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Winc and Winemaker Robert Daugherty

If you do a browser search for 'online wine sales,' it's likely that Winc will be at the top of the list. Winc has a unique technology to help you discover wines that fit your taste. Using data from over 500,000 users, they produce wines that their audience (mostly Millenials) will drink. It is a consumer-driven process that supersedes traditional industry practices. They sell wine online and to restaurants and retailers via wholesalers.

But Winc is more than a wine merchant. They are also a winery and produce every wine they sell. They made 100 brands in 2019 alone. They created 664 brands since they launched in 2011. These brands included 78 grape varieties that came from 97 regions and 12 different countries. Since launching in 2011, Winc has generated $200 million in revenue and raised $44 million in investments. They added 71,700 subscribers in 2019 alone.

We tasted a selection of their wines. We found that they deliver a wide variety of styles and flavors to satisfy most palates. The prices are appropriate for what they provide. The following is a sampling.


Summer Water 2018 Rosé
85% Grenache 15% Syrah
$21.99 Members' Price


This pale copper delivers red fruits and peach on the nose with floral notes. It has some apricot and stone fruit on the palate. It is a smooth and delicious rosé that one can enjoy by itself or pair with soft cheese or your favorite delicacy, like caviar.


Base Line 2017 Chardonnay
$37.99 Members' Price


Light straw in the glass, Base Line provides aromas of toasted almonds followed by vanilla flavors. The light minerality gives it a bite, and the creme brûlée flavors introduce smoothness on the palate. Pair with roasted white fish.


Field Theory 2017 Cabernet Pfeffer
$39.99 Members' Price


Pale ruby colored. Field Theory strikes you with some delectable leather, baking spice, and jammy fruit. This little-known varietal expresses deep plum and black cherry. Pair with mushroom risotto.


Folly of the Beast 2018 Pinot Noir
$39.99 Members' Price


This pale ruby Pinot Noir furnishes a vibrant surge of spices on the nose. You will enjoy crisp berries, red currant, and a little tartness on the palate. Enjoy with roasted fowl and a Mediterranean salad.


 

By producing all the wine that they sell, Winc works directly with vineyards. They buy the fruit they need to create the wines that their market demands. Through the licensed winery's tech-enabled platform, which combines at-home trial and digital expertise, Winc's team leverages a two-way conversation with consumers to launch, validate, and optimize products. With proof of concept, select brands are scaled more broadly in premium, independent retailers and restaurants nationwide.

This formidable corporate machinery may start with data, but it ends with the in-the-ground work of winemaker Robert Daugherty. Robert is very hands-on, discovering vineyards and working closely with growers to produce the taste profiles that their market tells them is in vogue. Winc says that younger wine drinkers are moving away from complex styles of wine and gravitating towards lighter and fresher styles, like their Summer Water Rose. There is also a growing demand for wines that are organic, responsibly-farmed, and less manufactured, like their Cherries & Rainbows.

Robert was first introduced to the art of grape-growing and fine winemaking through an internship with his aunt and uncle, Diana and Richard Longoria of Longoria Wines.

He then spent two harvests in New Zealand with renowned winemakers Jules Taylor and Kim Crawford. Starting as a Cellar Hand, he worked his way up and became the Intake Manager of their 15,000-ton facility. He worked as a Viticultural Technician at Dierberg/Star Lane Vineyards, which ignited a passion for viticulture. His hands-on experience instilled in him the firm belief that attention to the vineyard generates a better grape and wine.

After progressing through several other positions at Dierberg Star Lane, namely as an enologist, advanced cellar technician, and production assistant, Robert was made winemaker at Winc. Today, Robert is a crucial player in bringing to life Winc's diverse and ever-evolving portfolio of brands.

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