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Startup Poised to Disrupt $78 Billion US Wine Industry

Startup Poised to Disrupt $78 Billion US Wine Industry

Today Sommly announces the launch of their Direct-to-Consumer wine marketplace. Sommly helps wineries get discovered, grow their wine club, and sell more wine. Consumers now have access to wine that is rarely sold in retail stores or restaurants, and a platform to learn more about wine and wineries via consumer reviews.

Founded by a husband and wife team, Erik and Sara Wagner, Sommly’s initial focus is the Texas market, where there are over 450 wineries and over 2 million gallons of wine produced annually. In 2021, US wineries sold $78.3 billion in wine with $4.2 billion of that coming in the form of direct online sales. These numbers represent an increase of 17% and 13.5% respectively over the prior year, which indicates that consumers are quickly embracing buying wine online.

The majority of the US’ approximately 11,500 wineries do not sell their wines in retail stores or restaurants because it results in much lower profits for wineries due to the three-tier system of alcohol distribution. Sommly enables these wineries to find new customers and sell their wine online direct-to-consumers, which protects their profit margins.

“Many smaller operators know they need to get online but need help. Sommly’s entrance as the ‘Etsy of Wine’ will be extremely helpful for boutique wineries, and the timing is brilliant with the accelerated shift toward eCommerce.” – Dr. Liz Thach, Award Winning Author & Wine Educator

Sommly is not the only option available for wineries to sell wine digitally, but as compared to a winery building and supporting their own eCommerce website, the Sommly marketplace improves a winery’s discoverability, is less expensive to maintain, leverages economies of scale, and provides an experience that aligns with how consumers prefer to shop.

“Consumers appreciate the discoverability and convenience of online marketplaces. Sommly is applying many of the same concepts that have been perfected by marketplaces like Etsy and AirBnB to wine. The end result will be a more informed consumer, improved access, and more DTC wine sales. I’m excited to be an early adopter of the platform.” – Rae Wilson, Owner and Winemaker, Wine for the People

The Sommly marketplace now hosts over 80 wine bottles for purchase and 450 wineries. The platform is now available for all Texas wineries to join free-of-cost. Premium subscriptions are available for wineries who wish to list their wines for sale in the marketplace and to feature their wine club memberships. For more information on Sommly, please visit Sommly.com.

About Sommly: Sommly is an online marketplace helping artisanal wineries get discovered and sell more wine direct-to-consumers, thereby maximizing the wineries’ profit margins. The Sommly marketplace helps consumers gain access to wines that are rarely sold in retail stores or restaurants. Sommly educates consumers via reviews, events, community engagement, and  gamification. Sommly was accepted into the Texas Venture Labs Accelerator in January, 2022.

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