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We have always loved hosting wine tastings. The thrill of putting a new wine in front of people and seeing their reactions is incredible.
Jamie and Alex had just opened the doors to their new winery and tasting room in Tring and hosted their first wine tastings when COVID-19 hit. We had bookings due for more tastings in the winery, but couldn't let people in. Quickly, we realised that we could do still do the events for all our customers, even though they were trapped at home, by re-bottling the wine into tiny bottles.
But rebottling is difficult as the small bottles didn't work with our winery equipment. We couldn't keep the quality of the wines for long enough to ship them around the country, as oxygen got in during the rebottling process. Postage was difficult, expensive and carbon-intensive because of the weight. The glass bottles were even sometimes arriving broken or too late for the tasting.
Frankly, we knew we could do better. People loved the tastings and wanted to come back and bring their friends, but it didn't work well outside of our local area.
So we brainstormed and Alex, a Cambridge-educated Engineer as well as our winemaker, came up with our lightweight, innovative packaging that would fit through your letterbox. We've spent months having custom machinery built to repack the wine and then perfecting the process so it will arrive in perfect condition for your tasting.
We then stepped up the work on making the production values as good as the wine, with beautiful tasting notes, aroma cards, journals, custom corkscrews and glasses, we wanted to make sure you get what you need to make the most of a wine tasting. We even created a TV studio!
Finally, we spent time talking to our customers and working out what they liked and what they didn't. They wanted entertainment and interactivity. They didn't want to be lectured for hours about the geeky intricacies of winemaking or which years were best in Bordeaux. They wanted to spend an hour or so, having fun, learning how to find a great wine and hearing interesting stories.
And that's how we created the Online Wine Tasting Club! We're incredibly lucky to have been joined by a number of incredibly experienced and interesting wine folk who shared our vision about wine entertainment and education.
We're incredibly excited to bring this club to you; but it's your club! You tell us what you are enjoying or not and we will respond to that. Thank you for joining us on this journey and we look forward to seeing you online.
How our Packaging works.
We love the wines we send you and want you to experience them in the best possible condition. The bottles arrive to us in their standard retail packaging. We need to get them into our custom-built mailing boxes.
We do this under "inert" gas – that means keeping them away from the Oxygen in the air which reacts with the wine and can spoil it. We use a Coravin to take a sample of each bottle which a Sommelier then checks to see that there are no faults (like corkage), then decant each bottle carefully into a small wine tank filled with inert gas so that as little sediment and oxygen as possible gets into the wine.
From there, they go into our custom-built filling machine which takes the wine and forms a sachet, purges all the air out of it and fills it with inert gas, then carefully pours the wine in to the exact measurement and seals it – all in just a few seconds.
Our sachets are made of a film that we have researched and developed, made of four separate layers laminated together to provide outstanding wine protection from oxygen, light, heat, pathogens and even physical damage. But to make doubly sure and to make them easier to handle, we then protect every single sachet in its own sustainably-sourced and recyclable card container.
All in all, we are confident that your wine has no better chance to arrive safely and in perfect condition.
The Online Wine Tasting Club is a trading name of Urban Craft Wines Ltd, company number 12276774 registered in England and Wales.
Unit 46, Silk Mill Business Park, Brook Street, Tring, HP23 5EF, United Kingdom
VAT: GB 338766360