Mariana Martínez is known as Chile’s “Queen of the Glass”, and is one of the country’s leading wine critics. She has authored countless articles on Chile’s immense variety of wine, published books, critiques and tirelessly leads a radio program which takes her name, “Reina de las Copas” every single weeknight at 8pm on Radio Universo (FM 93.7 in Santiago). Now she has a new challenge: crowdfund and launch and independent web based media dedicated to Chilean wine.

If you have been around Santiago’s wine scene for even a short while, you will notice that everything that seems to happen is sponsored by either a vineyard or some brand associated with the wine industry, and the food & wine press is also largely dependent on their sponsorship, events and similar such support in order to function. It is a characteristic common to much of Chile’s media in general, from El Mercurio on down. Pay to Play!

For culinary and cultural coverage, I think there is a place and strong argument for “brand journalist”, without a doubt. But it is a landscape that definitely needs more independent voices. Chile’s wind industry, and the marketing interests of its main associations, are largely dominated by some of the biggest players. Again, nothing wrong with the big fish, but there is a robust, interesting and growing world of smaller winemakers producing excellent wines which deserve an impartial voice to reach new drinkers.

So this new initiative is aptly called “Wine Independent Media” or WiP, and is looking to raise CLP 12.000.000 (about US$17,900) in funding to get things going through Crowd Funding Chile, and they have compensation packages based on each level of support. Here is the press release from the launch of the campaign translated into English, (although the content to start will all be in Spanish)

Colin

UNPRECEDENTED WINE STARTUP: WiP WILL BE THE FIRST WEBSITE DEDICATED TO CHILEAN WINES FINANCED BY ITS READERS

Wine critic and professional Sommelier Mariana Martínez has launched a crowdfunding campaign to create an independent and transparent voice in the critique of Chilean wines. The first startup of its kind, the project looks for crowdfunding from all who adore fine wine and seek information which is educational, critical and objective, all in exchange for a valuable compensation. The website project is called WiP, the acronym of Wine Independent Press; and its mantra is “The first Chilean website specialized on wines that will not seek out nor receive the sponsorship of vineyards or brands associated with the industry”.

Mariana Martínez, who leads the radio program “Reina de Copas” (Queen of the Glass), every night at 8pm in the Radio Universo, has been studying and communicating about wines for 16 years with an easy to understand and educative approach. The model which she has chosen for WiP is new and unique to Chile and South America, but follows the successful model of web publications that have a large influence in the world of international wines due to their transparency, such as the Wine Advocate of US critic Robert Parker or Purple Pages of the UK’s Jancis Robinson.

Following the collective financing model of crowdfunding, all monetary contributions received from supporters through the catapultame.cl platform of Crowdfunding Chile, will be rewarded through compensation. Among these benefits is a yearlong subscription to the content which will be published in WiP.cl, as well as the 2nd addition in print of the award winning glossary “El Vino de la A a la Z” (Wine from A to Z), written by Mariana Martínez, together with the editorial company PLanetavino and published in 2006.

“Our goal in the long term,” explain Mariana Martínez, “is that the content of WiP will be so interesting, entertaining and indispensable for its readers that each year they will renew their subscription, while everyday new followers arrive”. As she has already been asked, the page’s creator trusts that readers will value and safeguard its contents, so that the project can be economically viable in time and become a reference for Chilean wines, in an initial stage; and in the long term for all of the wines of the Southern Hemisphere, through local experts.

The greater the support the campaign achieves, ensured Mariana, the greater reach and frequency for its contents in the future. She will also have a team of professionals in Chile, and also can expand collaboration between South American experts and in all of the Southern Hemisphere; who can also publish more research and education projects in print that cover Chilean wine.

MORE ON COMPENSATION:

For a contribution of $15.000: WiP will deliver a subscription for a year (12 months) with access to all of its contents, and a personalized card establishing the reader as a founding member with a card that comes with other benefits.

For a contribution of $20.000: WiP will deliver a subscription for a year (12 months) with access to all its online contents and a special gift.

For a contribution of $25.000: WiP will deliver the 2nd edition of the book “El Vino de la A a la Z”, as well as a subscription for a year (12 months) to its contents, as well as  establishing the reader as a founding member with a card that comes with other benefits.

INÉDITO STARTUP DE VINOS: WiP será el primer sitio web chileno de vinos financiado por sus lectores

La crítica de vinos y sommelier profesional Mariana Martínez, lanzó  esta semana la campaña de financiamiento colectivo que busca independencia y transparencia en la crítica de vinos chilenos. Este primer startup en su tipo, busca el financiamiento colectivo de todos quienes gustan del buen vino y buscan información educativa, crítica y objetiva, todo ello a cambio de valiosas recompensas. El proyecto de sitio web se llama WiP, por las siglas de Wine Independent Press; y su eslogan es “El primer sitio web chileno especializado en vinos que no buscará ni recibirá auspicios de viñas o marcas asociadas al rubro.”

Mariana Martínez, quien conduce Reina de Copas todas las noches a las 8pm en Radio Universo, 16 años estudiando y comunicando sobre vinos fácil y educativo. El modelo que escogió es único hasta ahora en nuestro país y toda Sudamérica, sin embargo sigue el exitoso modelo de publicaciones web que han alcanzado gran influencia en el mundo del vino internacional por su transparencia, como lo son Wine Advocate del norteamericano Robert Parker o Purple Pages de la inglesa Jancis Robinson.

Siguiendo el modelo del financiamiento colectivo, todo apoyo monetario que realice cualquier persona a través de la plataforma catapultame.cl de Crowdfunding Chile, será agradecido mediante recompensas. Entre ellas destaca la suscripción por un año a los contenidos de lo que será Wip.cl así como la 2da edición en papel del premiado Glosario “El Vino de la A a la Z”, escrito por Mariana Martínez, junto a editorial Planetavino el año 2006.

 “Nuestra meta a largo plazo, explica Mariana Martínez, es que el contenido de W.i.P. sea tan interesante, entretenido e indispensable para sus lectores que cada año vuelvan a suscribirse, mientras cada día surjan nuevos adeptos”. Si ya se lo preguntaban, su creadora  confía en que sus suscriptores valorizarán y resguardarán sus contenidos, para que el proyecto pueda ser económicamente viable en el tiempo y se convierta en un referente de los vinos de Chile, en una etapa inicial; y en el largo plazo de todos los vinos del Hemisferio Sur, a través de expertos locales.

Mientras más apoyo logre la campaña, asegura Mariana, mayor alcance y periodicidad podrán tener sus contenidos en el futuro. Quiere decir que contarán con más profesionales en Chile, y también podrán expandir la colaboración a expertos de Sudamérica y todo el Hemisferio Sur; también podrán publicar más proyectos de investigación y educación en papel sobre el vino chileno.

MÁS SOBRE LAS RECOMPENSAS

Por el aporte de $15.000 WiP entregará una suscripción por un año (12 meses) con acceso a todos sus contenidos, y una tarjeta personalizada de miembro fundador con sus beneficios.

Por el aporte de $20.000 WiP entregará dos suscripciones por un año (12 meses) a sus contenidos on-line con el fin de poder regalar la segunda.

Por el aporte de $25.000 WiP entregara la 2da edición en papel del libro “El Vino de la A a la Z”, además de una suscripción por un año (12 meses) a sus contenidos, así como la tarjeta de miembro fundador con sus beneficios.

WiP: An Indie Voice for Chilean Wine
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