A new app – a Spotify for plonk – hopes to put more diverse wines into the hands of drinkers.
Whenever you pick up a bottle of wine, you probably don’t put much thought into how or why it arrived on the shelf. You don’t see the wine sales reps shuttling between bottle shops and restaurants, cold calling retailers, jostling for floor space, hustling new products, meeting targets. Australia has more than 2000 wineries and a huge number of imports, and that’s not to mention the spirits and beer producers filling our glasses too. There’s so much noise in the market that small producers – many family owned and producing in tiny amounts – often can’t get their wine out of the vineyard and into your mouth. That means you, the drinker, are probably missing out on some cracking Australian wines.
Enter Ootra. It’s a business-to-business sales app that links smaller producers to retailers and offers drinkers a broader (and hopefully more interesting) selection of wines. With plans to launch later this month, founder Richard van Ruth intends to make the selling and buying process more streamlined for both sides. After researching the industry and polling both winemakers and retailers, he found the sheer volume of sales calls was the most pressing problem for many businesses.
“The one very clear thing from all of the hospitality professionals I spoke to was they simply can’t cope with the number of reps coming in to try and sell them wine. It’s just chaos,” he says. “What I’m doing will, I hope, really shake up wine distribution in a wholesale sense.”