The VineSpring Story
It’s funny where love leads. In 2008, I upended my life and moved from Colorado to California for a woman. I’d fallen for someone who owns a vineyard and winery, a business I knew nothing about. I’m a tech guy, after all, and had built my own internet-related business in Colorado. After a few months of traveling between Colorado and California, I joined my newfound love in Sonoma and soon thereafter we started Dunstan Wines.
I quickly found out that selling wine is harder than it looks. It’s an uber-competitive space, with many premium wines just like ours that are readily available. If you’ve ever tried selling your own wine to restaurants or wine shops, then you know exactly how hard it is. And, once you land that coveted spot on a great wine list, it takes months, maybe even a year, for them to reorder. As vintages were piling up in storage, it was obvious I needed to look at other avenues for selling, and a wine club seemed like a logical answer.
There really isn’t a secret to building a successful wine club. Like selling wine to a restaurant, it’s just good ol’ fashioned hard work and requires interacting one on one with potential club members, sharing our story and, in our case, connecting them to the land where the grapes are grown. I find spending time with a couple for a few hours and getting to know one another while enjoying the wine is the best way to acquire new club members, and after a few years, most continue to be in the club. Although a slow process, many friends are made, stories shared, and a healthy winery business is built.
Managing a wine club doesn’t need to be difficult, you just need the right tools. I recall keeping track of club members with a combination of Excel and Quickbooks. It used to take 3 weeks to process about 100 club orders, but today, almost 400 club orders takes only 3 hours. Creating orders en masse, processing in batch, isolating and sending paid orders to fulfillment - these steps should be easy. It’s why we started VineSpring.
I met my business partner, Jamison Morrow, about 17 years ago in Colorado. After working on several web related projects together, it was clear he was the best web application developer I’d ever met. If anyone could build a system to help manage a wine club, Jamison was the guy. We formed VineSpring in 2011 with the goal of simplifying DTC wine sales.
From the beginning, we’ve been devoted to serving the small winery. It’s where my roots are. We view ourselves as an extension of your winery team, a partner that helps to ensure you can accomplish tasks easier. We solve problems through simplicity and work to build smart solutions for wineries—for your unique needs.
Here we are six years later, serving more than 350 wineries, supporting their ability to cater to their customers, make great wine, and do what they love. We’ve grown beyond serving only small wineries, but we’ve maintained the same personal service for our clients. VineSpring will continue to evolve, adapt, and provide great features and time-saving tools to our clients. It’s what we love to do.