Estonia
Agrotech
Closes Feb 19, 2022 23:59
Share project

Veinimäe

Let's build a new tourist attraction in South Estonia!

19 800 € (44%)

of 45 000 - 102 600 € goal funded

22 days to go

8,26 % to 17,03 % of company offered
200 € minimum investment
Invest

Quick Pitch

Veinimäe farm produces organic grapes, and high-quality craft wines and ciders. Our company was founded in 2014 by a reputable South-Estonian agronomist with a degree in the production and marketing of agricultural products from the Estonian University of Life Sciences. These invaluable core competencies allowed us to grow into the largest greenhouse vineyard in Estonia, and we aspire to become the biggest producer of grape wines in the Baltic states. We grow over 75 varieties of northern grapes in 2500m2 greenhouses and in a 0.5ha open field. In addition to growing our own raw material so we can produce wines and juices in our winery, we also make excellent propagating material and grow grapes that can be shown to tourists or eaten as snacks.

Our craft cider, which is made from locally sourced apples, won the bronze medal at the Baltic Cider Competition, and was already being sold in major retail outlets within its first year of production. Our dark grape wine Sulbi Punane – a tribute to the small place in the countryside from which we started our journey – is also the first retail wine in Estonia to be aged in French oak barrels before bottling. Our pop-up bar has allowed us to partner with several large Estonian festivals, and our clients include prominent restaurants in the capital as well as small bars and shops that sell craft beers and ciders.

We aim to develop a personal relationship with our customers, and receive feedback from them in person. To do this, we participate in various public events, organise tastings and product presentations, and stay active on social media. We also take part in a number of competitions to increase the quality of our products, and collaborate with several well-known sommeliers both from Estonia and abroad.

Problem & Solution

Until recently, Estonian grapes were thought to be nearly unusable, and totally unfit for making wine. This wasn’t just the opinion of laypeople – even local sommeliers and restaurant owners thought so. When our white grape wine came to market and won awards in several blind tastings, opinions began to change. Still, people would claim that even if local grapes can be eaten and used for white wine, they shouldn’t be grown for red wine.

We are determined to prove that grapes grown right here at Veinimäe can lead to a perfect product range, which starts with delicious healthy juices, moves on to our méthode traditionelle sparkling wines, modern white and pink pét-nat wines, and dark red wines that have been aged in oak barrels, culminating finally with grappa and brandy.

Product/Service Details

Veinimäe makes alcoholic and non-alcoholic craft drinks to satisfy every taste:

  • Tartu siider is our craft cider, made from locally sourced apples and fermented using wild yeast. The result is a refreshing beverage that – just like Tartu’s student life – is cultured, but still a little wild. This product is sold in a number of large retail stores as well as in smaller shops. We also bottle it into kegs and sell it ourselves at various bars and festivals across the country.

This drink is defined by its balanced taste, which is achieved without the use of any artificial flavouring. Since the product has proven to be popular, we have started to collaborate with major retail outlets to supply them with large quantities of our cider bottled into kegs.

  • Veinimäe’s Indian Pale Cider or IPC is the successor to our award-winning Hubert. IPC is double hopped with citra: once at the start of active fermentation, and again right before bottling. This results in a

pleasantly dry and refreshing golden cider. The delicious drink won bronze at the 2020 Baltic Cider Competition and continues to win the hearts of craft beer enthusiasts everywhere. It seems we did a good job, since the drink’s Untappd ratings and feedback have been very positive. Our partners sell this drink from kegs all across Estonia.

  • Veinimäe mullimahl is a drink for the whole family. This slightly carbonated and healthy pink non-alcoholic beverage is made from grape juice which has been organically produced in Võru county, and is flavoured with a mixture of cinnamon, anise, cloves, fennel, allspice and nutmeg. The spices have been used sparingly to ensure good balance and to avoid an overly “Christmassy” taste. Mullimahl also contains an extract made from Moldavian dragonhead, grown organically at Eeriksaare farm, to add a minty taste and calming effect.

