In 2000, co-owner Jared Dunten spent over a month in an intensive care unit due to a spinal cord injury he suffered on a camping trip in Big Bend National Park. Unable to move from the neck down, he started using his mouth to paint.
Dunten’s artwork can be admired on the company’s four wine selections: a cabernet sauvignon, a red wine blend, a chardonnay and a sparkling white, each featuring its own painting and story.
It has been roughly a year since the families first crafted the idea behind 71 Painted Wines, according to Jared's wife and co-owner Kim Dunten. Last year, Justin Taliaferro and his wife commissioned a painting from Jared, and it served as the initial inspiration behind the company.
He was initially struck by Jared’s paintings titled “Mea Culpa” and “Maybe Tomorrow,” which now represent the company’s cabernet sauvignon and red wine blend, respectively.
At the time, Taliaferro had more than 20 years of experience in the wine industry, and together the two families began building the brand.
Though orders are yet to be shipped, Kim said they have already been overwhelmed by the community’s response.
“We’re really just kind of speechless,” Kim said. “It’s just been great and humbling, and everyone seems to be really interested.”
The community has also been supportive of the company’s philanthropic mission, according to Kim. A portion of the company’s proceeds will benefit The Lone Star Paralysis Foundation, an Austin-based nonprofit organization working to cure spinal cord paralysis through research, recovery and recreation, according to the organization’s website.
"Jared has been an artist for years, and that’s always growing,” Kim said. “I think for people who have enjoyed his art to be able to pair it with good wine and then also contribute to spinal cord injuries ... it just really brings a lot of things together, and that’s something that people are really excited about.”
The company is currently accepting preorders, which will be available for shipping or pickup Nov. 5 at 71 Painted Wines' warehouse at 121 CR 423, Spicewood. 512-547-9272. www.71paintedwines.com