British-based NakedWines.com a PRG client since establishing their US operations in Napa in 2012, currently have over 80 employees. “I like working with PRG’s experts in the payroll/HR field,” says Brooke Hester, Financial Controller at NakedWines.com. “We outsource this work for that reason – to have experts handle our payroll and ensure our employees are taken care of!” She continues with an example “PRG handles garnishment and health benefit issues for me, and it eases my mind that Linda (her Account Specialist at PRG) can handle the set-up and transfer of funds, so that everything is legal and proper.”
NakedWines.com has a very unique business model, a “customer-funded” winery. Regular customers or “Angels” invest in independent winemakers from around the world at NakedWines.com, which sets the individual winemakers up in business in California. In return, the NakedWines.com “Angels” get delicious, exclusive wines at wholesale prices. It’s a kind of “Crowd funding.” “Angels” pay a regular amount every month ($40 or more), which goes into a personal wine purchase account. They can select whatever wines they want, when they want, so long as sufficient funds are in the account. Meanwhile, this gives NakedWines.com a regular cash flow that they use to start the individual winemakers up in business. NakedWines.com buys everything; grapes, equipment, barrels, bottles, even a work studio. Individual winemakers have limited risks and costs, so can afford to experiment, creating craft wines, and to sell at wholesale prices, also through NakedWines.com.
The NakedWines.com headquarters is in Norwich, England, where it was founded by South African entrepreneur Rowan Gormley in 2008. From the start, it has been a social as well as ecommerce site, where the customers and “Angels” can rate the wines they have tasted, post comments and interact with fellow wine drinkers as well as with the winemakers.
NakedWines.com opened up its Napa, CA facility in June 2012 for 25 independent winemakers, with the Sonoma site following in September 2013. Currently there are over 45 winemakers in California and 100 internationally, including the UK and Australia.
Like so many other Napa Valley wineries, NakedWines.com was impacted by the August 24th 6.0 earthquake. “The earthquake caused a lot of chaos,” says Ryan O’Connell, Marketing Manager at NakedWines.com. “But even with parts of the business closed unexpectedly, and people displaced from their usual place of work, our payroll process was never disrupted.”
NakedWines.com is back in full swing, barely one and a half months later, and is open for visitors daily 11am to 5pm in Kenwood, Napa, California. It’s possible to taste the wines in person, as well as to buy directly from the NakedWines.com website. If interested, it’s also possible to become a “Wine Angel.” There are approximately 50,000 NakedWines.com “Angels” in the US and over 150,000 internationally. At present there is a short (approximately 30 days) waitlist to be an “Angel,” which NakedWines.com is doing to control growth and maintain quality standards. – K.W.
If interested in purchasing wines from NakedWines.com, there is a link to a $100 voucher, courtesy of PRG, which is good on a $160.00 purchase.
$160 six, twelve, or fifteen-bottle purchase required. Void where prohibited. First time customers and 21+ only. Additional restrictions apply, see complete details at us.nakedwines.com/100voucher.