Slated for Australia in February 2018 is a new wine distribution app that will connect restaurateurs, sommeliers and retail buyers with small, independent and emerging wineries.
ootra., the phonetic spelling of the French word “outré”, which translates to different/quirky, will offer trade a mobile marketplace to view and order wines from wineries they couldn’t previously get access to. The app will also allow trade and wineries to speak directly through a live messaging service.
All of the wines distributed by the app will be screened by the ‘ootra. panel’, a select group of winemakers and sommelier whose job will be to check their quality and suitability to the venues and stores using the app.
Modeled on the popular Spotify and Apple music apps, the panel will also create their own wine lists based on their ‘Top 30’ wines for example for trade to view and choose from. A ‘discover’ section will further offer product listings tailored to a venue or store’s profile and purchase history.
Once a trade buyer is registered, they will be able to input information about their venue or store such as type, capacity and size of their wine list that ootra. will then use to find wines matched to their needs. There will also be a ‘shop’ section where trade can view all of the products distributed by ootra.
The ootra. team is currently finalising distribution agreements with wineries, and as part of this has partnered with the Young Gun of Wine initiative, which will give the panel access to new and up-and-coming winemakers and their wines to showcase every year.
With more than ten years of experience in the wine industry, founder Richard van Ruth could see a need for a distribution model that would allow trade to work with smaller wine businesses.
He explained: “Having worked in wine retail and distribution predominantly in the restaurant channel for a long time, I’ve seen how traditional wine distribution has come under pressure in terms of margins and the cost of operating a full-service distribution business. That has left a large sector of the wine industry, especially the smaller, independent wineries, with a very challenging route to market. So we thought, why not use technology to connect this group with the trade?”
The app runs on a desktop, Android and mobile and allows trade to negotiate pricings, request samples and organise meetings with sales reps with an event calendar showing upcoming visits.
There’s no cost to use the app and you can register ahead of the launch via www.ootra.com.au