 

This product allows us to advertise on various TV game shows and other advertising channels which do not permit alcohol commercials. We have received a lot of positive feedback, since local consumers are very familiar with the taste of Estonian apple juice, and the drink’s flavour and refreshing effect are very pleasant. We also offer it at Christmas events, since it makes a perfect non-alcoholic glögg when heated.

  • Sulbi punane is a dry red wine made from Rondo and Léon Milliot grapes which have been grown organically in Võru county. Our production uses the classical method, where the wine is fermented with berries for two weeks and then aged for 6 months in French oak barrels. To add a Nordic touch, the drink is fermented at low temperatures.

The result is a dark-coloured drink with an aroma hinting at chokeberry, cranberry, pomegranate, nutmeg and a light smell of the forest. The taste contains elements of cherry tree sap and fresh blackcurrant, but also salted macadamia nuts, fresh black bread and black ice tea with lemon. This wine is our flagship, and we are very proud of the fact that this is the first retail wine in Estonia to be aged in French oak barrels.

The majority of any given batch of this wine is sold via pre-order. The product has a lot of potential, as the market needs more of these kinds of wines than are being produced. And we only sell this wine at two premium restaurants, a few large festivals, and during tours at our vineyard.

In addition to producing drinks, we also offer tourists the unique opportunity to tour our organic vineyard. As part of the tour, an experienced agronomist will introduce various winegrowing methods and technologies, the participants are invited to take part in a discussion about how wine and cider are produced, and locally made drinks will be available for tasting. Our tours are offered via campaigns by the non-profit organisation Eesti Veinitee, as well as through our website and social media, and in collaboration with travel agencies like Go Travel.

Business model

The core principle of our business model is to rely on distributors as little as possible and sell as many products as we can by ourselves. To accomplish this, our hardworking staff conducts tastings at malls, fairs, and festivals, in addition to performing them for our partners and at events taking place in our vineyard. As an example, nearly 700 people visited us during Open Farm Day, which is an excellent first-time result.

This approach ensures the most profit and increases customer loyalty by encouraging people to share their experience of meeting our winemaker or sales representative with others. A sufficiently large group of loyal customers helps with marketing, and allows partners and distributors to sell our products more quickly. This means that new orders reach us sooner.

At Veinimäe, we produce our own raw material at our vineyard in Kärgula village Võru county. The quantities of raw material double every year, as we double our cultivation area. Since we use our own propagating material, and farmland in Võru county is fairly cheap, we are able to expand without limit. The relatively infertile local soil is perfect for a Northern grapevine.

Our apples come from a variety of growers in Tartu. As an example, many high-quality apple varieties have been provided to us by the University of Life Scienses’ Rõhu Experimental Station. The use of local apples allows us to achieve a pure taste, maintain high quality, and deliver a flavour that is familiar to the local consumer.

The market needs high-quality white wines and sparkling wines in nearly limitless amounts. We are not yet able to grow enough white grapes to meet our needs, so we import additional raw material from the Republic of Georgia to expand our product range. For the next season in 2021, we plan to introduce a white wine, a high-quality sparkling wine, a modern pét-nat wine, a strong grappa and new non-alcoholic juice drinks to complement our current line of ciders and red wines.

Market

30% of our products are sold through Selver and Kaubamaja department stores. Selver is our contractual partner, which allows us to sell our drinks all over Estonia, and perform tastings and product presentations in various parts of the country. We bring several new products to market every year to remain attractive and visible to our clients.

The next 30% are sold through our partner network, which includes several restaurants, bars, and small craft beverage shops across Estonia. This network continues to grow as we keep attending exhibitions, festivals and fairs.

The third 30% are sold through our pop-up bar at large festivals, fairs, city days and other events across Estonia. Events which feature us as an official cider or wine partner include, among others, Intsikurmu, Station Narva, Seto folk and Mooste Elohelü. We are a member of the Estonian Wine Route, Uma Mekk food network, and the talutoit.ee project, which is run by the Central Union of Estonian Farmers. We take full advantage of these opportunities to cooperate and participate collectively in Estonia’s largest exhibitions and fairs.

