Help us complete our winery, and build our tasting room!
My wife and I (Michael Barber) have been making award winning wine from Sonoma vineyards since 2007 for our label 'Barber Cellars.' Now there's one last step to making our business a complete success. On average, a tasting room and the direct sales it generates accounts for a little over 50% of the revenue of California wineries. That's huge! California is one of the only places in the world where this is true. Like many California wineries, we make wine in a licensed warehouse location right next to such respected brands as Carol Shelton, Cobb, Moonlight Brewing Co, etc... It's perfect for wine production, but it's not very romantic. That's why we want to start an offsite tasting room.
There's a saying in the wine business that goes 'In winemaking, you start with a large fortune to make a small fortune.' It's true - this stuff is expensive - and we started with no fortune. We have saved and built and struggled through the years and have carved out a name for ourselves, pushing our wines to restaurants and shops throughout the bay area and beyond. For this last and most important step - we need your help!
Our vision is to establish a comfortable and unique tasting room experience in downtown Petaluma. Petaluma is our hometown, gateway to Sonoma wine country, and right next to Sonoma Mountain where our grapes come from. It has a beautiful and historic downtown, lots of foot traffic, and not a lot of competition from other tasting rooms. Our tasting room will be a place to sit comfortably with friends and family and enjoy our wines. Petaluma is in the middle of the best cheese country in California, and local cheese tasting will be a big part of our tasting room. And of course - you'll be able to buy any of the wine and cheese you taste.
Our target is $20,000, which is the estimated budget to cover an initial lease on a retail space, renovations, and required permits. We are offering a bunch of unique experiences for anyone who helps us - anything from entrance to our opening party, to your own permanent name plaque in the tasting room, to an airplane or charter bus tour through wine country. Please check out our rewards - donate what you can - and become part of our tasting room and family!
Risks and challenges
The challenge will be to find the right space in Petaluma, and, when we do, to get the word out and build up excitement for the new tasting room. We already have a lot of advantages. Petaluma has great foot traffic and no other downtown tasting rooms. The local support for our unique room would be tremendous, especially because of our focus on local vineyards and cheeses. The lease here would be easy to maintain as retail leases are much less expensive than tasting hubs like Sonoma square and Healdsburg square. I have a retail lease specialist looking at potential sites and we have a few in mind. We already have all the necessary permits and licenses to legally establish an offsite tasting room, and we would get the word out on our new space through local publications like the Press Democrat and Petaluma Gazette while hosting a bunch of opening events. All the pieces are here - we just need that initial funding to secure the lease for a space, renovate, and set up furniture/registers/etc...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)