Invests $300,000 in Two Award-Winning California Winemakers

---- Wine Industry Veterans Jeff Stai and Tim Olson Join Crowdfunded Wine Business ---

Dec 05, 2012, 12:45 ET from, Inc.

NAPA, Calif., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Crowdfunding raises $300,000 for two top California winemakers, a customer-funded winery, has united over 100,000 Angels to invest $300,000 to set up two award-winning California Winemakers. Tim Olson has been making wine in California for over 21 years with a stack of awards to prove his tenure. Jeff Stai founded Twisted Oak winery in Calaveras County in 2001 with a focus on Mediterranean grape varieties. His wines have reached critical acclaim scoring 93 points in Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Tim Olson says, "I've been in the wine industry for over 21 years and oddly enough I've spent most of my time trying to sell my wine, not making it!  When I realized after all these years that I could finally focus on doing what I love I didn't even think twice."

Funded by cutting costs you can't taste

Since Jeff and Tim'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. Jeff Stai says, "I'm happy to offer twice the value of wine for the investment. As much fun as wine marketing can be, marketing does cost money. Reducing our marketing spend to chicken feed means I can charge my valued Angel investors less, and everybody wins."

Wines will be released on Wednesday

Jeff and Tim's customer-funded wines will be available exclusively to customers starting on December 12th, 2012.

Website :
Contact Details: / 707-723-4762


What we're all about 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:

  • 100,000 customers invest over $3 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 ship an average of 10,000 bottles of wine every day
  • 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 25 wine and tech-loving employees based in Napa.

Media contact: Adam Reiter,