57 episodes

A podcast delivering wine perspectives ex-chateau. Insights, analysis, and perspectives on news and trends in the wine industry beyond winemaking, such as marketing, finance, and consumer trends. From noted wine blogger Robert Vernick (@wineterroir) and leading wine business consultant and author of Luxury Wine Marketing Peter Yeung (@winebizguy), this podcast navigates the business of wine with unique perspectives and insights. Get access to library episodes
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XChateau Wine Podcast Robert Vernick, Peter Yeung

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 89 Ratings

A podcast delivering wine perspectives ex-chateau. Insights, analysis, and perspectives on news and trends in the wine industry beyond winemaking, such as marketing, finance, and consumer trends. From noted wine blogger Robert Vernick (@wineterroir) and leading wine business consultant and author of Luxury Wine Marketing Peter Yeung (@winebizguy), this podcast navigates the business of wine with unique perspectives and insights. Get access to library episodes
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Shattering Glass Ceilings w/ Jen & Zach Pelka, Une Femme

    Shattering Glass Ceilings w/ Jen & Zach Pelka, Une Femme

    In less than three years, Jen & Zach Pelka, the sister and brother co-founders of Une Femme, have taken what was supposed to be an in-house wine brand for their Champagne Bars The Riddler to the fastest-growing sparkling wine in the US. Leveraging data from The Riddler sales with a mission of promoting women and enabling the shattering of glass ceilings, Jen & Zach have taken a CPG approach to rocket Une Femme to become a national player.  
    Detailed Show Notes: 
    Une Femme launch
    Initially designed as an in-house brand for The RiddlerData from The Riddler, from 2 bars, 150-200 wines sold by the glass, 70% women, difficult to find affordable, approachable sparkling rosés by the glass led to Une Femme designLaunched Feb 2020 - a bad time for on-premise, Covid closures forced more national distributionWine portfolio
    The Betty - sparkling white, named after Betty White, no dosage, 80% PN / 20% CHThe Callie - sparkling rosé from California, 1st wine to take off$32 retail Product
    Work directly w/ wineries and winemakers, capital-light modelMostly Central Coast, CAMade in 3 locations w/ a Type 2 winery licenseMade w/ Charmat method (tank) - faster, less expensive, more scalable, spends 1-3 months in tankMotto - “World-class women-made wines that give back to female-centered charities”
    Each wine partnered w/ charities, which gets a lot of press
    The Callie - Breast Cancer Research FundThe Betty - Dress for SuccessLimited Edition Wines (Piquettes) - Tree SistersBatonnage Forum (for more detail, see XChateau Ep 40)Assesses donations every quarter for contribution amount; can’t tie a specific $ amount to a bottle due to alcohol complianceFastest growing sparkling wine brand in the US
    2020 - 1,500 cases2021 - 5,400 cases2022E - ~100,000 cases2023E - >200,000 casesAspiration - 400-500k case brand to become a “call brand” for sparkling wine, where customers ask for it by nameDiversity at scale is mostly restricted by access to capital (Une Femme just able to raise $10M Series A)Packaging
    Multiple formats - 750ml, 187ml, 250ml cansSmall formats launched to take advantage of events, charities where small bottles (w/ straws) / cans will be photographed/seen vs. drinking from a glass250ml cans driven by Delta - lighter, more scalable, sustainablePrice - will be ~$24.99 from major retail partners as the product scales
    Targeting premiumization categories ($20-40 range) and growing the sparkling categoryPromotion
    Brand partners - Marriott (by the glass in high-end hotels - Ritz Carlton, St Regis, JW Marriott), DeltaMost successful promotion - Hall of Femme awards program celebrated 365 women who have shattered a glass ceiling. Sent them a crate of wine with stunt glass and a hammer to shatter it. Based on the brand name “Une Femme,” meaning it only takes 1 woman to shatter a glass ceilingHas done social media, paid advertising, email marketing, & just started text marketingDoes a lot of events and donations to lots of charitiesWord of mouth from friends in the industry (e.g., wine shop owners, sommeliers) Branded credit card - to be part of customers' lives, introducing similar, women-focused, women-owned brands (e.g., Milk Bar), capitalizing on the movement of women supporting women, esp with their walletsBrand ambassador program - run through a 3rd party as a way to have affiliate marketing for influencersHighest ROI marketing - things that lead to partnerships w/ large national players, e.g., trade shows Get access to library episodes
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Library Release - Wine Preservation: Tom Lutz, Repour

    Library Release - Wine Preservation: Tom Lutz, Repour

    In this episode, Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung interview Tom Lutz, Founder & Creator of Repour Wine Savor, one of the leading new inventions in wine preservation technology. We discuss the technology, how people have learned about it, the differences between Coravin and Repour, and what the future holds.
      
