Think Local: Discover Local Wineries and Purchase Their Wines in the VinoWine App


As the creators of VinoWine, we’re honored and thrilled to have been asked to write as guest bloggers on Winery Escapades! Dennis recently reached out to us asking if we could outline some of VinoWine’s app features and share how we got started on this venture. We were very humbled to learn that Dennis and his wife Jenni use the VinoWine app to discover and track nearby wineries and we hope that, as you learn more about us, you will as well!

When it comes to VinoWine there’s really something for everybody. You can discover nearby wineries, keep track of the ones you’ve visited, see which wineries are having events around you, and track the upcoming wine festivals that will be in your area.

In addition to being a winery finder, we’re proud to announce that we just launched our newest feature; the VinoWine Marketplace. VinoWine now gives small to medium sized wineries the ability to advertise and sell their wine directly to our users. We created the marketplace so wine lovers can discover and purchase those hard to find wines which are made from wineries who don’t distribute them. Many of you will be happy to hear that as of last week, we just started shipping wines to fifteen different states which include North Carolina, one of Dennis and Jenni’s frequented areas! With every passing month, we add more wineries and their wines for sale, allowing us to build a diverse marketplace capable of meeting any wine lover’s needs.

So here’s a little about us. Our names are Mike Barefoot (no relation to the wine) and Mike Lawler. We’re commonly known as “the Mikes.” Both of us are military veterans (Marine Corps and Army infantrymen) who decided to switch career paths from defense contracting to being our own bosses. In late 2009, we met each other while working for a tech company in Northern Virginia doing geo-spatial work (mapping out people and places). Within a few years of us meeting there was a need for both of us to regularly fly over to London, England to conduct business alongside our two bosses. At the end of each day we felt it necessary to explore and soak up the local history and culture that surrounded us. We found all those things at the local pubs. When word of the upcoming 2012 London Olympics reached us, an idea dawned on VinoWine’s CEO, Mike Lawler. Being the head of technology for our company, specifically focusing on geo-spatial mapping, it was a no-brainer for him; we were going to create an app that located every London pub that surrounded the Olympic stadiums. Within a short amount of time, we created an app that allowed people from any country to “check in” to any pub within the app, showing other users which countries were represented at these pubs. We lovingly gave the app the name, BRU. Following the Olympics, we were then asked by friends to create a similar app that provided locational information on all wineries in the commonwealth of Virginia. We both liked the idea so we sat down and planned out how we wanted the app to look and function. Over time, that idea spawned the beginnings of the VinoWine app and today we now cover the entire U.S. We loved the idea of getting out of the confines of our brick-and-mortar office and working with folks who, like us, are passionate about wine and getting their wines into the homes of consumers. Needless to say, it’s thirty work.

What originally started as a hobby for us in our spare time quickly became a fulltime job. Since our founding, we’ve been tirelessly working on partnering with wineries across the U.S. getting them to add their upcoming events and wine lists into our app for our users to view and rate. We developed interactive tasting menus that allow our users to rate the wines as they taste them at the wineries. That way you’ll always remember where you were and what you liked. As our partnerships with wineries grew we then decided to have our app and website also feature a direct-to-consumer marketplace so we could sell wines that are hard to locate and purchase. With VinoWine, every winery and vineyard that can ship to consumers can now advertise and sell their wines directly to our users like never before.

You might be amazed at this fact because we sure were: 60% of U.S. wineries don’t distribute their wine! The reason; they just can’t afford it. So this means you won’t find their wines sold in grocery stores or readily available online. Knowing that, we decided to partner with local wineries and create a marketplace that allows them to sell their wine to people like all of us. In the end, we not only wanted to create an awesome app and website that helps everyone enjoy the sophistication of wine tasting, we also wanted to give our users a customer service experience that feels more like a friendship than a business.

We gotta say, the best part of our job (other than tasting a LOT of great wines) is meeting or emailing back and forth with the people who use VinoWine. We receive emails every day from our users that inform us of wineries that have either opened or closed, helping us keep our interactive winery map up-to-date. We love to email everyone back to thank them and from there a dialogue or two will begin. We feel very strongly that every one of our users or social media followers is also a part of our company and we strive to make everyone as happy as we can by providing the best service possible.