10% of our products are sold directly to customers during events that take place in our winery and vineyard.

Traction & Accomplishments

  • 2017 – we used the EU’s young farmers’ support programme to build the largest greenhouse vineyard in Estonia.
  • 2018 – we won second place in the Baltic Cup Awards’ sparkling wine category. This inspired us to start producing ciders.
  • 2019 – we used the support package we received through the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board’s Leader programme to build a modern winery, where we can quickly process raw material into wines and ciders.
  • 2020 – we signed a contract with the Selver supermarket chain and began to actively sell our products. We were unable to sell a large number of cuttings due to COVID, so we took advantage of this opportunity and doubled the size of our vineyard.
  • Our hopped cider won the bronze medal at the Baltic Cider Competition in Riga.
  • The television channel ETV+ visited us in the summer and made a Russian video about our production. To date, this video has been viewed approximately 160 000 times.
  • TV3 visited our annual Vintage event, where we gather grapes. This increased our exposure and improved sales.
  • 2021 – we started offering tours with an included wine tasting. Interest in internal tourism, especially in rural areas, has grown so much that more tourists wish to come than what we can currently accept.
  • 2021 - Our hopped cider IPC - Indian Pale Cider won the gold medal at the ESA competition "Best Estonian Drink 2021" at the ciders category.

How We’re Different

Veinimäe is distinguished by its competency, production capacity, quality and flexibility.

  • Veinimäe’s winemaker and general manager has a higher education in the production and marketing of agricultural products. These priceless core competencies have lead us to become one of the leading winegrowing experts in Estonia. To ensure that our production uses only the most modern technologies, while also accounting for our climate conditions, we maintain contact with other viticulturists and winemakers in Latvia, Ukraine, southern Russia and New Zealand, and participate in various seminars. This ensures competitiveness and helps preserve our high production quality.
  • Our vineyard, which is the largest vineyard in Estonia to be planted under shelter, allows us to maintain our production capacity despite the volatile local weather. This results in a unique product which is reminiscent of premium Western wines, but is also made distinct by our production methods. The Northern flavours found in our drinks are defined by local crops – both cultivated and wild.
  • We are very proud of relying almost exclusively on our own raw material. In addition to making grape wine, we also plan to collaborate with Pühaste Brewery to produce grape lambic, and soon intend to introduce an IGA (Italian Pale Ale) beer. We soak our grape marc in cider, to give the drink a unique taste and pleasant pink colour. Large quantities of propagating material make us the biggest vine nursery in the Baltics. We make full use of this capacity and double our production every year.
  • Being a small producer makes us quick and flexible, allowing us to easily adapt to current market needs and produce high-quality organic craft drinks. These include a white, pink and dark red wine, as well as a sparkling wine. We also make ciders which we bottle into a variety of containers, and a selection of non-alcoholic drinks – both refreshing drinks for the hot summer, and a glögg-like drink to keep you warm during the Christmas season.

Uses of Funds & Timeline

This is how we will use the money entrusted to us by our investors:

  • 45 000€: a small and cosy demo-building in the midst of vineyards will be built in cooperation with PRIA (Agricultural Registers and Information Board. The building will allow us to perform product demos, while also enabling us to comfortably receive tourists or current and future business partners.
  • 102 600€: a 90m2 winery, made from sandwich panels, with a room to house oak vats and seedlings, will be built. Multifunctional demo-building/wine center will allow current and future cooperation partners to organize wine tastings and various other events to introduce how to pair wine with food.

Obligations to Investors, Profit Distribution

Investment can be done in 200€ increments, which guarantee a proportional share of Veinimäe OÜ’s nominal value.

All investors to contribute at least 200 Euros will become members of the VEINIMÄE VINTAGE club.

