America’s first successfully #crowdfunded #winery @SmithStory plans to expand California footprint with @springboardwine #travel #wine
March 22, 2018
Smith Story Wine Cellars has been winning over hearts and minds as ‘the little winery that did’ from the beginning, when it was established in 2013. Four harvests later (and a few thousand thousand cases sold) the husband/wife founders Eric Story and Alison (Ali) Smith Story, credit their growing success to the partner relationships they have formed over the years: with each other, their growers, their ardent consumer fans, and with the trade.
Today, they are excited to announce a new partner in Springboard Wine Company – their exclusive California Broker.
Smith Story Wine Cellars is based the Russian River Valley AVA, with a second tasting room in the Anderson Valley AVA. Bay Area born Eric and Fort Worth, Texas native Ali met while both working for K&L Wine Merchants in Northern California.
Pursuing their dream to make their own wine (but on a wine-industry budget), the newlyweds launched a Kickstarter campaign and Smith Story Wine Cellars became the very first US winery to be successfully crowd-funded. 2017 was the fourth harvest for Smith Story, and they are about to celebrate their five-year anniversary (both the winery and the couple) in May. Their aim with Smith Story is to represent the kind of wine that the “curious wine drinker” enjoys – true wines with purpose, wines of vibrancy and place, and wines with heart. Due to the momentous consumer requests, largely in part due to the Kickstarter launch and significant social media community of Smith Story fans, the wines are in strong demand in neighborhoods all over the state of California.
Says Ali, “never in my life of building brands and helping wineries have I witnessed such loyalty from wine consumers. It was time to take Smith Story to the next level and allow fans to order our wines at their favorite local restaurants, find them in their neighborhood retail stores and create access for Smith Story fans who travel to California and search for our wines.” When Ali and Eric decided to take Smith Story’s representation statewide in California, the leading domestic wine sales market, Springboard was the natural choice. Sister-owned and operated, Springboard is also a family business that works with select, family-owned wineries.
Effective immediately, Springboard will be responsible for the California sales of all Smith Story wines, which include grower-focused wines from the Anderson Valley, Sonoma County, and Rheingau Germany (via Eric Story Selections), with a variety of character profiles and price points that range from $20 to $80.
Says Eric of the partnership, “Ali & I are both really really excited to be part of the Springboard Board team. When I was at K&L, I always enjoyed and looked forward to working with Springboard. Not only because of the quality and cast of characters but the level of professionalism that came along as well. I think a simple way of saying it is, it's like putting cheese on a burger...it just feels right.”
Says Springboard Owner and Sales Manager Elizabeth Corsini, “We never really go out looking to add anything to the portfolio, because that is typically the equivalent of grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You come home with crap. However, when the right thing (ie. no brainer/hell yes) comes along, you do yourself the favor and say ‘yes please.’ Eric, Ali and Smith Story are that Hell Yes for us, and the kind of project that makes Springboard thrive as a company. A burgeoning brand with intelligence, grace and flexibility built into their program, plus two people I would love to sit down and have a beer with. Like, duh.”
Springboard Wine Company is a family-owned business with a mission to launch into prominence small, select, family owned wineries. Now celebrating their 12th year in business, the brokerage remains committed to the unique wineries they represent. Springboard aims to preserve winery diversity by promoting wineries that distinguish themselves as not only producers of exceptional quality wines, but are progressives in their field. The three sisters who founded Springboard Wine Company believe that good people make better wine, and the best way to support those you admire is by drinking the fruits of their labor. In short, they sell and promote on behalf of people they like. In the face of winery consolidation, Springboard assists burgeoning small, premium wineries to attain the attention they need to survive and prosper. Ranging from classic to extravagant, each wine in their portfolio tells a story of superior craftsmanship that Springboard is proud to display.
For the full portfolio, visit springboardwine.com.
Founded by husband and wife team Eric Story and Alison Smith Story Wine Cellars on May 14, 2013, Sonoma County based Smith Story Wine Cellars produces wines from family-owned vineyard sites among Anderson Valley, Knights Valley, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Sonoma Mountain AVAs of California and from the Rheingau region of Germany. In 2014 along with their (Instagram star) Goldendoodle, Lord Sandwich, Ali founded a non-profit Socks For Sandwich, which inspires others to give and also donates new socks to the needy.
The Smith Story Lord Sandwich Red Table Wine has been the number one selling red wine in the portfolio by volume over the last 12 months. Proceeds of the Lord Sandwich Red Table Wine go to SocksforSandwich.org. Over 25,000 pairs of new socks have been donated and distributed so far to victims of domestic abuse, homeless communities, teenage-foster care programs, immigrant farm workers and to US neighborhoods that suffered damage from natural catastrophes.