Libre.vin explained

We are building a community of people and businesses that have one thing in common. We love real wine made by real winegrowers.

We seek to connect people on this online platform. And doing so, we’ve had to turn the traditional distribution model upside-down.

We are not attracted to ‘perfect’, and we are not here to please the masses. We are running this as a business, but we are not ‘big business’. A business enables us to get up again tomorrow and do it all again. So that’s what we’ll do.

If you are a winegrower you can learn more below.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to speak to us. (+45 51900253 / joachim@vinhacker.dk)

WHY WE DO IT

We want to see you shine. We want to see you build a business that is every bit as sustainable as your farming. And we only want to invite middlemen if they add real value between you and the consumer. We believe that this is the best way to spread the fruits of your generous work.

WHAT WE DO

We connect small scale natural winegrowers with consumers, wine bars, restaurants… anyone who appreciate handmade wines. We are located in Copenhagen where our storage facilities act as a remote stock for our winegrowers. The online platform gathers all the wines in a webshop, and each winegrower also get their own shop. We handle all the administrative tasks fast and efficiently. The rest of our time is spent developing and promoting the platform.

WHO WE DO IT WITH

We are looking for small scale winegrowers who work organically in the vineyard and naturally in the winery. We are not fanatics, but we demand full disclosure on your winemaking pratices. You are not the type who hide behind exclusivity deals and other small monopolies. You appreciate the value in connecting directly with your current and future fans. You believe in freedom from constraints, and you see your independence as a good investment for the future.

HOW WE DO IT

We invite you to send us some of your wines. With your help we quickly add the wines to our webshop. You provide the info and decide prices & discounts. We promote the platform and our community in order to attract restaurants, businesses and consumers. Once we make a sale, your share is added to your balance which is transferred automatically to your bank account weekly.

WHAT YOU GET

  • You get a physical presence for your wines in Denmark (good start, right?)
  • You get full control over available quantities, prices and specific customer discounts.
  • You get a partner in Denmark who takes care of all the practical stuff: storage, handling, shipping, taxes, web presence, payment processing, customer service etc.
  • You get your wines in the hands of a natural wine importer (we also act as a traditional wine import under the name Vinhacker).
  • You get the chance to connect directly with your fans.
  • You get your own login to the platform where you can follow all individual orders, earnings and payouts.
  • You get to offer attractive prices while keeping a larger part of the revenue (win-win).

WHAT YOU BRING

  • You give up the idea of having an exclusive distributor in Denmark. or put in another way, you work towards having many small customers instead of one large customer (to minimize risk and plan for the long run).
  • You bear the cost of shipping your wines to Denmark (you don’t have to pay before your wines are sold).
  • You will do yourself and everyone else a favor by actively communicating with your fans (but still optional).

WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS GET

  • The joy of buying sustainable products directly from the producer.
  • New inspiring friendships.
  • A great story to tell their friends.
  • Much more value for their money.

PRICING

Our pricing model is very simple. For each sale we keep:

€2 + 15 %

Roughly speaking, the money is used like this:

€2 to cover the costs of credit card fixed fee, Danish alcohol tax, Danish bottle recycling tax, rent of storage, insurance and handling.

3 % to cover variable credit card and bank fees.

12 % to run, develop and promote the platform (in other words: our share).

The structure of your pricing is completely up to you. But we will provide you with an easy guide to set the prices, and we recommend that you structure them in a way that makes life better for both you and your fans.

NOW WHAT?

Does this sound like something for you?

Then reach out today and let us arrange the details. Libre.vin is not a big Silicon Valley idea with investors, crazy growth targets and robots behind the screen. We are real people, and we would love to help you.


Questions & answers

Who are you really?

My name is Joachim Niclasen. I have worked with wine since 2007, when I got a job in a local wine bar. I was soon managing the place, and I stayed there while I finished my studies at the IT University in Copenhagen.

In 2011 I handed in my thesis about new web-based business models in the wine industry. I immediately began putting the theory into action and created what I called Vinkollektivet (The Wine Collective), an online platform and offline community among small Danish wine importers. That was fun!

In 2014 I started the to import wine myself. I called my company Vinhacker (Wine Hacker) and tried to live up to the cheeky name by turning things (price structures, communication strategies and preferred segments) somewhat upside-down. This was also where I really started to fall in love with natural wine.

In 2018 I launched a natural wine subscription called Kaoskassen.

This year I took the first baby steps towards learning to grow and make wine myself, when I co-created and joined an ambitious 18-month course in collaboration with Danish natural wine producer Garbolund.

