Naked Wines' bond-funded fine wine is ready

The first batch of fine wine funded by Naked Wines’ fine wine bond is ready.

The online retailer raised £5 million to invest in new fine winemakers through its bond, which it launched in October last year, exceeding the original target of £3 million. 

Bondholders were able to choose whether to receive either 7% per annum in cash, or 10% per annum in wine credits to buy wine from Naked Wines.

The first vintage to become available is Sam Plunkett’s Metayage 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon made in Dookie, Central Victoria, Australia. Plunkett wanted to make a wine in the cool Strathbogie Ranges in his home region. The funding from Naked Wines’ turned his dream into a reality.

The vintage was offered to bondholders first, and one in three pre-ordered a case of the Metayage in the first 24 hours.

Plunkett said:  “I always knew that if we could cover the cost, there was a great opportunity to maximise the potential of this already good block. Once I had the funding required to give this wine the small batch attention at vintage and the time in new oak that I knew it deserved, I was able to elevate it from good Cabernet to great. Now Naked Wines can offer its customers the perfect example of an inky, highly perfumed, Strathbogie Cabernet with extraordinary length of flavour that does my home region proud and doesn’t break bank balances!”

Naked Wines is currently funding 23 fine winemakers via proceeds from the bond and expects 39 new vintages to be available to its customers over the next two years.

Rowan Gormley, Naked Wines’ founder and chief executive, said: “Now that we have the financial firepower to attract the world’s best winemakers, provide them with the highest quality fruit and give them the time and resources required to make stunning wines, I believe there is a bright future for Naked Wines’ fine wine offering.

“Our bondholders our enabling us to reinvent the way the fine wine industry works; creating a more equitable environment where everyone from the winemaker to the consumer reaps the benefits.  I can’t wait for our angels to taste Sam’s Cabernet – now they’ll know what we’ve been banging on about when we say that fine wine should be made available to everyone at a sensible price!”

Naked Wines was founded in December 2008 – it now has 140,000 customers or “angels” who invest over £2.5 million a month towards future orders. To date it has invested in over 100 independent winemakers from 13 countries. It ships around 20,000 bottles of wine per day. Its sales are growing at 67% year-on-year, and turnover in 2013 was over £60 million, up from £40m in 2012. 

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