Vivino Raises $155 Million in Series D Funding

Vivino, the world’s most downloaded mobile wine app and largest online wine marketplace closed (this week) a $155m Series D funding round led by Swedish based investment firm Kinnevik with Sprints Capital accompanying as a new investor. Additional participants include GP Bullhound and existing early-stage investor Creandum. This latest round brings Vivino’s total funds raised to date to $221 million and includes a mix of primary and secondary investment.

Vivino currently boasts a community of 50 million wine enthusiasts, who turn to the platform for its personalized recommendations, unbiased rating system, and expansive selection of wines from more than 700 marketplace partners worldwide. The new capital will enable Vivino to improve its core technology and artificial intelligence platform to create better and more personalized recommendations for Vivino users. The company will also deepen its focus on select markets with the greatest potential for growth, including the US, Germany, the UK, Italy, Japan, and Portugal.

“This is a testament to the remarkable work that our teams around the globe have done to build an extraordinary business,” said Heini Zachariassen, Vivino’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “This round has raised important capital for our rapidly growing company and drawn some exceptional new leaders to our board. The funding will enable us to continue to build on our core strengths, expand industry partnerships drawing more merchants and wineries to our marketplace, and support our continued global growth.”

Alcohol e-commerce sales worldwide have grown immensely, and it is estimated that by 2024, they will exceed $40 billion. Zachariassen credits the company’s growth to this continued shift in consumer behavior. “Our user retention rates are high, and we’re seeing a steady conversion of app users to wine buyers. That’s a good move in the right direction. By creating more value for our users, we also create more value for the company and industry at large.”

Since its Series C raise in February 2018, led by Vivino’s current board chairman, Christophe Navarre and former CEO and Chairman of Moët Hennessy, Vivino has increased its user base from 29 million to 50 million and has significantly grown its marketplace business, which connects wineries and wine merchants to its community. The company has posted a 100% annual growth rate for the last seven years and a 103% increase in year-over-year sales in 2020.

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California Wine Institute Launches “Golden State of Mind” Campaign

The “Golden State of Mind” campaign will showcase California’s efforts in sustainable vine growing, innovation and winemaking advancements.

The first phase will be rolled out spring 2021 and will focus on digital advertising and consumer-focused promotions, starting with the introduction of a new look and logo.

Built on the pillars of optimism, innovation and advancements in winemaking, the campaign will also promote a calendar of online events, such as virtual winery tours for the trade and education webinars, as well as a new wine education course with a four-tier certification program.

Seeking to expand its audience in both new and emerging markets, the California Wine Institute is launching its new campaign in the following markets: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and the United Kingdom as well as Australia, France, Israel, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and other Eastern European markets.

California Wine Institute’s vice president of international marketing, Honore Comfort, commented: “The crises of 2020, felt both locally and globally, have underscored the importance of our enduring relationships with supporters of California wine around the world.

“We have an opportunity to forge a new path, to share California’s unique attributes so that we continue to grow and evolve in the minds and glasses of our global audience and build a more robust sales channel for our wineries.”

The Wine Institute launched its 2030 Plan last year, a 10-year strategy to increase US wine exports, 95% of which are sourced from California to over $2.5 billion. The strategy aims to increase sales in current markets, launch activity in new markets, and encourage more wineries in California to sell internationally.

The campaign aims to shine a spotlight on California values, showcase the state’s family-owned wine producers, next-generation winemakers and growers and also highlight its commitment to sustainability, diversity and inclusion.

For further details visit – website.

Wine Australia is launching a new global 24/7 virtual platform

Wine Australia is launching an (always-on) 24/7 virtual platform “Australian Wine Connect” in March which will bring the global wine community together to experience and explore Australia’s wine scene.

The interactive platform will be a go-to resource for Australian wine over the next twelve months. Featuring wineries from across 65 regions; connecting winemakers, buyers, importers, distributors, media, educators and more; and offering a diverse program of engaging events and experiences.

Australian Wine Connect will create a bold new world of opportunities for Australian wineries to promote their products across the UK, Europe, the US, Canada and Asian markets.

Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark said, “We’re proud to bring this same spirit of innovation to the way we do business and have been working hard to develop a valuable opportunity for Australian wineries to continue marketing and selling their wines overseas this year”.

“Australian Wine Connect has been designed to offer similar benefits to an international trade show, however it also enables wineries to reach and engage with multiple markets across the globe and it will be live and offering various virtual business opportunities for a full twelve months,” he said.

Clark said it will allow buyers from across the world to network and meet producers, discover new wines, link up with distributors and enable sales conversations. It will also offer ongoing live thought-leadership sessions, tasting sessions, variety and regional explorations to showcase the people, places and processes that make Australian wine unique.

Australian Wine Connect will go live on 31 March 2021 and registrations for the virtual showcase are now open to Australian wineries. Eligible wineries can apply for the Wine Export Grant to help cover the cost of participation.

The Australian wine community is renowned for its creativity in the pursuit of creating the most diverse and distinctive wines in the world.

The multi-faceted platform will host virtual events and collaboration tools to help wineries stay up to date in market and will promote Australian wine in a new and exciting way to raise awareness and increase demand amongst an international trade audience.

For further details, click here

The INAO approved six new grape varieties in Bordeaux

The Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (INAO) has officially approved the use of six new varieties in Bordeaux, which were first proposed in 2019.

