We’re super excited to announce a new Tribe membership: The Triple. Now you have the option to receive 3 (THREE!) different wines in your Tribe shipments.
We have more wines and stories to share with you and we want to use your shipping dollars more efficiently. We talk a lot about how our wines age: we want to share a library wine (or two) with you every year. We tell you stories about our grape adventures, and how we love the challenge of the unknown. And we want to share with you the one-off blends or special reserve lots when they happen, without replacing the perennial favorites in your shipments.
Here’s Why We’re Offering the Triple
When we started the Tribe in the early 90s, cell phones were bigger than wine bottles and it took five minutes to download a picture over your dial-up connection. Back then gas was under a dollar per gallon, and shipping two bottles of wine to the most rural parts of Maine or the furthest Florida Key cost less than $9.00.
We’re super-focused on keeping the cost of Tribe membership reasonable and accessible. And as shipping costs have increased, we want to make sure we’re keeping our membership options in line with the times.
These days, sending 3 bottles instead of 2 brings the per-bottle shipping cost down by at least 26%. We think this new option is a more efficient use of shipping costs and we’re excited for the chance to show you even more of the great wines we make every year.
Upgrading Is Optional
Moving to a 3-wine shipment program is totally optional. You don’t have to change a thing if you don’t want to. If you’d like to make the switch, call us at 707.431.2148, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
More Details About Our Thinking
The Tribe has always been undergirded by a few core values. We believe we should send you honest wines made with integrity, and that we should talk to you about them that way too. We believe our wines should be reflections of the people, places, and traditions that make them. And we think that enjoying all wines, not just ours, should be open, friendly, and welcoming. Maybe most importantly, we think the work we do tells stories about us, our home, and our history, and we want to share as many of those stories with you as we can through the wines we make.
What has changed dramatically over the years, however, is shipping cost. We used to be able to ship two bottles of wine to the furthest reaches of the east coast for less than 50% of what it costs now. And every year, without fail, the rate tables from both major shipping companies increase.
This problem is worse at the two bottle level than at higher bottle quantities: much of the rate we pay for shipping wine is comprised of flat fees (adult signature fee, fuel surcharge, extended region or residential surcharges, etc) that are the same per package regardless of weight. While our costs to ship 2 bottles are up over 50% in the past 10 years or so alone, our cost to ship a case is only up about 20%. Moreover, the rate by weight is not linear; the price per pound goes down as the weight increases. For both of these reasons, stepping up shipments to larger bottle quantities allows your dollars to go further and purchase more wine with a lower cost to ship per bottle.
So for our two bottle members: yes, a three wine shipment means you’ll be spending more with us per year, but your shipping cost per bottle will decrease substantially, and you’ll get four additional wines to enjoy as well.
For our members who receive three or more bottles already: It’s entirely up to you whether you’d like to continue receiving your shipment as multiples of two wines, or move to The Triple. We’ll be contacting you to ask for your choice.
More Details About That Third Bottle
A big part of our tradition and style is our focus on ageability. Once every few years we’ve used a Tribe shipment to send a library wine, but with the number of new releases we have, we can’t do that regularly… but we want to. I can think of a half dozen library wines that I would love to send you right now, but the Tribe is built around new releases. With a third wine slot, we can send a library wine to you at least once per year.
Another part of our history that we’ve been working hard to share with you more is our history of experimentation. We’ve been able to send you a couple wines from the Hone series, and I’m very proud of those wines and what they’ve done to capture moments in our winemaking history that reflect on our ambition to go on wacky grape adventures every year. It’s one of the most important facets of the ethos my parents built our tradition around: we’re never done learning, and we’re always chasing an idea. A third wine in each shipment gives us room to share more of those ideas and adventures with you.
Similarly, we have a long history of embracing the esoteric, the forgotten, and the offbeat. You know how people are just starting to figure out Carignane? We were making three different single vineyard Carignanes in 1999. There are so many fun grapes to make, and one of the reasons we rotated Carignane out of our plans is because we had replaced it with Malbec. And then we replaced Malbec with Grenache. But… we want to make Carignane again (regularly) and some of you won’t stop asking about another Malbec… and we want to make Montepulciano, and Nebbiolo, and maybe even some Alicante Bouschet. A third wine in the shipment gives us the freedom to bring you some of these quieter corners of the vineyard world without rotating out favorites like the Grenache.
As you can see, we have more great wines and stories we want to share with you, if you’d like to have them. I want to close this post by saying a few important things. First, I want to reiterate that moving to a three wine program is entirely optional—we’d love your further support in expanding the wines we send to the Tribe, but we’re already incredibly grateful for your loyalty and support. Secondly, making these wines and sharing them and their stories with you is an incredible privilege—one we know we are lucky to have—and we cherish the challenge of delighting you as much as possible. Lastly, our door is always open to you; we love hearing from you, and we’re always happy to see you when you’re in town. If you have any questions or otherwise, please don’t hesitate to email me.