Naked Wines' Rod Easthope sells 24,000 bottles of unmade wine worth £280K in just 24 hours

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Crowd-funded unmade wine already a big hit, as UK wine drinkers flock to pre-order 2000 cases.

Naked Wines' Winemaker Rod Easthope

Naked Wines' Winemaker Rod Easthope

It's fantastic to see our Angels rallying round and showing their support for Rod, and demonstrating the Naked model in action - which is driven by their loyalty and investment.

New Zealand winemaker Rod Easthope, who has just announced he’s left Craggy Range to team up with UK wine retailer Naked Wines, has pre-sold 24,000 bottles of unmade wine in 24 hours, worth over £280K.

The unmade wine, which is still hanging on the vine, sold quicker than a case a minute on Naked Wines’ MarketPlace platform, which allows winemakers to pitch parcels of wines directly to consumers to help raise funds and cash-flow.

Rod, who stayed up late to watch the pitch unfold, posted: “Wow. It really is overwhelming to be communicating so directly with you all. The weight of expectation is palpable…”

And Rowan Gormley, Naked Wines CEO added: “It’s fantastic to see our Angels rallying round and showing their support for Rod, and demonstrating the Naked model in action – which is driven by their loyalty and investment.”

The money raised will finance the grapes for Rod’s first two wines with Naked Wines, a premium Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris made from Hawke’s Bay fruit, which will retail for £8.99 and £7.99 a bottle respectively (Angel price).

Naked Wines, who turned three in December, also reached a key milestone this week when it recruited its 100,000th Angel, customers who invest over £24million a year towards future orders, to help discover and fund producers like Rod.

During Rod’s pitch, over 500 Naked Wines’ Angels posted words of support on his profile wall, where customers can chat directly to the winemaker.

To see a dialogue of the action as it happened, visit http://www.nakedwines.com/marketplace

And independent winemakers looking for funding and UK representation should email eamon.fitzgerald(at)nakedwines(dot)com or visit http://www.nakedwines.com/suppliers

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NOTES ON ROD EASTHOPE:
Rod Easthope, who’s spent the last seven years as Chief Winemaker at Craggy Range, grew up working on vineyards in the Dartmoor Valley of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand – which nurtured his fascination with wine.

He studied a wine science degree at Roseworthy College in South Australia, the leading institution for oenology and viticulture at the time – and then learnt his trade with stints in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and France.

It was during that time that he met the people who affected the grower he is today, including Peter Dry, Steve Smith MW, Phil Freese, Matt Thomson, Kym Milne MW, John Belsham, Alex Dale and Michael Dridjohn.

Rod also launched his own label called Easthope Winegrowers Ltd with his wife Emma in 2009, where they produce a small range of premium, eclectic wines – but this will remain a separate venture to his project with Naked Wines.

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Francesca Krajewski
Naked Wines
(016) 032-8180 x0
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