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Thursday, 3 December 2009

Consumer Participation in Vinos Ambiz Winery

We've just launched a new way for our consumers to participate more closely with us in the wine-making process. By 'new' I mean new for us, as like most things, this has probably been done before somewhere by someone!

The idea is that a consumer (or group of consumers) finance the purchase of a new oak cask (around €300) and we pay them back in bottles of wine.

This year, because we had such a small harvest, we only have enough wine to fill one (1) additional cask, but next year we intend to buy a lot more. The financing of this year's cask has already been 'awarded' to a friend (and notorious long-time consumer of our wines), as we've been talking about doing this for years!

Our two current casks (and the space where the third one is going to go in January)

These are the terms and conditions:

The fundamental reason or motive for financicng the casks in collaboration with our consumers is not economic or financial in nature, but it is intended to be a way of facilitating consumer participation in the project, of establishing closer relations between producer and consumers, and of exchanging information.

There are no interest payments nor any other type of economic or financial incentive as the idea here is not obtain profits from an investment. Its simply another way of participating, just like helping out at the harvest or pruning or washing bottles. It is assumed that the person financing the cask in this way is doing so in order to participate in the wine-making process and to support the project in general.

We have tried to make it as simple as possible and the same for all the future participants, so as to reduce complications and 'administrative overheads' when there are many participants.

1. The cost of the cask is repaid exclusively in bottles of wine (the participant can choose if he wants the very wine produced in the cask, or any other type of wine produced by Vinos Ambiz, if and when available)

2. The bottle of wine is valued at the price set at the beginning of each year

3. The participant can choose if he/she wants to receive the bottles of wine in a single lot or if he/she wants to spread them out over the lifetime of the cask

4. The participants, like all our consumers, can come to the winery to help out with any activity involving their cask (filling, racking, washing, etc)

5. The old cask belongs to the particiapnt. If he/she doesn't want it, we'll keep it at the winery.


  1. I don't think I've seen anyone else do this... what a cool idea!

    It would be interesting to document the life of one of these casks... kinda like an adopt-a-cask program!


  2. I like the concept. It's a interesting and alternative business model.
    Please let me know more details about it.


  3. Hi, Ligurio,
    Thanks for the comment and for expressing an interest :)

    There's not really much more to say except for what's written in the post! At the moment it's quite simple as we only have one participant (the barrel arrives this Wednesday!) and next year we expect to have about 15. 10 are already signed up and they are all local customers who we know personally.

    I'm not sure that there would be much interest from abroad. If someone were interested, we would of course be just as happy as we are with our local participants! We could send them photos and up-to-date info on their barrel and would be happy to receive them at the winery whenever they could come.

    If you have any questions, just email me, or post them here, as you wish.


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