All Vintage club members will start receiving regular dividends from the year 2023 onward. The recommended pay-out ratio is at least 50% of the company’s net profit. The ratio will be determined at the annual shareholder meeting (all Veinimäe Vintage club members are shareholders).

All Vintage club members will get a member card, which remain valid as long as its owner is a Veinimäe shareholder. This card will guarantee a discount at our winery and at all events in which we participate. The cardholder is entitled to buy at least one bottle from every new vintage or limited run of a wine or cider at its factory price.

Veinimäe Vintage club members will receive an invitation to our annual shareholder meeting and grape gathering festival, which takes place at either the last or second to last Sunday in September.

200+ € - Welcome to our Vinatge club! You now own a piece of Veinimäe!

  1. As a Vintage club member, you are entitled to a 5% discount at our winery and at all of our events in Estonia. You also get a 25% discount on all our fan merchandise (jumpers, wine glasses etc.).
  2. You receive a 4-pack of our new products.
  3. You receive a Veinimäe T-shirt.

1000+ €

  1. As a Vintage club member, you are entitled to a 5% discount at our winery and at all our events in Estonia. You also get a 30% discount on all our fan merchandise (jumpers, wine glasses etc.).
  2. You receive 3 bottles of wine, and a tour of our vineyard with an included tasting.
  3. You receive a Veinimäe T-shirt.

5000+ €

  1. As a Vintage club member, you are entitled to a 5% discount at our winery and at all our events in Estonia. You also get a 30% discount on all our fan merchandise (jumpers, wine glasses etc.).
  2. You receive 24 bottles of our new products and 3 bottles of wine.
  3. You receive 2 Veinimäe T-shirts.
  4. We would like to thank you for being a devoted fan by giving you a special Veinimäe gift bag.
  5. You and up to 6 people you invite are welcome to spend an evening with us at our vineyard and winery. We can sit and talk, give you a tour, and have a tasting of our drinks.

10000+ €

  1. As a Vintage club member, you are entitled to a 15% discount at our winery and at all our events in Estonia. You also get a 30% discount on all our fan merchandise (jumpers, wine glasses etc.).
  2. You receive 48 bottles of our new products and 6 bottles of wine.
  3. You receive 2 Veinimäe T-shirts.
  4. Why not a high-quality Veinimäe jumper?
  5. We would like to thank you for being a devoted fan by giving you a special Veinimäe gift bag.
  6. You and up to 18 people you invite are welcome to spend an evening with us at our vineyard and winery. We can sit and talk, give you a tour, and have a tasting of our drinks. Let’s spend a pleasant evening together!
  7. We can attend your party, wherever in Estonia it may be - even your backyard. We will bring all the necessary equipment, conduct a winemaking workshop, and provide drinks for the party (up to 60 litres of our vat ciders).

 30000+ €

  1. As a Vintage club member, you are entitled to a 20% discount at our winery and at all our events in Estonia. You also get a 50% discount on all our fan merchandise (jumpers, wine glasses etc.).
  2. You receive 96 bottles of our new products and 6 bottles of wine.
  3. You receive 5 Veinimäe T-shirts.
  4. Why not a high-quality Veinimäe jumper?
  5. We would like to thank you for being a devoted fan by giving you a special Veinimäe gift bag.
  6. You and up to 18 people you invite are welcome to spend an evening with us at our vineyard and winery. We can sit and talk, give you a tour, and have a tasting of our drinks.
  7. We can attend your party, wherever in Estonia it may be - even your backyard. We will bring all the necessary equipment, conduct a winemaking workshop, and provide drinks for the party (up to 240 litres of our vat ciders).

Risks and Mitigation

The biggest risk we face is a change in customer preference. To mitigate this, we have established a very wide product range. We do not focus on a single best-selling product, nor do we have a specific best-seller. Our revenue is divided evenly among our various wines and ciders.

The government’s unstable alcohol policy and constant changes in alcohol tax are a potential risk for all producers of craft wines and ciders. To mitigate this, we will purchase a belt press that is going to improve our efficiency and allow us to bring products to market 20% faster.