a burning ship. It’s just, um, it’s just, it’s absurd. Yeah. So, um, what I, my intention is to sort of get, you know, back to the east coast and I mean, I travel for work anyways, so it doesn’t really matter where home base is. Um, I’m gonna be on a plane, go into wherever I need to go to that week. Right.
Michael Juergens: Okay. It’ll just happen to be my, my home base will be. On on
A.J.: the east coast. Yeah. No, that, that is cool. And how do you, I mean, I struggle with all the things that I, all the balls in the air that I have going on, but like, you know, you’re writing books, you have a, you know, a day gig, you’re writing, you know, uh, the laws for Bhutan and like constantly, you know, keeping track of caterpillars out in the vineyard and whatnot.
A.J.: I mean,
Michael Juergens: do you punk rock NFT albums and, uh, right. I mean, how do
A.J.: you freaking do it all?
Michael Juergens: so, uh, basically I don’t sleep a lot, but what, what happened was is when I first got divorced, um, I was like a single dad and I was like juggling, you know, three different kids in three different schools. So I created this routine where I would get up at like three o’clock in the morning and work for like three hours and then I would do kid stuff and then I would work and then I would do kid stuff and bass and dinner, and then I would work.
Michael Juergens: And so I like, I rearranged the way I did my work. Right. And then as the, and then I did that for like a decade um, and then as the kids got older, they didn’t need me. All of a sudden I had. Tons of excess capacity in my life that I had trained kind of my body and my routine to, to do. And so all of a sudden I had capacity and I got to, you know, use that for other stuff that I wanted to get done.
Michael Juergens: But I tell you what that first 10 years was pretty shitty
A.J.: I can imagine. I mean, I, I have my daughter every other week and, you know, just juggling that and everything else. I’m like, holy cow, I just. I’m I’m dead. So I was just kudos for you for, you know, making it work for 10 years. Well, and that
Michael Juergens: literally, like you go into this kind of survival mode where you’re just trying to like, make it through the day.
Michael Juergens: Right. And like get everything done. And then the next day you’re just, you just operate like that for forever. And, uh, and then all of a sudden the kids are old and you’re like, oh my God, I have like this, I have my life. Yeah, I have my life back. Yeah. It’s it’s great. Cuz I see a bunch of my friends are all starting to have kids now.
Michael Juergens: Like one of my best friends has like a, a 10 year old and a six year old and like I, yeah, you just talk to me, just has that shell shock look of like too many soccer games and birthday parties and like no sleep and I’m like, yeah. I remember that
A.J.: welcome to the club. Yep, yep. Yep. Well, no, that, that is cool.
A.J.: Um, so as you move out into the, on, you know, onto the east coast, you know, I know that, um, you know, blindly, you are like, Hey, one weekend, you and a, a friend was like, yeah, let’s go run this marathon, uh, you know, for your first marathon ever. Are you, you know, do you have any plans of like diving into the unknown of something like that?
A.J.: Again, here in the near future?
Michael Juergens: So we’re still trying to do, um, this thing called the grand slam, which is you run a marathon on every continent and then you run one on the north pole on the sea ice. Like you take a helicopters out to the sea ice and you do it. And so we’re up to, um, everyone’s done six of the continents except me.
Michael Juergens: So I, we went with the group, actually, Ryan was there and Jim, um, I don’t know if you know Jim, he’s an ex society guy too. Okay. Um, we all went to South Africa and, um, and I didn’t finish the marathon. Uh, so everybody else did. So I have to go back to Africa and pick up Africa and then we gotta do south America and then the north pole.
Michael Juergens: So those are kind of like the next three big, um, running shit shows. Um, I’m trying to talk Ryan to actually get off his ass and running one. He just goes and parties. Yeah, that’s the that’s, that’s the best part. I don’t really like running that much stuff. I really like running. That’s terrible. You don’t do it cuz you love it.
Michael Juergens: You do it because you. Wanna get the
A.J.: met. Mm, exactly.
Michael Juergens: Um, so yeah, so I’m sure we’ll, we’ll, we’ll figure this out. Obviously the pandemic put up quite the crimp in. Our travel plans and I’m horribly outta shape now, but yeah. Figured out.
A.J.: Yeah, no, most definitely. Um, so I, I assume like all the, the titles, you know, drinking and, and knowing things, I assume that, you know, came from Ty Lanster off of game of Thrones, right?
A.J.: A hundred percent. Yeah. Okay. That’s I, I, I assume, but I wasn’t sure. So your, your latest book, uh, you know, travel guide to, to New Zealand, um, Well, like what, what crawled up your, your rear? And it was like, Hey, I’m just gonna do a travel guide instead of talking about wine, you know what it
Michael Juergens: was, uh, it was Anne, um, was, was like, literally, she goes, you know, like people love drinking and knowing things, but like, everyone’s always asking you like, oh, I’m going to Napa.
Michael Juergens: Like, where should I go? I’m like, she’s like, you should just write, write down like information for people when they’re going to Napa. And I go, okay. , I don’t know that I really want to do that. Then she goes, oh no, no. Why don’t you do it for France? And I go, France is hard than now. fuck. You could have an encyclopedia.
Michael Juergens: Right. You know, uh, of all the places go to France. And so, um, I was like, New Zealand is sort of manageable. Like you could get your head around it and I could probably write it pretty quickly. And I know a fair bit about New Zealand line. Um, and so I’m like, I’ll just try it and, and. See if people like it, like, and if they do, maybe I’ll do some more.