    Other topics covered in this episode include:
    Tom is a chemist by trade (he worked in biodiesel and aquarium products)
    Repour was invented when he had a newborn son and ended up pouring half bottles of wine down the drain
    Technology: 
    It uses food-grade oxygen absorbersBinds the oxygen, of which the atmosphere has 21%, does not replace itIt requires air to exchange and remove the oxygen, so the bottle needs to be stored verticallyThe capacity of the stopper
    Built for 5 pours of one bottle, glass by glass - this would expose the wine to 1,500 ml of airThe max amount a stopper has to handle is 2,000 ml of airUses recyclable materials. However, many municipal grids have 3”x3” grids that filter out small objects; for large customers, they do take back repours to recycle
    PricingConsumer: 4-pack ($8.99 / $2.25 each), 10-pack ($17.99 / $1.80 each), 72-pack ($120 / $1.67 each)There are often promotions via the email listA future target price point is $1/stopper or lowerTrade: 4x72-pack (288 stoppers) - starts at $0.83 / stopperCustomers 
    Started with on-premise (restaurants)With COVID - moved more consumersWineries - have been using them for virtual tastings and wine club gifts, also several doing custom brandingCoravin vs. Repour - both work; Coravin is better for tasting and cellaring wine; Repour is for enjoying wine like you usually would and saving it
    Marketing 
    Mostly word of mouthAfter 1 year of testing the science, started with a local somm group that did a blind tasting and Repour worked greatTEXSOM - gave out samples and many conversations have come back to that eventDuration of effectiveness - weeks or months; Repour has tested out to 6-7 months
    The future - potentially replaceable inserts, sparkling wine, and the possibly showing how much oxygen absorbing capacity is left
    If you loved this episode, we would love for you to subscribe, rate, and review it on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time, cheers!

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    • 25 min
    Selling Celebrity w/ Albert Hammond Jr. of Jetway & The Strokes

    Selling Celebrity w/ Albert Hammond Jr. of Jetway & The Strokes

    Being the lead guitarist of the band, The Strokes, and with a celebrity roster of investors including Joaquin Phoenix, Owen Wilson, and Nick Hoult, one might believe that Albert Hammond Jr.’s new wine seltzer, Jetway, should have an easy path to take off. However, creating a product from ideation to quality in a can, starting a new business and raising money, and getting that wine seltzer into stores, restaurants, and people’s hands was more like launching a new band for Albert. It takes a lot of effort, and there are a lot of unknowns as to what might help it stick. Albert tells the story of the first year of Jetway and how celebrity has helped but is far from enough to make the product successful. 
    Detailed Show Notes
    Albert’s background
    Lead guitarist of The StrokesDad was into French Bordeaux, and Albert really liked the aromas of wineJetway’s founding - the idea came from drinking Aperol Spritzes in Italy and thinking it should be canned and modernized
    Jetway product
    Ultra-premium wine seltzer, positioned as a new category w/in a category between wine and seltzerWine base with yerba mate and yuzu/ginger/lemon peel (white) or white peach/orange peel (rosé)Dry with no added sugarCan’s art is trying to be nostalgic and newPrice point
    DTC - $131 / 24 cans (~$5.45/can, incl shipping)In-store - $14.99 / 4 packProduct launch
    Similar to launching a new bandIn 200+ storesAvailable at Disneyland on draft and the San Diego Zoo, both did wellThe goal was to sell 10,000 cases in the first yearMost people buying are not friends and familyRaising money
    He pitched to friends for feedback, and some wanted to investInvestors include Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, Nick Hoult, and Owen WilsonLeveraging celebrity
    It helps to get in the door for restaurants and stores, but a good product is required to bring people backSocial media is a “double-edged sword” - it only hits fans of the band, which is not the entire market for the productHe had Jetway on the road when The Strokes opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a broad audience enjoyed itMost of the investors don’t have social media, but mostly have helped provide feedback on product designCelebrity alcohol brands are growing, partially to diversify business interests and following the success of George Clooney’s tequila brand

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    • 38 min
    Enhancing the Enjoyment of Wine Collecting w/ Elton Potts, Vine Vault

