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Strive for Perfection: Authenticity in a bottle.

Published in "The Royal Edition"


AUTHENTICITY IN A BOTTLE

If you have ever dreamed about creating your own truly memorable wine, and also building a sustainable business with it, Crowdfarming Wine in Argentina can make it happen.

MANY PEOPLE RAISED in the Argentinian city of Mendoza seem to have a connection to the wine industry, so essential is the grape to the local economy. Francisco Evangelista grew up among the vines thanks to a father who ran vineyards. Perhaps inevitably, Francisco gained a deep love and rich understanding of wine culture – “the different types of grapes, the vineyards, the headaches” – which he has since poured into his own business, Crowdfarming Wine. This is a unique enterprise that makes, markets and manages wine and vineyards for select clients, allowing vintners to maximize the potential of their business by using tried and trusted methods to overcome the always difficult and frustrating commercial challenges of winemaking.

“We have one big challenge at Crowdfarming Wine,” says Francisco, “and that is the need to be authentic for every client. We need to make sure we devote our full time and attention to understanding their story and their desire. It is a 100 per cent customized experience for each client who wants to create his wine. We are all about experience and the feeling that comes from the creation of something amazing and authentic – in this case wine. Of course, ultimately we help them sell the wine: Crowdfarming Wine has developed a wide network of contacts with prestigious distributors and importers located in the most exclusive and well-qualified wine consumption centres in the world. But our real hook is that we give wine lovers the necessary tools that allow them to make decisions during the winemaking process. This is what gives us our purpose.”

To do this effectively, Francisco explains that his expert team need to become almost like psychologists, primed to discern the inner motivation of any client. “We are dealing with a product that is linked to emotion – and you don’t want to get that wrong, especially as we are doing this at a very high-quality end of the market,” he says. “Some clients come to us and don’t really know why they want to make wine, so we have long conversations, we have many wine tastings and we walk the vineyards together as we try to find the real reason behind their desire to make wine. Based on that we create the wine but also the branding and the message.”

Unique, disruptive and innovative, Crowdfarming Wine offers a complete portfolio of services to clients, covering all of the many dimensions of the complex wine business. The company has experts that can help with strategic planning and brand identity development, grape sourcing, vineyard managing, winemaking, export, sales and distribution as well as offering administrative, financial and legal support and advice. It provides tailored investment solutions for clients looking to develop new projects, with a large real-estate portfolio that includes acquisition opportunities within the most prestigious wine regions in Argentina. Crowdfarming Wine can produce wine in a variety of styles – red, white, rosé and sparkling, with different minimum and maximum quantities for each. Each client is assigned an expert from Francisco’s team to support their journey, while Crowdfarming’s extensive contacts in the wine industry are utilized for the benefit of clients, as the company works with their long-established network to ensure any wine brand will attain its maximum potential.

Francisco emphasizes that while clients range from professional wineries to amateur start-ups, this is always approached as serious business, geared towards the ultimate objective of selling wine. Customers, who range from artists and engineers to scientists and politicians, are encouraged to participate in the process, as much or as little as they choose. A typical project will see them fly to Argentina to find the right vineyard, pick the grapes, choose the bottle at the factory and talk to designers about the branding and label. “This is enjoyable and educational but we also make sure they sell their wine at the end of the process,” he says. “It is not a vanity project.”

As an example of what Crowdfarming can offer, Francisco points to three of his own brands. These are wines produced in very limited quantities, partly for fun but also to give customers an indication of what can be achieved. Omega is a big wine. A superintense, deep, complex wine that is a blend of four powerful varietals, produced in organic and conventional styles. Then there is Arpeggio, a set of red, white and rosé wines that take a musical theme as they blend together three different varieties to create something new and beautiful, like a broken chord, or an arpeggio. Each one is named after a specific song, such as “Nuvole Bianche” by Ludovico Einaudi, with the label offering access to information for that song and its history. Finally, there is 432 Hz, which is named after the frequency that scientists say humans achieve when they are perfectly aligned physically, spiritual and mentally. Aimed at a more spiritual or artistic audience, it comes in organic and conventional versions, and can be made from red, white and rose. Here are three unique brands that share a common bond – they are great wines, thoughtfully produced, which tell a great story.

“These different brands show that our team is adept at crafting a truly memorable wine experience,” says Francisco. “There is no similar model that has this level of depth in serving its clients’ businesses. This is a highly valuable and exclusive product that can be authentically created by anyone. Crowdfarming just guides you in the process.”

Equipped with an understanding of the economic as well as the agriculture sides of winemaking, having studied agricultural economics, Francisco took his skills to Napa Valley in California, and then back to Argentina where he joined a young company that was exploring real-estate opportunities in Argentina’s wine country. Over several years, that business grew from six people to more than 400, with Francisco learning from every challenge they faced along the way. Eventually, he realized his love of wine was so consuming that he wanted to set out on his own, and Crowdfarming Wine was formed, with the first clients coming from those long-standing connections that Francisco had developed during his career.

“These personal relationships are essential and that is non-negotiable,” says Francisco. “When somebody says they trust you and your team, you automatically become 100 per cent committed to their story. We now have a five-year goal and will build a new winery – it’s a big investment but it will help more clients to create a more affordable wine at the highest level.”

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