A couple months ago I read about Glasshaus Wine Company and did a short blog post (which you can find if you click here) That post only scratched the surface. I really liked the idea of a community supported winery (CSW) that is just like your local CSA that I asked Rodney to join me on my podcast.
Rodney developed Glasshaus CSW based on the agricultural model CSA (community supported agriculture). He thought “Why can’t my customers become my investors.” Where investors/members pledge support early prior to getting the product and take on some of the risk. Randy wants to make the best wine possible and make his customers happy. Members benefit with guaranteed production and 20% discount. Rodney makes sure he only pre-sells enough shares to cover his production. This year there was only 250 shares available but he produced 500 cases.
A CSW is not like a wine club. Wine clubs you get billed each time and a wine package shows up via UPS or FED EX. With the CSW, every year you have to enroll. Prior members who don’t enroll, can still purchase, but they will be purchasing at retail and they will still have voting rights.
As a member Rodney will keep you informed throughout the growing season on conditions and what is going on in the vineyard. April through October all members receive updates. The first of the month is weather update from the previous month. Middle of the month he gives out a community update. This gives members an insider view and makes the members feel like they are part of the company.
First vintage for Glasshaus is 2013 and it was a great growing season! The Chardonnay is very refined this year and he’s doing a lot of stirring of the lees, which is giving it a nice rounded mouth feel on top of using 20% oak. The Pinot Noir is showing complexity early. With 30% aging in new oak the rest aging in 1 use and neutral oak. The Chardonnay should be bottled in August just before he 2014 harvest. The Pinot Noir just a little bit after harvest. It really all depends on when the Pinot is ready to be bottled. After bottling the wine will be shipped to members with important instructions on when to drink the wine.
Future for growth, Rodney is going to take it to his members. Ask his members what they want to see before he goes and adds more wine to his portfolio.
For more information on Glasshaus Wine Company visit http://glasshauswines.com/ Shares are still available for the 2013 vintage until January 31. To purchase the shares visit http://glasshauswines.com/shop/2013-glasshaus-csw-wine-share
Listen to Rodney talk about his community supported wine company and the mission behind it.
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