continues to shake up the wine industry with the appointment of Matt Parish as Chief Winemaker

Jun 11, 2013, 07:00 ET from, Inc.

NAPA, Calif., June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --, the customer-funded wine business, announced the appointment of its new chief winemaker, Matt Parish, former Vice President and Chief Winemaker for the Americas at Treasury Wine Estates and one of America's leading winemakers.


In this new role, Matt will advise the growing number of International winemakers funded by and will have responsibility over their new customer-funded winery in Sonoma.

Matt has over 18 years and 25 vintages of global winemaking experience, and has produced a string of 90+ point wines. Before he joined Treasury, the world's largest listed wine company that owns Beringer, Chateau St Jean and the Stag's Leap Winery amongst others, Matt worked for a diverse range of wine companies in various viticulture and winemaking roles in the US, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and his home country of New Zealand.

The appointment of a seasoned veteran from the world's largest listed wine company is expected to draw the attention of winemakers everywhere. Even industry insiders who have reached the highest echelons of the business are drawn to the freedom and opportunities afforded by the customer-funded business.

Rowan Gormley,' Founder and Chief Executive, said: "Our mission is to seek out and support the world's best emerging winemakers to set up their own labels and dazzle our customers – and we have hired Matt to help us do just that.  His appointment is another milestone in the development of our company. The fact that such a senior and celebrated winemaker has chosen to join us to make great wine shows how attractive our business model is and how it is challenging the accepted order of the wine world."

Matt Parish added: "The wine world is due for a shake-up.  Winemakers often don't get the artistic freedom and opportunity they deserve, consumers don't get the diversity of wines they want and it's time for a change.  I'm really excited to join the team, which is intent on transforming the wine business and has grown from being a start-up to an International business in less than five years. The International portfolio is already supporting many fantastic winemakers and producing some great wines – my job will be to ensure they get even better."


Adam Reiter        

+1 707-723-4762

About - What we're all about was born in December 2008 when twelve friends quit their jobs during the depth 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 $4M 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 over 100 independent winemakers to date, across 13 countries
  • We ship an average of 20,000 bottles of wine every day
  • 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
  • We're in the top 20 Sunday Time Best Small Companies to Work For 2013
  • We're probably the world's largest group of net wine investors
  • And we recently launched two new retail platforms in the USA and Australia, as well as a new winery in California, offering independent winemakers custom crush for $100 a ton

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 tell 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 35 wine and tech-loving employees based in Napa Valley.