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Gee, "Direct Trade" California wine. How 'bout it?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 earlgrey_44

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 03:17 PM

I buy coffee from "direct trade" roasters. They contract with farmers for green beans, bypassing the coffee-market middlemen, and sell right to the consumer. Everybody wins: the coffee farmer gets a better price and a steady market, the roaster gets to influence quality and has consistent supply, and the consumer gets a better bean with a high quality/price ratio. It's a good thing.

 

These guys are trying to do the same for California wine. They're setting up some talented winemakers, and you get to support them with a regular payment, and get your choice of product. 

 

I stuck my nose in and have tried a few bottles so far. Initial orders are enticingly cheap. You can post your opinions and chat with the winemakers. My first impression is of good value - certainly an intriguing idea. I plan to try it out for a few months to get a feel for what's available.

 

Anybody else try them yet?


Edited by earlgrey_44, 18 March 2014 - 04:09 PM.


#2 djyee100

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:39 PM

I notice that this business sells wines from all over the world. Are you only interested in their low-cost California wines?

 

I don't know anything about this company, have never done any business with them. I did a google search for "about nakedwines.com" and checked out the first links in the list. Some reviews of this company are disturbing re: their business practices.

 

(1) http://www.trustpilo.../nakedwines.com

 

(2) http://chowhound.cho...m/topics/905569

 

(3) http://www.thedrinks...ines-ad-banned/

 

(4) http://www.telegraph...other-club.html

 

There aren't many bargains in California wines. The good winemakers know what they're making, and price their product accordingly.

 

While the Naked Wines winemakers may be young and talented, they may also be on their own as winemakers for the first time, and inexperienced in that regard. Then there's the vineyard--are the grapevines young or well-established? Where is the vineyard located? No matter how talented  the winemakers may be, they are limited by the quality of the grapes they can buy or grow.

 

I suggest you find a winery or two that you really like, and join their wine club if they have one. That way you're getting a discount on the wines and supporting a winemaker you like.

 

Does anybody else have suggestions for buying California wines?

 



#3 earlgrey_44

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:53 PM

I've enjoyed an introductory 6 bottles from these guys and have placed an order for an additional mixed case. I'll be in a better position to judge things with a little more experience with the wines.

 

Naked Wine has operations in England and in Oz but that is irrelevant to the outfit linked above - this deal is for California wines from the contractors only. The winemakers involved often have been in the trade for many years so we are not talking about kids just out of wine college here.

 

I strikes me at first blush that this set up is aimed at people who go through at least a bottle or two a week of wine in the 10 to 20 dollar/bottle range, and are attracted to both potential value and perhaps the "social networking" aspect of the thing.

 

I don't know enough about the wine trade from vineyard to table to judge the applicability of this kind of direct-tradey arrangement to wine as opposed to coffee, where the advantages are more obvious. It would be good to hear some informed commentary on that. My interest is in value received, and I'll reserve judgment on that until I gain a little more experience.



#4 djyee100

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 02:56 PM

... Naked Wine has operations in England and in Oz but that is irrelevant to the outfit linked above - this deal is for California wines from the contractors only. The winemakers involved often have been in the trade for many years so we are not talking about kids just out of wine college here...

 

In the links I posted above, there are reviews from customers in the U.S.--recent reviews--that raise serious questions about this company's business practices. These concerns are not limited to the UK or Australia.

 

When I read the bios for the U.S. winemakers on the website, I thought many descriptions were thin on specifics such as where these people have been working, for how long, and in what job. Being in the trade doesn't mean they were doing winemaking in any significant way. They could have been assistant winemakers (good) or they could have been doing sales, hosting events at the winery, or hauling barrels out of the cellar (not so good). And yet these people are asking you to "invest" in them through your purchases. Hmmmm.

 

I can't tell you much about capitalizing a new winery, except to state the obvious: Californian winemakers are not an oppressed group, and California is not a third-world country. I would assume there are conventional sources of funding available, even some angels closer to home who have hit it big in Silicon Valley and are looking for good, profitable places to put their new money.  Nevertheless, I'm sure that under the best of circumstances capitalizing a new business is no fun ride. If this model of crowdfunding works for the nakedwines winemakers, more power to them.


Edited by djyee100, 04 April 2014 - 02:56 PM.


#5 Rebel Rose

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 10:45 AM

I recognize most of these labels.  They are not exactly startups, and while nakedwines markets to everyone, their real push is to get wine into the hands of people in states like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, where direct wine shipments are prohibited.  That is what they specialize in. 

 

Edited to add:  Oops, had this group confused with another with an almost identical name.  Sorry!


Edited by Rebel Rose, 09 April 2014 - 10:48 AM.

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