Dear Washington DC,
We love you a lot, we really do. You are so enthusiastic about Wine Riot it hurts us to not have a date on the 2014 tour calendar. The truth is, we’ve been hosting Wine Riot in Washington DC for three years in a row and we just can’t make it financially viable. That means we’re back to the drawing board. There are a few factors at play, and I want to take the time to explain them.
Venue Size: We love the venue we used in 2013 but the fact of the matter is even if we sell it out, we just break even. That’s a big risk for us to take. We’re a small company, run by two entrepreneurs that started this thing out of our apartment back in 2006. The risk is big enough that it would seriously hinder my personal ability to pay rent for the year. Which totally sucks.
Marketing: Our model doesn’t work in DC. We kill it in New York, Boston, Chicago, and even LA, but our Facebook heavy marketing approach clashes with the low percentage of DC folks that are not on the service. Yeah, we could adapt, and try new approach just for DC but that takes a larger investment, and unfortunately, due to the above venue size problem, we just can’t repay the extra expense.
Wineries: Our event succeeds in cities that sales and marketing representatives for US based and international wineries live. New York and Boston are big cities but for DC, most of the reps live in New York and they need to travel to DC to pour. This is a problem because it costs them a lot more money. They’re willing to make the trip, but scheduling is often a major issue.
All in all, we have decided to pass on a Washington DC Wine Riot in 2014 and you have no idea how much that bums us out, but know that it does not mean you are out for good. Those of you that have attended are probably the most excited of all the Wine Riot attendees in the US.
We’re not giving up, we just need to figure out a different business model. We have some ideas and we’re working on it.
Keep drinking more wine and we’ll hopefully be back soon!