Vino Voyage allows the curation of wine tasting experiences, through a highly comprehensive
and easy to use website. We value integrity by diligently demonstrating transparency and inclusion. We honor community through stories and narratives. We promote a 7000 year old tradition through recruitment of all senses. We are dedicated to forging memories using a digital guide with an inspiring, modern, and chic lens.
This is a tool. As such, it is meant to help. At times we will teeter on a thin line between wanting to help, and needing credit for helping. We will always lean towards helping, and not
credit. This manifests on the site as frequent ‘asks’ and explanations. We will ask you frequently “do you want to sign up” or “do you want this posted.” We have worked hard to only place these ‘asks’ where it makes sense, and not in places where it will be annoying, or require it [there’s always a transparent explanation, when something is required.]
After all, we want you to enjoy the site, return of your own will, not feel used, manipulated, annoyed, or coerced. Yes, your usage and opinions are ‘the product’ to the wineries, and
those numbers are a numeric judgment of our perceived value, and growth but, YOU COME FIRST. Why? Because we believe this tool helps the wineries, all on it’s own.
That’s why we gave it away, for free, for so long. We didn’t even have user logins for the first year. We didn’t want your information, or for you to have to keep track of yet another set of login credentials. We just wanted you to find a new winery to visit. Period. We will update this promise as the Vino Voyage team grows, and our value and culture evolves, but, we will remain true to the idea that this is a tool, with extensive spit-balling on potential consequences of new features and the growing data set. That’s our promise.
Vino Voyage was hatched to solve a very simple problem. Cj wanted to take her mother wine tasting. She went online trying to find a sweet white wine (her mother's favorite) and a cheese plate (because, well...cheese) under one roof. Week after week, attempting to build a day of wine tasting, she created a spreadsheet with other types of winery experiences like outdoor seating and those that were dog-friendly. This launched a very steep learning curve into building a team and a business, or, more aptly, building a sand castle from individual grains of sand.
This was always a group effort. Every idea, advisement, and direction was bounced off of at least a dozen people, every step of the way. Tapping the brain trust of peers and advisors kept progress moving forward in a warm direction. There were 200 hours spent talking to winemakers and sippers initially validating the idea, before the business model was even drafted.
Early on, a few common denominators emerged in the team; nerdy, creative, humble, articulate, and a need to create a good product with good values. These standards remained at the helm through every problem solving session, and every feature release.
Our story is still unfolding. Every day brings highs and lows, excitement, anxiety, opportunity, and exercises our flexibility. It's great to have a plan, and it's even better to be able to laugh at it; frequently.