The Airbnb of the Wine World

Ladies and gentleman, the sharing economy is for real.

Airbnb is changing the way we travel. Uber is changing the way we get around cities. WeWork is changing the way we work.

These big-time innovators are making the world we live in more efficient than ever and providing incredible and authentic experiences all over the world.

Wine isn’t typically included in the innovation conversation, but in a lot of ways, wine is an early adopter of the sharing economy. While wineries can be owned by big business or multinational corporations, but for the most part wineries are a family affair with less than a half dozen stainless steel wine tanks in a glorified garage. And the soul of the wine business is with these smaller winemakers. Wine tourism is definitely growing and we’d highly recommend a wine country vacation, but most oenophiles never get afirst-handd experience of where the delectable juice hails from, so most consumers wouldn’t be too familiar with the wine co-op!

Wine co-ops are common in every wine region. Most co-ops are groups of winemakers coming together to share the big time costs of making wine, and with their powers combined (use your inner Captain Planet voice) these groups can bring wine to market much more easily than on their own. Winemaking is serious business and the machinery to make wine isn’t cheap. Sharing the costs is really driving innovation into the wine industry, which isn’t exactly known for being on the cutting technological edge.

At WA, we’re always hunting for winemakers that are making delicious vino and the stories behind the wine. Co-ops are making it easier than ever for winemakers to follow their passion and create delicious vino and actually build a sustainable business. We found one of the cooler co-ops, Citra Vini, earlier this year in the Italian wine region of Abruzzo. This famous co-op started in 1973 with nine winemaker associations with shared goals and a shared vision. Ironically, wine isn’t known for being on the tech forefront, but this co-op beat Airbnb to the sharing economy by about 35 years.

And over those 35 years, this co-op of nine has built one helluva serious business, all while putting the Abruzzo region on the map. Consumers can find wines from Citra Vini on every major continent and in the top restaurants in NYC, Beverly Hills, Asia, Australia, all of Europe, Canada, Japan, Venezuela, Russia and China.

Not only is the co-op concept right up our alley, but we found two awesome Italian wines made at this Abruzzo co-op and you can find them in this month’s Wine Awesomeness subscription box. Meet Niro d’Montepulciano and Niro Pecorino. Happy drinking!

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