Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
11.03.2009  
 

Vintrust Closes Consumer Business

Winery fulfillment services continue to operate in Napa Valley

 
by Paul Franson
 
 
Vintrust Somm Selections
 
Vintrust published the last issue of its Somm
Selections magazine last winter

Napa, Calif. -- Another wine company is calling it quits. Vintrust is closing its consumer wine storage system and referring customers to former competitor Vinfolio.

Napa-based Vintrust offered collectors a place to store wine securely, plus a data management system to keep track of their holdings. It was particularly popular with out-of-state buyers, many from states that don’t allow legal shipping. Vintrust is continuing its winery club fulfillment services, however.

Vintrust CEO Barry Waitte says the company is winding down the collector side of the business, a process that started two months ago. “Business conditions simply didn’t allow us to move forward with this business.”

He says that Vintrust’s downfall has been the economic climate, which has strongly affected the customers who stored their cult and other wines at its facility. “Clients stopped buying and collecting wine. They started to sell the wine in vast quantities, as we could see from where the wines were being shipped, like to auction houses.”

Ironically, Waitte says, the facility recently has been receiving automatic shipments of wine for clients who haven’t changed their arrangements, because this is the season when wineries typically ship new releases.

He says his company has been trying to make the transfer to Vinfolio as seamless as possible. “Vinfolio was in semi-competition with us, and we looked a lot alike in our operation, so it was straightforward. They’re gladly taking on the business.”

Vinfolio CEO Steve Bachmann told Wines & Vines, “Vinfolio has been working closely with Vintrust to offer its clients a safe transfer of their wine collections to Vinfolio’s full-service storage facilities in San Francisco and American Canyon, ensuring the security of their wine.”

Vintrust’s Waitte says that most of his customers seem to be taking advantage of the agreement with Vinfolio, although some have just picked up their wine and taken it home. That’s not practical for out-of-state buyers, who accounted for more than half the customers for the service.

Vintrust was founded in 2002 by investment banker André de Baubigny and his friend and former business associate, technology industry management consultant Timothy Komada. The two decided to create an “investment bank” for wine, which became Vintrust.

After securing investors, they leased a suitable warehouse in Napa in October 2003 and signed their first clients. They opened a storage facility in New York in 2006, and one in Sonoma in 2008. Both are now being closed.

Vintrust also started a recommendation service featuring 30 sommeliers, and it even published a quarterly magazine, Somm Selections. The winter 2008 Somm was the last issue.

The company expanded from serving collectors to develop storage and wine-club fulfillment services for small wineries. It also started selling wine online.

“We discovered that the world didn’t really need another wine retailer,” Waitte says. “It’s a rough business to be in, and you have to know the regulations,” he adds, alluding to recent California Alcoholic Beverage Control rulings questioning wine sales by unlicensed Internet and other retailers who depend on third parties for compliance.

Vintrust continues its winery services, including warehousing and direct-to-consumer fulfillment, which Waitte says serve more than 100 wineries in Napa Valley. “This business is fine, even good,” he says.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
March 2013 $546 million
5%
$6,988 million
7%
March 2014 $572 million $7,451 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
March 2013 $177 million
20%
$1,483 million
10%
March 2014 $213 million $1,634 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
March 2013 253
15%
166
27%
March 2014 292 210
     
 
MORE » Released on 04.14.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • April 17
     
    SSU Spring Business Mixer
     
  • April 17
     
    Temecula Grape Day Conference
     
  • April 18
     
    WineFlavor 101B: Nitrogen Management from Vine to Wine
     
  • April 19
     
    Appellation St. Helena food pairing competition
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Starbucks Expands Wine Sales to More Cities »
 
Pretty amazing that the 1st wines chosen are from Argentina, Italy, and New Zealand! I...
Reader: Jacques Brix
 
Article: Starbucks Expands Wine Sales to More Cities »
 
Given Starbucks commitment to sustainability and global responsibility, I expect this move could be a...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: What to Do About Red Blotch »
 
There is NO correlation with planting density. Also FPS is working on the problem. New...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Premiere Wine Auction Nets $5.9 million »
 
Thanks for letting us know Janet, we've updated the story. Cheers
Reader: Andrew Adams
 
Article: Will Barrels Go the Way of Floppy Disks? »
 
Fun piece. Particularly enjoyed the three clearly superior attributes of standard barrels, including looking cool...
Reader: Tom Gable
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Tasting Room Sales Ass...
 Saint Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 2014 Harvest Intern
 Santa Rosa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Harvest Lab Intern
 Clarksburg, CA
Winemaking and Production
 2014 Harvest Internshi...
 Windsor, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Direct Sales Coordinat...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Harvest Lab Technician...
 Yountville, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Seasonal Grape Sampler
 Yountville, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Dtc Assistant
 Santa Rosa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Fine Wine Sales
 Los Angeles & San Francisco, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Bookkeeper For Start-U...
 Sebastopol, CA
Finance
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.