Having worked in the wine industry all his life and seeing the wastage, Peter Ruchs knew he could do something more with the wine barrels that were being discarded.
What he found was beautiful scarred and stained timber hidden beneath these unwanted barrels with endless possibilities.
“Barrels were thrown away 10 years ago, nobody wanted them,” he explains.
“I thought having all these leftover barrels was just such a waste of good timber. So my primary inspiration was the wastage I saw in the wine industry. We try to use every bit of the barrel.”
Winestains was launched seven years ago and when Kristal Spencer saw the pieces her dad was creating she decided she wanted to be part of it.
“The pieces were beautiful and I could see there was an interest for what he was creating,” she says.
“We decided to take a few pieces to a local market which made us realise that people were interested in what we were creating.
“We’ve been working on Winestains for about seven years now. The first five years were just part-time, in between our day jobs until we decided to take a leap of faith and give Winestains our full attention in 2016.”
The duo have been working on some exciting co-branded projects with Jacob’s Creek which includes their designs featuring as the table setting at the Australian Open dinner with Novak Djokovic.
“We’ve also been lucky enough to have one of our designs picked as a gift for when Prince Charles and Camilla visited the Barossa Valley, and earlier on our picnic stake design was the runner up in the Etsy Design Awards.
“We pride ourselves on quality and innovation. Apart from being crafted from recycled wine barrels, we really try and push the boundaries with what can be created from an old wine barrel (besides cheese boards). Our craftsmanship is also something we take very seriously, we go that extra mile to ensure each design is put together properly so that it’s made to last,” explains Spencer.
“When you think about all the waste out there, it feels great that we can create something useful and beautiful from something recycled. We feel it’s important to play our part in sustainable design, and in a way we feel because of this, our designs have more meaning with a rich history. We now work with trees.org to plant a tree for every design we sell to further this practice of sustainable business.”
Winestains exhibited at First Instyle in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago. “We wanted to grow the Winestains brand and make it more accessible Australia wide for our customers. Our designs really capture you when you’re able to experience them first hand.
“The feedback has been great, it’s so rewarding when our customers and retailers come back with positive comments and intriguing questions as they’re drawn into our processes and the story behind our brand,” concludes Spencer.