    Enhancing the Enjoyment of Wine Collecting w/ Elton Potts, Vine Vault

    Catching the wine bug from the nudge of a physical trainer, Elton Potts, Founder & Managing Partner of Vine Vault, has built a business focused on enhancing the enjoyment of wine and wine collecting. From full-service wine storage to refrigerated shipping to hosting wine events, Vine Vault has grown rapidly and serves six markets in the US.  
    Detailed Show Notes: 
    Elton’s background
    A 27-year career in finance & ops ran a global storage and logistics businessA physical trainer said beer would undo the impacts of training and to substitute it with red wineFrustrated with storage and delivery options that existed, he started Vine VaultVine Vault
    1st two facilities launched in Q4 of 201570% annual revenue growth, doubled in 2021Six markets (Napa, LA, Austin, Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia), >50 team members (incl ~12 sommeliers)>75% of wine stored in a full-service storage programMission: to enhance the enjoyment of wine and wine collecting (beyond storage)
    Additional services 
    Fully refrigerated, door-to-door delivery services Fulfillment service for high-end wineries, incl pick & pack, hand labeling, wax dippingMoving cellarsWine eventsSommelier servicesStorage basics
    Climate control with low temp fluctuationHumidity - too dry dries corks; too humid creates moldSecurity - feel safe and have ease of accessAccess wine - want availability, but doesn’t risk securityClean facility - no chemical smells that can damage wine or rodents that might eat labels and packagingLocation access - ease of drop off / pick up (e.g., ramps)No vibrationLifestyle requirements - staff to receive shipments, inventory winesPricing varies by location
    Self storage - ~$3-4/case/monthConcierge / full service - ~$4.5-8/case/monthScale is not that important for only storage
    Scale supports logistics and eventsPlans to expand into more markets Arranges pickup & delivery of wines bought from wineries for consumers
    Schedules delivery, refrigerated, no styrofoam Winery avoids breakage, returns, and damageWinery knows customers get the best experience of the wineInflation and supply chain impacts - price not keeping up with cost increases
    Added a fuel surchargeThe most significant issues are supply chain, e.g., a truck offline for 4 months waiting for a door latchDeveloped boxes for storage & shipping
    Cardboard lays bottles flat, sturdy for stacking, and bottles don’t touch each other40-60% recycled material, no styrofoamWhite color to show confidence in the process, won’t get dirty or damagedTraveling road show for wineries - organize and plan events
    Business breakdown - all segments growing
    Wine delivery 40%, storage 30%, wine moving 20%, events 10%The biggest opportunity is delivering wineTrends
    More women collecting winePost-baby boomers collecting wineThe storage business is still growing, and people are becoming aware of it
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    • 47 min
    Library Release - Putting Trust in Data w/ Russ Mann, WineBid

    Library Release - Putting Trust in Data w/ Russ Mann, WineBid

    Library Release - Originally released as episode 26 on Nov 11th, 2020
    With a 25-year history, WineBid is the oldest and largest online wine auction site. The original re-commerce platform, Russ tells us about the auction process from the buyer and seller perspective and all the data they collect and display for the wines. This includes innovations such as a 360-degree bottle shot, price history charts, and new functionality like their customized shipping feature. He spills the beans on a few tips and tricks to get the best deals on WineBid!
    Detailed Show Notes: 
    WineBid - 25 years old, based in Seattle with operations in Napa, the oldest and largest wine auction site
    Weekly auctions - open at 7:15 pm PST on Sundays, close at 7 pm PST the next Sunday
    All items open at the same timePro’s get 1st 5-10 minutes to view and place bidsWhat doesn’t sell rolls into the following weekNow introducing some wines mid-week, with most wines going in one weekSet good reserves upfrontFor Sellers of wine
    Consignors are mostly private individualsMost sales are for $10,000-$1M+, ideally $100+ average bottle valueSellers send their list and get an estimateWineBid does the appraisal and after agreeing with the consignor, ships wine to the Napa warehouseWines are inspected, authenticated, and photographedOnce sold, sellers get a check or electronic wire transferAs part of an estimate, for larger cellars, WineBid will help catalog and pre-inspect on-siteReasons people sell wines
    As in many businesses, the 3 D’s - divorce, debt, and deathPeople also have their tastes change and swap out what’s in their cellarsThey move and want to downsize their cellarSpouse/partners - may force sales before they can buy moreConsignment vs. cash buyout for wine sellers - generally make more money consigning and capture more upside, but takes more time and can get paid sooner, at a discount, with immediate cash buyout
    Business model
    Seller commissions - at most auction houses, 5-25%, the larger the consignment, the lower the premiumBuyer’s premiums - generally 15-25%, 17% at WineBid vs ~20-25% for live auctionsBuyer demographics - ~135-150,000 registered bidders
    70% US, 20% Asia, 10% Europe⅔ Male, ⅓ FemaleUpper middle-income with professionals in high-tech, finance, lawyers, doctors, etc.Demographics are getting younger, particularly in 2020 -> interested in a broader selection of wines with higher mobile usageMost learn about WineBid via word of mouth, recently doing more social and digital advertising and trying to make the experience more personalWineBid Innovations
    360-degree hi-res bottle shotsOne of the best for still photography in wine auctionsShipping functionality - can see everything you have and pick and choose what and when to shipSome of the most detailed condition notes on bottlesWine price chart for the history of the bottleProvenance premiums
    Don’t see significant premiums on provenanceNo significant premiums for original wood cases (“OWC”) - buyers often don’t want to pay extra to ship the wood caseCertificates of authenticity not seeing significant premiumsLabel appearance is important to many buyersThe proliferation of wine critics and influencers has led to some influencers rivaling and outpacing traditional media

