Our $5 million lifeline to COVID-affected winemakers - Raiz Invest

In May 2020, Naked Wines UK, US and AU launched a US$5 million Covid Support Fund to help out struggling winemakers across the world impacted by the commercial effects of the pandemic.

You see, with so many of the restaurants and bars they supply closed, exports stopped and their cellar doors shut, these small independent winemakers had their hands full of great wine and no one to buy it.

In short, they had no income. And with little government help available in a lot of cases, many were in real danger of going bust.

But we were in a perfect position to help. We had a wine-loving audience we knew would be delighted to get their hands on that great wine.

So the 3 Naked Wines businesses came together and put aside a bucket of cash to buy the ‘homeless’ wine from those winemakers — wherever they were in the world.

We put out the call for applications, especially to existing Naked winemakers who were doing it tough, and the pleas for help came flooding in.

Some of the stories would bring you to tears. These were decent, hard-working people with good wine sitting hopelessly in their winery, and this was their silver lining.

Here are a few of the responses:
“It’s worrying times indeed. But actually, we’re feeling strangely calm. And it’s because of you. The Angels. Which you most definitely are, right now. You’ve got our back, during these turbulent times, and we are so incredibly grateful for that.”
Naked winemaker, Australia.

“What a great initiative by Naked, to further the support of independent production and assisting with aid in a desperate time. It is a beacon of hope for many.”
New winemaker, South Africa.

“Thanks for this incredible great decision! Best news I receive for long time!”
Naked winemaker, Portugal.

Of course, their wines still had to be up to our usual standards for the Angels.

So a lot of tasting was done! I think our wine directors are still recovering…

The good news is that we easily spent all the money, and new and delicious wines we’d never have got hold of before are winging their way to Angels around the world.

That’s a win for small winemakers and a win for Naked Angels right there.

This article was originally published on Naked Wines by Bianca Wilshin.

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