• The world of wine never stands still. In fact, it has been evolving greatly over time, with a great example being women having the opportunity to become winemakers as well; it also shows no signs of stopping, whether with new rich flavours or with a change in how it’s priced. With the development of new technologies, innovative ideas are brought to the forefront on a regular basis, such as the notion that wine can be blue or that it can be crafted in a lab.

    Now yet another idea has made the news. Taking inspiration from the thousands of crowdfunded projects that have taken flight so far, Ruth and Charles Simpson, of the award-winning Simpsons Wine Estate, together with Naked Wines, are looking to the public to invest in their new winery project.

    Crowdfunding Wine

    The aim of the couple is to produce an English sparkling wine, which investors will have the opportunity to name. In order to make their dream a reality, the Simpsons are looking to raise £112,000 from pre-sales of 1,200 six-bottles cases – this will go toward equipment for a new winery, which will be the base for developing wines such as blanc-de-blancs, rosés and Pinot Noirs.

    This amazing opportunity for wine aficionados will come through Naked Wines. Founded in 2008, this company funds independent winemakers who, in turn, create exclusive wines at great prices. Naked Wines currently has 152 winemakers in 14 countries, as well as more than 300,000 customers all across the world.

    The support of such a company is incredibly beneficial, as seen by its spectacular sales: by the end of March 2016, Naked Wines had made £104.3 million in the sale of its winemakers’ wine.

    Every customer will have the chance to donate to the Simpsons Wine Estate project now and reap the benefits in 2018 – when the wine will be ready to drink.

     

    The focus on sparkling wine is a good, safe bet. Sales of this beverage have increased by 80% in the last five years in the UK, which translates to approximately 140 million litres of wine sold in 2015 and 2016, an outstanding increase from 2011-2012, where an estimated 80 million litres were sold.

    Eamon Fitzgerald, the managing director from Naked Wines, seems to agree that this is a fantastic opportunity since, according to him, customers can “be part of winemaking history by funding, naming and designing the label of the newest addition to English Sparkling Wine”.

    The Importance of the Public

    Wine lovers are an integral part of the winemaking industry. Their preferences shape the way decisions are made, and whether or not new flavours and innovative ideas are accepted, meaning it’s essential for winemakers to connect to their audience.

    Further proof of how vital wine aficionados are to the industry is how winemaking in the UK contributes £17.3 billion to the economy every year, and supports approximately 270,000 jobs. Without customers invested in the future of wine, these numbers wouldn’t be the same.

    As for the Simpson couple, they’re already seeing the results of empowering their customers with the future of their own winery. As of 6 September 2016, Simpsons Wine Estate had almost reached its goal number of investors.

    Being part of something as incredible and creative as this project is truly an opportunity not to be missed. Wine lovers everywhere can help craft their perfect wine by being involved in the name, brand and design of the Simpsons’ new English sparkling wine, which clearly showcases how valuable customers are to the industry – and how winemaking is truly an inclusive, diverse and ever-changing industry.