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    • 53 min
    Scaling Wine Storage w/ Jeff Anthony and Jeff Smith, Vino Vault

    Scaling Wine Storage w/ Jeff Anthony and Jeff Smith, Vino Vault

    The wine storage landscape has never been as dynamic as it is today. Primarily due to Vino Vault and its goal of “making wine collecting more enjoyable.” With six facilities today and the goal of getting to 40-50, Jeff Anthony, President & CEO, and Jeff Smith, Chief Wine Officer, describe how scale allows them to offer more products and services to customers. From a soon-to-be-launched marketplace to auction advisory, Vino Vault is taking wine storage to another level.  
    Detailed Show Notes: 
    Jeff Anthony (President & CEO) - wine enthusiast for 30 years, storage expert for 35 years (Iron Mountain)
    Jeff Smith (Chief Wine Officer) - helped father catalog his wine collection and turned it into a business - Carte du Vin Wine Cellar Management and wine storage business that sold to Vino Vault
    Vino Vault offerings
    1st and foremost, a storage companyConsulting for in-home cellarsLogistics for wine movingSoon to launch a marketplace for storage customers to buy and sell wineAuction advisory (Jeff Smith’s role)7 locations - 3 in LA, Dallas, Houston, NYC, Denver
    Storage best practices - temp control, humidity control, security, racking
    Wine Owners - proprietary software for full-service customers, can manage collection and schedule delivery
    2 types of customers - private locker (~50%) and full service (~50%)
    NYC is all full service, trying to get more people on full service
    Supply chain and inflation have not impacted business as higher-end customers feel it less
    Vino Vault differentiation - national reach, in 6 markets today, will be in 10 by early 2023
    Scale benefits - can offer more products & services, can spread expertise and technology across a bigger business
    M&A - goal is 40-50 locations, 80% North America, 20% Western Europe (UK), ~8-10 acquisitions / year
    Storage market size - ~215-230 Facilities
    NA (US + Canada) - ~135-140 independent storage facilitiesW Europe - ~30-40Rest of the World - ~50Auction services - 20 years dealing with all auction houses
    Handle all the logisticsAdvisory services are free to customers with no obligationGet paid a finder’s fee from auction housesMarketplace
    Focused on the ~80% of wine to sell that is up to ~$100-125/bottle (vs. ~20% that is rare and collectible and should go to auction)The benefit is speed to market, and transactions can happen immediately vs. ~4 months for auctionsCommissions are dramatically lower than auctionsData insights - anecdotally seeing a move away from high-end Napa Cabs and Sine Qua Non
    Wine tastings and events - host some at some facilities, building event space in the flagship LA store (The Wine Hotel)
    Storage is a sticky business vs. online wine retail which is transient

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    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
89 Ratings

89 Ratings

WineJingJin ,

Amazing content for wine business

The content of this Podcast is unbelievable! There are many latest trends and insightful interviews updated frequently. Robert and Peter are not only excellent listeners, but also brilliant interviewers with meaningful questions! I have learned a lot since I follow them in 2021. Many wine friends from the trade and MW program recommend it too! Highly appreciated!

brandon sparks-gillis ,

Super Insightful

One of the very best wine podcasts, with a range of episodes which will appeal to a wide variety of wine enthusiasts.

The insights into the business side of wine are deep, and are an invaluable tool for wine students as well as those in the business.

Peter and Robert are inquisitive and do a great job selecting guests and topics to analyze.

Keep up the great work!

Brmatthews ,

Important Discussions To Keep Wine Competitive

During this transition point for the wine industry the conversation Peter and Robert are facilitating is very important for keeping wine relevant for years to come.

The difficulties in demand for wine with new consumers currently is well documented. The discussions and sharing of expertise on XChateau helps us find new strategies to tell the story of wine in a meaningful way.

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