"Just as Kurt Deutsch’s entertainment relationships shaped his evolution from performer to producer, his family relationships helped him evolve from wine consumer to wine producer."
It should come as no great surprise that one of Kurt Deutsch’s many personal relationships made the idea of starting Oceano Wines with co-proprietor, Rachel Martin possible. After all, Deutsch, a St. Louisan by birth, carved out a career largely because of his ability to meet and befriend people.
A stage and screen actor – both big and small screens – for more than 15 years, he cultivated relationships across the full spectrum of his aspect of the entertainment industry. After spending so much time with performers, stars and lesser-knowns, production and management people, Deutsch had his “ah-ha” moment sometime around 2000.
That is when he launched Sh-K-Boom Records (an imprint called Ghostlight Records was added in 2004) with an eye toward broadening the traditional – and limited – audience for Original Broadway Cast Recordings and Broadway performers. The goal was to create a United Nations for the musical theatre world. Instead of the formulaic way these recordings had been made for decades, Deutsch injected a large dose of originality and dynamism to the process, from production through the marketing phase, energizing both the artists and their fans.
The result: A library of more than 200 solo and Original Cast Records; three Grammy Awards, including for The Book of Mormon, In the Heights, and Beautiful; numerous other nominations; and the release of solo albums by Broadway luminaries such as Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara and Sutton Foster. Deutsch also produced the acclaimed movie musical The Last Five Years starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.
And just as Deutsch’s entertainment relationships shaped his evolution from performer to producer, his family relationships helped him evolve from wine consumer to wine producer. Henry Warshaw, a longtime friend and neighbor of Deutsch’s father, Gene, owns the vineyard that is the sole source of fruit for Oceano’s chardonnay (a pinot noir is in the works as well). The subsequent introduction of Warshaw to Rachel Martin eventually culminated in the release of the first wine in July of last year.