The French agricultural governing body has approved the use of four new red varieties, as follows: Arinarnoa, Castets, Marselan and Touriga Nacional, and two white varieties: Alvarinho and Liliorila; with plantings authorized for 2021.

The varieties were put forward by winemakers in the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs (not Pauillac and Margaux ) in the summer of 2019, as a potential means of dealing with different growth cycles and ripening periods, in the face of a changing climate.

Scientists in Bordeaux looked at fifty-two varieties for potential future use before settling on the final six which were considered particularly suitable for their ability to handle hydric stress and for being later ripening.

When plantings begin, the new varieties will be limited to just 5% of an estate’s total surface area and no more than 10% of the blend in either red or white.

These new varieties will sit alongside the already permitted varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Carménère, Petit Verdot for red – and Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle, Colombard, Ugni Blanc, Merlot Blanc and Mauzac for white.

The 35th Chablis Wine Competition: the results are in

The 35th edition of the Chablis Wine Competition was held, over the weekend, in Beine, at the Salle des Beauroy, on January 23, 2021.  The competition followed a strict protocol and health measures ensuring the taster’s safety.

This year, the competition focused on the 2019 vintage for the Petit Chablis, Chablis and Chablis Premier Cru appellations and on vintage 2018 for Chablis Grand Cru.

Organized by the Chablis tourist office and the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB), a distinctive feature of the event is that professionals having submitted wine samples may not become members of the jury. The tasters were journalists, restaurateurs, sommeliers, wine brokers, oenologists and enlightened amateurs.

The tasting goes through two stages:

Stage 1- the samples that received the best marks when tasted by all the jurors in the first round;

Stage 2 – then gets submitted to the Grand Jury, which alone can award medals.

The winning wines will be ambassadors for Chablis for 2021, and will be featured by the

Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) in its promotional events both domestically and abroad.

By the Numbers

35th Chablis Wine Competition

Number of samples: 321

Number of tasters: 46

Number of estates or producers represented: 77

Number of medal-winning wines: 27

 

list of Winning Wines

Petit Chablis 2019

Gold medal

William FEVRE
Domaine JOLLY et Fils

Silver medal

Domaine de LA TOUR
Domaine Vincent WENGIER

Bronze medal

Domaine Alain GEOFFROY

Nominated wines:

BILLAUD-SIMON
Domaine Sébastien DAMPT, Terroir de Fyé
GARNIER et Fils
Domaine MOSNIER
Domaine SERVIN

Chablis 2019

Gold medal

MOREAU et Fils
Domaine de LA TOUR
Domaine Guillaume VRIGNAUD, Les Champréaux

Silver medal

Domaine de la MOTTE, Vieilles Vignes, Cuvée L’Authentique
Domaine VENTOURA

Nominated wines:

Domaine de BIEVILLE
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN
GARNIER et Fils
Domaine Céline et Frédéric GUEGUEN
Domaine LONG-DEPAQUIT
Domaine SOUPÉ, Les Doyennes

Chablis Premier Cru 2019, Left Bank

Gold medal
Domaine de la MOTTE, Beauroy
Domaine Guy ROBIN, Vieilles Vignes, Vaillons
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Vosgros

Silver medal
Domaine MOSNIER, Beauroy
Domaine PINSON, Montmains
Maison SIMONNET-FEBVRE, Montmains

Bronze medal
Domaine des Hâtes, Butteaux
Maison HENRY, Vaillons

Nominated wines:
Domaine Gérard TREMBLAY, Beauroy
Domaine DUPRÉ, Butteaux
Domaine DE LA TOUR, Côte de Cuissy
Jean COLLET et Fils, Montmains
Domaine Guy ROBIN, Vieilles Vignes, Montmains
Domaine CHEVALLIER, Montmains
MOREAU et Fils, Vaillons
Domaine VOCORET et Fils, Vaillons
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Vaillons
Domaine Daniel DAMPT et Fils, Vaillons
Domaine Céline et Frédéric GUEGUEN, Vosgros

Chablis Premier Cru 2019, Right Bank

Gold medal

Domaine du COLOMBIER, Vaucoupin
Domaine GAUTHERON Alain et Cyril, Vaucoupin

Silver medal

La CHABLISIENNE, Vaulorent
Domaine des MALANDES, Fourchaume

Bronze medal

Domaine Jean JACQUIN et Fils, Montée de Tonnerre

Nominated wines:

Domaine du COLOMBIER, Fourchaume
Domaine Guillaume VRIGNAUD, Fourchaume
La Chablisienne, Mont de Milieu
Jean COLLET et Fils, Mont de Milieu
Domaine VENTOURA, Mont de Milieu
Domaine SERVIN, Montée de Tonnerre
MOREAU et Fils, Vaucoupin
Domaine GAUTHERON Alain et Cyril, Vaucoupin
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Vaulorent

Chablis Grand Cru 2018 

Gold medal

Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Vaudésir

Silver medal

Domaine VOCORET et Fils, Blanchot
Domaine VOCORET et Fils, Les Clos

Bronze medal

Domaine SERVIN, Blanchot

Nominated wines:

Domaine PINSON, Les Clos
Domaine BILLAUD-SIMON, Preuses
Maison SIMONNET-FEBVRE, Preuses
Domaine Guy ROBIN, Valmur
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Valmur