Some say that wine is life, or is it life is wine? Either way, I was introduced to wine at an early age. It was frequently on my family’s dinner table growing up and I have fond memories of it being at the center of many celebrations throughout the years. As my appreciation for wine grew, I found myself in love with the endless learning process, educating myself on the nuisances, flavor profiles, food pairing options, varietals, and regional differences wine has to offer. Being born and raised in Sonoma County and surrounded by top-notch producers, it was pretty hard not to visit and learn more about wine frequently.
As my palate expanded and experiences grew, I started being known to my friends as a “wine guy”. I later found out that this had both benefits and drawbacks. Many of my friends, knowing my passion for adventure and good taste, would ask me for personal recommendations. Which wines they should buy and which wineries to go tasting at. Each time this question was asked, it got me thinking about the difficulty of making a good recommendation. Like everyone else, I too struggled with the “what should I buy”, “where should I go tasting” question. I attributed the struggle to a few things, but more importantly, I wanted to find a solution. A digital solution.
It’s a well-established fact that wine is considered intimidating to some and brands of all sizes would like a more democratized approach. There are literally hundreds of varietal and growing regions throughout the world each with different flavors, pairing options and price points. I think we’ve all been in a grocery store or restaurant and purchased based on a cool label, a brand we recognized, or a word of mouth recommendation. Making a recommendation on something as personal as which winery to visit can be even more complicated. It usually involves asking yourself a series of questions and taking the time to map out a route based on a plethora of possibilities and endless maze of options.
They say all good ideas have already been thought of, but after researching the digital wine landscape, I found that the industry was behind as it relates to current web and mobile technologies. For that reason, I assembled a talented web development team to address the current and future needs of the industry and tie brands and consumers together for a true and lasting relationship. Two years later, we introduce to you Wine Routes.
Wine Routes a new desktop and mobile app that helps users plan trips and travel to wine country, has reinvented the wine country experience. The app, developed by Sonoma County-based technology company Grapexchange, is a dual-purpose platform delivering highly integrated services to both consumers and wine businesses, allowing them to connect and grow like never before.
Anyone in the industry knows, there is a disconnect between brands and consumers that has significantly hindered wine lovers in their search for wineries that fit tastes and vacation plans. “Historically, consumers have found it difficult to differentiate wineries based on price, ratings, reviews, amenities, and varietals served“, said Adrian Tamblin, Wine Route’s CEO and Co-Founder, “This disconnect has made it nearly impossible for consumers to find and plan trips to nearby wineries without the help of professionals, guided tours, or informal recommendations from friends.”
Wine Routes elevates the wine travel experience for users and brands alike. Using Wine Routes’ wine country trip planner, consumers can explore wine country locations based on amenities, varietals served, price level, and reviews. Additionally, they can curate and share their very own wine routes with the community, allowing them to customize their perfect wine country experience.
When a user arrives at a winery, the app allows them to interact with wines currently being served. They can quickly add descriptive tags and reviews, storing their personal taste and experience of the wine. Saving wines and following wineries creates a connection between that user and the brand, helping them stay engaged and informed of new wine releases, special offers, and experiences long after their trip ends.
This streamlined integration of travel planning and consumer-brand interaction is a first for the wine industry. “What sets Wine Routes apart is that we have brought all brands and experiences together into one community, providing consumers a single platform to access on-demand information about their trips to wine country. Additionally, brands now can interact with consumers who have shown direct interest in their wines and winery,” said COO Ian Scales. This not only builds brand awareness for wineries but also deeply emphasizes brand identity and expands the general winery narrative.
Wine Routes is committed to making wine travel easier and more fun for consumers. The very nature of our mobile and desktop platform encourages tasting room visitation and provides unparalleled benefits to brands struggling to make meaningful relationships with their consumers. We are actively raising the quality of the consumer-brand relationship and want to provide a cohesive integrated approach to consumers and brands alike. We want all wine lovers, regardless of State, AVA, or understanding of wine, to enjoy their wine tasting experience.
Wine Routes, a winery trip planner, coupled with our digital tasting interface changes the way users interact with the wines and brands they love. Wine Routes provides users with a powerful tool that tracks the wineries they’ve visited, saves the wines they’ve tasted, plans their wine travel, and digitizes the entire experience in one fun easy to use and time-saving mobile application. The Wine Routes social community will facilitate growth and serve as a direct link between producers and an active community of wine enthusiasts, connecting the two like never before.
It’s my true hope that Wine Routes helps many millions experience wine a new way.
We invite you to download the app, create a route and share it with friends.
Hope to see you, in Wine Country!
CEO – Co-Founder