The VinoWine app is available for download on iOS and Android devices (Wine sales coming soon to Android devices). We invite you to learn more about what we do by checking out our website, or even better, downloading the VinoWine app and trying it for yourself! We’re selling some really great wines from wineries across Virginia and in the month of October we’ll be opening up our marketplace to the rest of the country’s wineries. Feel free to shoot us an email with any questions or just to say hello!
Mike and Mike

Co-founders of VinoWine

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This Weekend’s Escapade – Week 38 2017

Friday night Jenni and I visited the local Greek Festival. We enjoyed some good Greek food,  such as Dolmades which are wrapped in grape leaves and I enjoyed a Greek beer called Mythos. Our plan for Saturday was Cypress Bend Vineyards and Little River Vineyards. Due to some traffic issues we didn’t make it to Little River, so they’ll be seeing us in the near future.

First allow me to say that in our travels this weekend, we came upon two different very bad wrecks. Please be careful out there, and please drink responsibly.  Cypress Bend Vineyards in Wagram is a good 3+ hour drive for us, though we certainly enjoyed the drive.

Cypress Bend Vineyards

Dan and Tina Smith officially opened the Winery in 2005. Lisa graciously poured our tasting. She explained that the vineyard property has been in Dan’s family since the early 1800’s. originally over one thousand acres, still eight hundred or so remain in the family. The Lumber River runs along the property, which has been passed down through generations of descendants. Growing Carlos, Noble, and Magnolia on site, only pure cane sugar is used to sweeten their wines. Winemaker, Nadia Hetzel, studied the craft in Germany.  Their new River Series of wines are named for John Charles White, poet and ancestor of the matriarch White family.  The winery has a patio for sitting outside and host events throughout the year. We took a bottle of the Reminiscence home with us.

Utilizing the VinoWine app,  was obvious we’d never make it Little River before they closed, so we regrouped and headed to nearby LockLear Vineyard and Winery. This is one of those “hobby” wineries. Don’t let that prevent you from stopping in and visiting with Charlie Locklear.  The vineyard has been planted since 2006 and the winery open about seven years. The winery serves Carlos and Noble in both semi-dry and semi-sweet along with a few fruit wines. The highlight though, was the Christmas in a Bottle. This is a mulled spice wine, already bottled. This ten dollar bottle of wine was quiet good, and certainly unique, so we took a bottle home with us.
Leaving Locklear and after a bite to eat at some local diner, we made the decision to head to Concord as we knew Cabo Winery was open until 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Cabo is downtown Concord, and makes some really good and unique fruit forward wines. We sat at a table looking out onto Main Street and enjoyed a bottle of Bless Your Heart. Bless Your Heart is a Sauv Blanc with a zesty lime note and strong hints of coconut. Some of our other favorites are Hissy Fit, a strawberry Riesling, Honey Hush, a coffee port style, and Adams Apple, a Gewurtraminer with intense flavor note of green apple.
Sunday I was on a mission. We headed over to one of our favorites, Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery, just outside of Shelby, in Fallston,  N.C.  We have come to know Charles and Anne at Baker Buffalo Creek pretty good over our recent visits, and it is always great to catch up. I was there for one reason though, to get a bottle of the newly released Cab Sauv aged in bourbon barrels for 4 months. I’ll have a review of this wine in the near future.  Charles had on a previous visit, before the wine was bottled, allowed us to taste it right out of the barrel. It has just the right note of bourbon on the finish.  Each bottle sells for $24, though with supply limited, I highly recommend picking up a bottle as quickly as possible.
Couldn’t help picture a bottle once I got home.
2015 Cab Sauv aged in ourbon Barrels

C.D. Baker “Aged in Bourbon Barrels”  Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Have always loved this old gas pump on the property at Baker Buffalo Creek. A reminder that this was once a working dairy farm.

Love sitting outside relaxing with a bottle of wine. During the cooler months the fire pit is always lit and quite warm and cozy.

Can you tell in the picture that we were enjoying life? Yet, once again we finished off another weekend escapade.
Happy Weekend Wining!

Don’t forget to check Groupon for winery tasting and tour deals.


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