Michael Juergens: Um, and so far, you know, the receptions, everyone that’s threaded has loved it. Um, I dunno if you’ve taken a spin three, that’s pretty short. It’s probably about like 90 pages. Yeah. Yeah. I I’ve
A.J.: I’ve I have bruised it a little bit. I haven’t dove in a whole bunch.
Michael Juergens: Yeah. And I mean, who knows? Like, if, if it is kind of set up for like, Hey, I’m gonna go on a wine trip to New Zealand, right?
Michael Juergens: Here’s some information about where to go, where to stay, what to do. Ryan went on that trip with us too. no, that, that, that was quite the shit
A.J.: show. I, I, I can imagine though. That is absolutely awesome. So I actually,
Michael Juergens: so this is funny, um, Ryan is actually the lion be the guy that I constantly refer to. He sat so that that’s it.
Michael Juergens: Now we know. Yeah. So yeah, I, when he wrote the thing, you know, I went through it for him, uh, right away and kind of, uh, gave some, some critique and some, some editing on it. So, and since I was on the. You know, firsthand
A.J.: firsthand experience. That’s always the best.
Michael Juergens: Yeah, actually, usually, um, Ryan is like one of my go-to guys too, for, for like, I usually let him do the first drafts of all my books, cuz he usually has some pretty good shit to come back with.
Michael Juergens: So I like three or four people that are by. My beta testers. One of whom is Ryan.
A.J.: Yeah, no, that, that is awesome. So if anybody wants to like sign up for your newsletter or, you know, get your books or whatever, where, where do they need to go?
Michael Juergens: They can just go to drinking and knowing things.com and you can sign up for the newsletter, just put your email in and, and just start getting it.
Michael Juergens: Um, there’s links to all of my books on tricking me knowing things as. Um, or you can just go directly to Amazon. Um, actually I don’t think the New Zealand one is up on the website yet, but it’s, it’s definitely available on Amazon. Um, so yeah. Um, the more the merrier man, as long as you, uh, don’t mind, lots of, lots of F bombs that are into wine.
Michael Juergens: Like it’s, it’s a fun
A.J.: why loop. Yeah. Yeah, no, it is definitely colorful and wonderful. I, I, I enjoy reading it, uh, every single week when it comes out.
Michael Juergens: That’s awesome, man. Yeah, I got, I got fanboy and uh, I got, I got fanboy at pro one. This is actually hysterically funny. I was talking to, did you see the movie som?
Michael Juergens: Yes. In the movie? Yeah. Yeah, yeah, of course. Okay. So remember in the first som movie, there was the guy that everyone called dad. Yeah. That’s Ian cobble, right? Right. So I’m sitting there and Ian cobble is like standing right next to me. We’re both like drinking then Thea I go, Hey, you’re fucking Ian cobble.
Michael Juergens: He goes, yeah. Who are you? And I go, I’m Mike. And he goes, oh, okay. So we’re talking. And this dude comes running up to me and goes, if you’re the drinking and no one thinks guy and I’m like, I am,
A.J.: and he goes,
Michael Juergens: can I get a selfie with you? I go, absolutely. You can get a selfie with me. So Ian is like, who is way more famous in the one world than I am, right.
Michael Juergens: Uh, is not getting fanboy, but I was, and then. Was like, that’s
A.J.: awesome. It is. It is awesome. It’s uh, you know, I don’t know about for you, but you know, when I go out into Oregon wine country and I’m recognized, I’m like, oh yeah, hi. And it just it’s, it’s just kind of a weird feeling. It,
Michael Juergens: it is. Yeah. And I mean, I lemme put it this way.
Michael Juergens: It doesn’t happen to me very often,
A.J.: but right. It doesn’t happen to me often either, but yeah, that is awesome. I mean, it’s, it’s always a good feeling to get recognized out in the real world for all the, this virtual stuff that we do.
Michael Juergens: Totally. Yeah. And I think I, you know, I, I think that the tattoos are, make me also maybe a little more recognizable than the, the average jail.
Michael Juergens: Like someone sees the tattoos, I’m like, oh, okay. Yeah,
A.J.: yeah, no, that, that is awesome. Well, as we kinda wrap things up, is there anything else that you would like to let everybody know about?
Michael Juergens: Um, well, I mean, I’ll just, maybe I’ll just plug some stuff. Go for. so, uh, if you’re interested in, in checking out the, the world’s first punk rock album to drop as an NFT, you can, uh, search for, uh, blockchain killed the video star by my punk band and contestable.
Michael Juergens: If you’re interested in, uh, that’s on open sea too. So.
A.J.: Yes. And I’ll, I’ll provide a link to when, to when this comes out
Michael Juergens: as well. Yeah. And then, uh, I think for, um, we didn’t talk about the rum company, but I oh yeah. Own the world’s highest rated. Uh, platinum rum, a 95 point rum, which is SoCal rum. If you’re at all interested in rum or Tiki, check out SoCal, rum.com, uh, and then obviously drinking and known things.
Michael Juergens: So yeah, certainly love the opportunity to get into, uh, plug all my shit on your, on your show, AJ. So I appreciate
A.J.: the, uh, glad to do. Yeah, no, it’s been a awesome conversation. I can’t thank you enough. Cool.
Michael Juergens: Yeah. All
A.J.: right, my man. All right, well, thank you so much.
Michael Juergens: Cheers buddy. Take care.