Glasshaus Wine Company Creates First Crowd-Funded Winery with Social Mission
New Petaluma Wine Company Promises Profits to Mentor Me Petaluma
Glasshaus Wine Company, based in Petaluma,
offers a new twist on the traditional winery wine club program through a crowd-funded
subscription model to finance its yearly production costs.
Similar to some community supported agricultural models (Canvas Ranch, Tara
Firma Farms), wine enthusiasts become members by purchasing annual wine
‘Shares’ prior to the wine being produced (à la
Futures). Each share equals one case of Glasshaus wine at a 20%
discount off the retail price. Members
can purchase as many shares (cases) as they like and they are rewarded with
greater discounts the longer they remain in the program.
Glasshaus also pledges another 20% of their profits to youth mentoring organizations across the country. In the Petaluma area, these monies will be allocated to Mentor Me Petaluma, a local non-profit helping at-risk Petaluma youth with adult mentoring relationships. Outside of Petaluma, member geography and sales demographics determine the distribution of donations to similar programs.
And what about the wine? Glasshaus sources its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from the award-winning Sangiacomo Vineyards and produces its ultra-premium wine at the state-of-the-art Keller Estate winery, two prestigious local winegrowing and winemaking companies. The 2013 average retail price for Glasshaus wines is $456/case but $364.80/case ($30.40/bottle) for Members.
Understanding the growing demand for corporate transparency and accountability, Glasshaus provides its members with unparalleled visibility into its operations through monthly vineyard reports, winemaking data, and annual reports of operations including efficacy details of its philanthropy. Members are encouraged to nominate mentoring programs in their communities and are also consulted for wine quality feedback and future varietal production. “How can we call ourselves a Community Supported Winery if we don’t keep our community engaged and involved in helping shape our future? It’s the reason we are here,” says Rodney Gagnon, Founder and CEO.
By focusing on direct sales, Glasshaus avoids traditional distribution and marketing costs, allowing them to pass the savings onto the community. “Our goal is to build a sustainable wine business dedicated to becoming a pillar in the Petaluma community and to donate more than $150,000 annually to successful youth mentoring programs,” concludes Gagnon.
Glasshaus is now accepting pre-registration for new members for the 2013 vintage and will open membership to all on May 15th. They are only offering 350 shares in 2013 and expect to sell out quickly. 2013 wine shares will be delivered during the Fall of 2014. To learn more about Glasshaus Wine Company and how to become a member, visit http://www.glasshauswines.com.
About Glasshaus Wine Company
Glasshaus Wine Company is a Community Supported Winery (CSW) dedicated to producing ultra-premium Sonoma Coast (Petaluma Gap) wines and investing in successful youth mentoring programs. Like some community supported agricultural models, members pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of winegrowing and winemaking. In return, members receive discounted shares of artisanal, small-batch production, 100% transparency during the winegrowing and winemaking process, as well as the satisfaction gained from supporting their local community.
Rodney Gagnon, Founder/CEO
101 2nd Street, Suite 214
Petaluma, CA 94952