An innovative wine sharing concept is connecting wine lovers with small wineries. Divvy-Up, a division of Wine Country Connect, a 17-year-old Sonoma company, brings a ‘shared economy’ approach to online wine shopping.
By Leslie Nicholson | Sonoma Sun
The brain-child of Wine Connect founder David Studdert and semi-retired Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur Stephen Zocchi, Divvy-Up is a user-friendly way that groups of friends can come together to share artisan wines and support small wineries.
“We are connecting consumers and artisan wineries and people are enjoying wines that reflect the passion and the place they are made,” says Zocchi. “There are thousands of talented winemakers out there and Divvy-Up is a way to skip the middle-man markup and ship wines directly to the buyers.”
Zocchi and Studdert knew that out of about 11,000 wineries, 80 percent bottle less than 5,000 cases per year. With 70 percent of wineries selling only through their tasting rooms, many are left behind with wine sales at grocery stores and other food retailers being dominated by mega wine distributors. Featured wines are local and from the Central Coast, Santa Barbara, Oregon, and Washington.
Small wineries are better at making wine and don’t offer split cases to consumers. On divvy-up.com, consumers can “build” a custom case. “Using the shared economy model, each case of wine is shipped to one person and people can pick up their share of the case, explains Zocchi. “Artisan winemakers can introduce their wines to a new group of wine lovers and the price break gives people the chance to drink special wines at everyday prices.”
While getting wine into the hands of consumers to enjoy, the Divvy-Up website offers lots of extras including reviews, food and wine pairing suggestions and recipes, and the chance to interact with winemakers during webinars and ask-the-winemaker sessions.
“We are excited about the relationships that the Divvy-Up site will create and how we have packaged the wine information. We want to make it easy for people to discover, discuss, and share great wines. Wine is an experience, and the more you know the richer the story is.”