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Leadership lessons: what I learned from the wines

“The world of wine shows us that we can always discover more, it’s a constant exploration.”

Interview with Wine CEO, Marcelo D’Arienzo

 

Beyond sensory experiences, wine represents a world of possibilities. With it, we learn about the land, its time and cultivation. About people, their stories and cultures. We can also learn to use it to slow down, to have a moment of our own. Or, on the opposite way, to socialize and have fun with friends and family. To talk about this, one of the most plural drinks in the world, we invited the CEO of Wine, Marcelo D’Arienzo, leader of the company that has been democratizing and teaching about wine in a modern, dynamic and not at all pedantic way.

Marcelo D’Arienzo is CEO of Wine, the world’s largest wine club. Photo: Celso Doni

For connoisseurs or the general public, choosing a good wine is no easy task. And this curatorial role is also one of the great merits of Wine – whether for connoisseurs, with complex labels, or for beginners. Besides “uncomplicating the world of wine”, what are the other differentials of Wine?

Wine is currently the largest subscription club in the world and our value proposition involves the 3C’s: curation, content, and convenience.

First the curation of new wines every month. These are selected by our Winehunters, who taste labels from the four corners of the world in search of special products. We have a technical office based in Spain to receive and evaluate the samples.

Then there is the content that is critical to making the experience complete. The wine drinking experience offers the opportunity to learn the story behind each bottle, the reason why the product was made.

Finally, the convenience, where you can receive it all in the comfort of your home. Since the subscription process is a frictionless purchase, members have the convenience of receiving the WineBox every month and it ends up becoming a gift, a surprise and becomes the most anticipated moment of the month.

About your relationship with wines, were you a wine lover before Wine? What changed in your relationship with wines after the company?

I have always had an affinity for wine, and thought I knew what I liked and didn’t like. When I joined Wine I discovered that I needed to open my mind and try new things. You can’t say you don’t like a particular grape or region without having tried all the wines, the universe of flavors and experiences is potentially limitless.

What are the main lessons that wine culture (be it the market, contact with large and artisanal producers, new wineries and labels) has brought to your career and worldview?

With wine we work with the time of the earth, the product is almost handmade and its production is an art. We cannot simply want to accelerate these cycles. I also understood that the real challenge is to make quality wines at affordable prices and on a large scale. I joke that everyone knows how to drink expensive wine, but to find an excellent label under 45 reals, that is the real expertise.

Wine has been growing a lot in the last year, and besides being a leader in Brazil, it is expanding internationally, starting in Mexico. A good part of the e-commerce sales come from the app, which shows that the company is also increasingly more technological. What are the challenges of aligning the digital to the world of wine, which is very sensorial?

Wine posted a net revenue growth of 68.8% in the third quarter of this year, when compared to the same period in 2020. The Wine Club, a wine subscription business model based on the recurrence economy, is close to reaching 300,000 subscriptions and had a 44% net revenue growth in the third quarter of this year, also compared to the third quarter of 2020.

Technology plays an important role in the mission to democratize the world of wine by ensuring the accessibility of our portfolio to all consumers, Wine Club members and non-members, and also by offering labels with an excellent cost-benefit ratio. Today, for example, 8 out of 10 purchases in Wine’s physical stores are made through our Wine app, and the app, which has already reached more than 1.5 million downloads, is the platform that integrates the physical stores and e-commerce.

Even in one of our 16 physical stores throughout Brazil, customers can buy their wines and pay through the app, benefiting from e-commerce promotions and discounts. The consumer himself reads the QR code of each label and adds it to the shopping cart on the app. In the end, all you have to do is finish and pay directly from your cell phone in a quick and easy way.

Smell, sight, taste. The act of taking a break and enjoying a good wine is a rich source of experiences. To encourage the executives who read this, and as a leader in the largest wine club in the world, what are the benefits (either for professional or personal life) of taking time to enjoy the drink? If you can, name your favorite grapes.

 Wine is entertainment. Because of its versatility it goes well with various moments, such as a series marathon, a happy hour with friends, a family lunch… Wine is also a product that brings people together, that stimulates good conversation and inspires trips and discoveries even without leaving home. Each new bottle is a new discovery. The world of wine shows us that we can always discover more, it is a constant exploration.

My favorite grape is Sangiovese, but I confess that I have a passion for sparkling wines, and WineBox Sparkling Wine is my favorite. It is an incredible experience to be able to get to know, every month, new different sparkling wines that exist around the world.

 

 

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