American Wine Drinkers Invest $120,000 in New Zealand Mom and Dad Winemaking Team, Inc. Logo

-- Award-winning Mom and Dad Winemaking Team Bill and Claudia Small Join Crowdfunded Wine Business --

Crowdfunding Raises $120,000 for Award-Winning New Zealand Winemakers

NAPA, Calif., Feb. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --, a customer-funded winery, has united over 150,000 Angels to invest $120,000 to create a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with New Zealand mom and dad winemaking team, Bill and Claudia Small. Bill and Claudia met at the University of Adelaide back in 1996. Bill is a graduate of the viticulture program and Claudia a graduate of the oenology program. Bill and Claudia have had their hands in producing wines that have won trophies, received rave reviews and have been loved by wine drinkers around the world, but until now they've never had a chance to make wine the way they've really wanted to.

Bill says, "I am very excited to be working with You Angels have given me the financial support I needed to be able to make wines for myself and not just others."

Funded by cutting costs you can't taste

Since Bill and Claudia's wines are crowdfunded by their customers, there are no marketing or sales costs. This allows the Angels to invest heavily in grapes and talent, without wasting money on things they can't taste.

In the wine business, the cost of selling is so high that it can often double or triple the price of a bottle. Bill says, "I'm really excited about my Sauvignon Blanc finally making it to America! This is a dream come true for me and it is wonderful to just be able to focus on making the best possible wine I can and not have to spend half my time selling it."

Crowdfunded wine available now

Bill and Claudia's customer-funded Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is available exclusively to customers as of February 15, 2012.




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What we're all about

Naked Wines, was born in December 2008 when twelve friends quit their jobs in the middle of the recession to do things a little differently.

Our goal: Find the world's most talented, undiscovered winemakers and set them up in business.

How we go about it:

  • 150,000 customers invest over $4 million dollars a month towards future orders (we call them 'Angels')
  • Which we use to fund independent winemakers
  • In return for exclusive wines at wholesale prices
  • Which we pass back to our customers

We call it the 'virtuous circle', as everybody gets more for less, without trampling on anyone along the way.

The hard and fast facts

If you're looking for something a little meatier, this should help:

  • We've invested in 105 independent winemakers to date
  • We lease the former Blackstone winery in Kenwood to use as a winemaking studio for all our independent winemakers
  • We've seen over 100% growth year-on-year, with sales of $40 million in 2011
  • We've recruited 200k customers, 100k of which invest over $3 million dollars a month towards future orders
  • We were named the UK's most innovative wine company for two years on the trot, at the IWC
  • We were named the UK's Online Business of the Year at the 2011 National Business Awards
  • And we're probably the world's largest group of net wine investors

A truly social business

As well as the model itself, the website delivers a truly social experience.

  • Customers can chat directly to one another and to the winemakers.
  • Customers can vote with their feet on new initiatives and wines, to decide what makes the cut.
  • And we can suggest to customers what to buy AND what not to buy, based on their preferences.

The team

The man at the top is Rowan Gormley, former Virgin Wines and Virgin Money CEO, and our non-executive director who keeps us in check is Ian West, former BSkyB MD. The rest of us are an assorted bunch of 30 wine and tech-loving employees based in Napa.

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