Prototype 2: Georgian wine
The focus in Mongolia has been largely on how to form collaboration at the producer end of the chain. In Georgia it has been more about market access and distribution.
Every Georgian makes wine - it is a winemaking culture that stretches back 8000 years. The role of wine in the Georgian identity is central - and the skill and variety of winemaking is breathtaking.
Yet the vast majority of would-be winemakers cannot make a living from wine.
The costs of bottling, shipping are too high for small family producers. Access to the local markets is pretty much impossible and access to export markets a distant dream.
But there is a great undiscovered treasure trove of expert winemakers and amazing wines that lies hidden from the world's wine lovers.
Wine - perhaps more than any other product - is inextricably linked with origin.
I started to appreciate the life of wine, that it's a living thing, that it connects you more to life. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing. I like to think about how the sun was shining that summer and what the weather was like. I think about all those people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I love how wine continues to evolve, how if I open a bottle the wine will taste different than if I had uncorked it on any other day, or at any other moment. A bottle of wine is like life itself - it grows up, evolves and gains complexity. Then it tastes so f***ing good. (Sideways)
Helping the Georgian artisans to make a living from winemaking has numerous benefits - first of all they are much happier, and the craft of winemaking becomes a career option for their children. Crucially it also means they can continue to restore the vineyards that were gravely undermined during the Soviet era. Reviving grape varieties, improving soil.
With Teliani Valley
We have helped Teliani Valley, a leading winery in Georgia, to put together a program and a brand to act as a value chain connector, helping small producers of wine, who otherwise would have no access to market, to get their small batch wines out into the world.
Teliani have found small mobile bottling units which can get to the hard to reach places where the winemakers are, and bottle their wines on site.
The "Wine People" brand has been conceived as an umbrella brand to support each of the winemakers. Their story is on the back of the label and there is a website profiling each maker.
The first 6,700 bottles are almost ready - 10 wines from 7 producers. The smallest batch is 300 bottles.
The wines will be launched in select Tbilisi restaurants in January 2020.
In March a further set of 5 winemakers will join the program