Exclusive/small production winery mailing lists

Well executed mailing lists provide benefits to consumer and winery alike.  Most wineries don't do it well.  They are usually the ones were the same wine can be found at the local supermarket retailer at a lower price.  However, some wineries do it really well.  Usually, this is because they provide their wines at good discounts to reward customers for purchasing directly.  Alternatively, they provide access to hard to find or small production wines.  Well, in my view, they need to at least do one or more of these things to make it worthwhile.

I'd like to build this article out to identify Australia's best mailing lists for the wine consumer.  If you have additions or comments, let me know.  Here's a start.

1. Rockford, Barossa Valley

Rockford's mailing list is famous, and has been a stunning success for both winery and consumer. It is divided between "stonewallers" and non-stonewallers.  Stonewallers have the opportunity to purchase Rockford's Basket Press shiraz and their sparkling black shiraz at substantially discounted prices and to dine at their winery in the Barossa Valley,  Non stonewallers mailing list have access to Rockford's other releases.  Stonewaller eligibility depends on purchasing loyalty over time.  If you would like to join, give them a call.

2. Wendouree, Clare Valley

Wendouree in the Clare Valley is one of Australia's great producers and has a particularly lo-fi approach.  There is no website.  There is no cellar door.   There's a sign post off the road.  That's it.  Once on the mailing list, an arcane allocation system is in use.  An order form will arrive (by post) with no marking, then based on past purchases, a red crayon mark, a black crayon mark and then initials.  The so-called crayons determine access rather than price.  Loyal customers willingly jump all of these hurdles because the pricing offered to mailing list customers is substantially discounted, and the wines are not otherwise easily found.  If you would like to join this list, you can write them a letter.

3. Mount Mary, Yarra Valley

Access to Mount Mary's mailing list is via their website.  As a mailing list member, you have access to all of their wines, at a slight discount to retail.  There is a "Members' Table" subcategory, which provides certain further limited benefits such as access to members only tasting events.  Mount Mary's newsletter remains an interesting read, providing vintage colour that serves as a reference point.

Note: This article was updated in 2018.
Wine Thoughts
January 16, 2011

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