The What

 
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What is the Viticole Wine Club?

The Viticole Wine Club is born from custom collaborations between Master Sommelier Brian McClintic and his favorite organic farmers from around the world (mainly France, Spain, Austria, Italy, and the United States).

Before each harvest, Brian blueprints a concept for a custom bottling directly with each producer and personally visits every winery at key times throughout the year to taste, make barrel selections, and collectively shepherd the process to bottle.

Each Viticole bottling is bespoke for the wine club and custom labeled; free from the open market or any other distribution channel outside of the Viticole Wine Club

What is the Viticole Mission?

The Viticole Wine Club Mission is two-fold:

(1) The Viticole Wine Club is committed to p ush the envelope of environmental consciousness...

  • In the vineyard (organic farming, copper reduction, CO2 trapping)

  • In the cellar (no additives in production, minimal sulfur use).

  • Throughout the global community (eco-friendly packaging materials, consolidating shipments, consolidating plane flights abroad, utilizing public transportation, communal warehouse space, raising awareness of environmental issues through blogs, podcasts, and our monthly charitable donations.

(2) Viticole’s ongoing winemaker partnerships are cultivated by Master Sommelier Brian McClintic with the collaborative aim to redefine what is qualitatively possible, in and around $55 per bottle.

What is Brian's Palate Like?

“The Viticole Wine Club is the harmony of my personal taste and ecological beliefs. I am a member of my own club and therefore work on these wine collaborations as much for my own cellar as I do for yours. What that means for us is a narrow range of organic producers from a broad swath of undervalued places. The goal is to cultivate long-term relationships with winemakers on the rise, so that we can track their progress from year to year and lock in long-term allocations before demand inevitably sky rockets.

The one constant with the Viticole Wine Club is a sense of adventure. Whether white, red, or sparking, whether Oregon or the Canary Islands, I look for wines that not only age well but are accessible and pleasurable in the first few years of being bottled. As a fan of a more natural - or should I say minimal - approach, these wines tend to be more savory and finesse-driven without sacrificing all the energy and x-factor that makes a bottle flat-out delicious.

I realize that what is delicious to me is never going to be delicious to everyone, but for those who like or grow to like the custom bottlings we build out, what can be said is the quality for the category will be hard to top, and the selections, reflective of all that is authentic and prized by me.”

Brian McClintic Owner/Founder

What is Viticole's Charitable Outreach?

Since the beginning, Viticole has donated $5 of every case sold to a charity near and dear to Brian’s heart. Each charity that we have supported is listed on our Viticole Giving Page.

The How

 
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How do I purchase Viticole wines?

The ONLY way to purchase Viticole wines is through the Viticole Wine Club. Become a Viticole Wine Club Member and automatically receive a guaranteed allocation, shipping discounts, as well as access to exclusive special offers.

How does the wait list work?

While the only way to purchase Viticole wines is through the Viticole Wine Club, the only way to become a Wine Club Member is through the Wait List.

This is NOT a typical Wait List where the wine club is permanently full and someone sweats it out in purgatory until a club member drops out. Instead the Wait List is a necessary tool for our unique business model; let’s call it a measured growth enabler.

We negotiate quantities on our custom collaborations before harvest which means we have to forecast where our wine club will likely be 1-2 years before a club shipment is set to release. If there were no Wait List and we received, let’s say, a flood of members beyond what was anticipated, we’d run the risk of being oversold on a given release.

how long can i expect to wait?

Wait List members can expect a 2-4 month wait time, but our continual aim is to shorten that span by becoming more precise with our forecasting of potential quantity.

How does the wine club work?

$105 per month to receive two 12-bottle cases a year (24 bottles total), broken into two shipments:

  • one 12-bottle case before the summer heat (March/April)
  • one 12-bottle case before the holidays (October/November)

Viticole Wine Club 2.0 (double allocation) $210 per month to receive 4 12-bottle cases (48 bottles total), broken into two shipments:

  • two 12-bottle cases before the summer heat (March/April)
  • two 12-bottle cases before the holidays (October/November).

how does a sample year roll out?

Here’s a hypothetical look at what a full year’s worth of club shipments might look like on an annual calendar:

JANUARY – Poderi Colla Barolo
FEBRUARY – Pax Syrah
MARCH – Matthiasson Cabernet Franc
APRIL - Envínate (Ribeira Sacra) Mencía
MAY – Muthenthaler Riesling/Grüner
JUNE – Dutraive Fleurie
JULY - Arnaud Lambert Chenin Blanc
AUGUST – Giachino Mondeuse
SEPTEMBER – Tatomer Riesling
OCTOBER - Envínate (Tenerife) Listan Negro
NOVEMBER - Walter Scott Chardonnay
DECEMBER – Whitcraft Pinot Noir

--- Spring release (ships out March/April)
--- Fall release (ships out October/November)

how do the special club offers work?

From late fall to early Spring, Viticole occasionally offers to its wine club members small-lot wine collaborations, available for optional purchase and immediate delivery.

Club members will receive and email with the featured winery and a link to purchase. Orders will be processed on a first come/first serve basis until we are sold out.

The Why

 
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why does viticole ship twice a year?

Let us count the ways…

(5) THINK GREEN: Consolidating shipments reduces environmental impact (less packaging material, less fuel burned from delivery trucks, etc.). In fact, we calculate this change will directly reduce nearly 1 ton of generated CO2 over the course of a year, which is the equivalent of how much carbon a tree traps over its lifetime (mic drop).

(4) SAVE $$: The ideal weight and dimension for a shipped case of wine is 12 bottles, hence shippers give us the best price for shipments in these proportions. We are able to pass this discount / savings on to you as a result.

(3) IDEAL WEATHER = IDEAL WINE: Wine club members receive deliveries in the most ideal weather months, ensuring shipments arrive in pristine condition.

(2) QUALITY CONSIDERATIONS: Many wines require further bottle age as they are developing in barrel and in bottle. Viticole happily stores finished bottlings in our temperature-controlled facility until they are ready to ship.

(1) LOGISTICAL CONCERNS: Weather delays and strikes at port are an ongoing problem with import selections. A less robust shipping schedule allows for a greater window to ensure we are honoring delivery expectations and accurately communicating with our club members.

why does viticole charge monthly?

Valid question. This ought to cover it:

  • CUSTOM COLLABORATIONS: As each bottle is custom labeled for the wine club, nearly every producer I work with requires some measure of advance payment as collateral for these special cuvees. Without your kind support we would simply not have the means to do what we do.

  • BUDGETARY CONCERNS: For most wine club members, paying a fixed monthly fee is far more manageable than an aggressive lump sum payment, twice a year.

why is $55 per bottle our magic number?

$55 is basically my average spend on a bottle of wine and represents the ultimate quality to price sweet spot, where organic farmers can consistently make world class wine that drinks well above its station.

Brian McClintic, Owner/Founder

why follow our social media accounts?

Social media is a great forum for interaction. You will see up-to-the-moment content from Brian’s real-time travels, including business updates, important news, as well as educational video content such as tasting notes, recommended drink windows, regional profiles, and much more...