Naked Wines has announced it will donate US$5 million to winemakers affected by the closure of bars and restaurants due to the coronavirus crisis.
The fund, which is immediately available and will be used to purchase stock that was previously destined for channels such as restaurants, tasting rooms and traditional retail stores, is available to “independent winemakers all over the world,” according to the retailer.
Winemakers must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the scheme, including:
- They must be an independent wine producer or winemaker
- They can display a “proven track record of quality”
- They can show evidence that their business has been affected by the outbreak
- They have “cleared any importer/agent exclusivity arrangements”
Nick Devlin, group CEO, said: “One of the many unfortunate fall-outs of the current pandemic is that small winemakers reliant on traditional channels are going to suffer. We’d like to invite the most talented of them a way out of this; and to our customers, access to unique and delicious wines we haven’t been able to get hold of before.”
Eamon FitzGerald, global wine director, added: “I’ve already heard from countless winemakers about the struggles ahead – given our unique platform and passionate customer base, it feels right to launch this initiative to help the industry. I’d encourage all independent winemakers looking for either long-term relationships or one-off cash deals to apply. Naked Wines offers talented winemakers a direct route to market, so you can spend your time making your wines taste delicious, rather than worrying about selling them”.
After suspending orders on 17 March in the UK, Naked later reopened its channels to new customers in early April. It said that its staff in the UK, US and Australia have been working remotely since 17 March.
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