The idea for Libre.vin has lived inside my head for years, and it doesn’t seem to go away. So here I am trying to do what most people probably find naive and impossible: Creating a place for winegrowers to connect directly with their fans, making a better life for themselves and their fans along the way.

I do not work alone anymore though. I have finally realized that all those ideas can’t be taken into action without a great team by my side. Perhaps you will meet everyone one day 🙂

How are we going to connect to customers?

That is the big question! And there is no single answer to the question. We will constantly we testing new ideas but our framework looks like this:

Email
Email is still the most powerful medium for creating an maintaining a close connection between consumers and producers online. We start by engaging Vinhacker’s own customer base and work to make it grow from there. We identify people with different roles (private consumers, bar- and restaurant owners, communicators, existing retailers, future distributors, wine clubs, etc.) and speak directly to the wants and needs of each group. We believe that our platform can solve a lot of interesting problems if we work together as a community. Our email list is our main tool to create and organize that community.

Vinhacker
Vinhacker is our traditional import company that (also) focused on organic, low-intervention wine from Europe. We have connections to restaurants and wine bars across Copenhagen, which we use in order to spread the idea of Libre.vin. Whether we will work actively with your wines depends on how we perceive it. At Vinhacker we only sell wine that we drink at home ourselves. If your wines are among those, we will put them on our list and promote them to our existing customers. In other words, we will also function as your traditional distributor (just without any exclusivity).

You, your network and your channels
As individuals and businesses we all have our own networks of people we care about, and who care about us. We connect with those people using different tools and methods (social media, email, face-to-face, phone…). At Libre.vin we work to enable you to use and grow your network and amplify your voice through our platform.

Real world events
Wine can not be physically consumed online. And though online communities can be very helpful, nothing compares to engaging face-to-face with people in the real world. We are the co-founders of the wine festival Vild Vin Festival, an annual celebration of real wine in Copenhagen (and a growing success). We have a lot of event experience in our team, and we are eager to put it to work. We welcome you here in Copenhagen, but we also want to walk your vineyards and see your cellar. Fortunately we can do both.

Network effects
As the platform grow bigger it’s value for everyone involved will increase. When consumers and restaurants buy more wine, more winegrowers will want to join. Making more real wine available to buy. And so on, and so on. Easier said than done, but it’s important to know that philosophy: We want to be more useful as we grow (not the other way around).

A note on social media…
The secret to social media is to make them work for you. Most of the actions the social platforms encourage you to do actually to make us work for them. As Seth Godin has pointed out: Mona Lisa is really big(!) on Instagram, but she is not working very hard for it. Social media is great for amplifying your great work. And we would love to help you spread your message. But it starts with doing great work, and for us that will always come before spending energy on the latest hashtag on social media.

Other ideas
Imagine an online forum where people could learn about wine (regions, growing techniques, production methods, grape varieties) by engaging directly with growers. Or what about a Wiki on natural wine? We would definitely like to organize wine trips across Europe. Also, creating an ambassador program for your biggest fans in different locations has been an idea for a long time. Got an idea? Let us know!

How many bottles should I start with?

We recommend that you start with somewhere between 300 and 600 bottles for your first shipment. Hopefully they will sell out fast. But better start out on the safe side, right

Who pays for shipping the wines to DK

You do. If we arrange the shipping (which we will usually do) we will forward the cost to you. We ask you to bear the cost of shipping because the quantities and distances are vary a lot between winegrowers on the platform. This way we ensure that the costs are spread fairly among our growers.

Please note: If you are new on the platform we offer to let you wait with the shipping payment until you have sold your first batch of wines.

What does shipping to Denmark cost?

Shipping one pallet of wine to Copenhagen costs roughly €250-€400 depending on how far away you live. The second pallet (on the same shipment) is usually about half price. Normally we will arrange the shipping and forward the bill to you. You may also want to find your own shipping solution if you believe you can do better. Contact us, if you want us to find an exact price

How do we get paid?

After your registration, we are going to ask you to sign up (for free) with Stripe. They handle all payments and automatically split the money from each sale. Stripe will calculate and transfer your share directly to your bank account every week. We will never get our hands on your money.

What if my wines don’t sell?

That is a very valid concern, and it’s the number one reason why we are not in a hurry to bring in thousands of wines to begin with. If your wines just don’t sell, we can send them back to you at your own expense. Or we can try to work out a deal. But let’s hope that will never be the case

Are my wines insured while in DK?

Yes. We are taking full responsibility of your wines while they are in our possession.

What if I want to give away samples?

You are able to create personalized discount coupons from your login to the back-office. You can set prices for samples as low as €2 per bottle. Actually we expect samples to play an important part in promoting your wines for especially restaurants and wine bars.