WinesPlus.com announced plans today to launch a new component to its consumer web site: a "winery consortium," or wine hub, where online consumers have access to the web sites of small wineries in the States and abroad. At the same time, the consortium provides a forum where boutique producers reach a wide audience of Internet-savvy oenophiles. Unlike competitor winetasting.com, WinesPlus.com will host wineries at no cost (i.e., no monthly charges and no set-up fees). In essence, the company will function as a winery incubator, providing access to its established web site and cutting-edge real-time inventory.

In addition, WinesPlus.com is the only wine e-tailer to hold a three-tiered license from the state of California that enables the company to function as a retailer, distributor and importer. How does this impact the "winery to consumer," (W2C) business? As a licensed importer, WinesPlus.com is able not only to host small-batch international producers from Australia to Italy, it also can import the wines themselves. Concurrently, the boutique wine makers who join the site enjoy international exposure on the WinesPlus.com winery consortium link and through the company's partnership with an affiliate Europe-based site. Given the demand in Europe for California wines, this feature gives WinesPlus.com added advantage over its competitors.

WinesPlus.com expects to have over 200 wineries signed up by the end of the year in the USA alone, followed by an expansion to South America, Europe and the Pacific Rim. Each month, WinesPlus.com will showcase one member of the consortium with a map of its location, tasting room hours, reviews of its wines, etc.

"Today, many of the world's finest wines are only available in the tasting rooms of boutique wineries," explained Ron Johnson, president and CEO of WinesPlus.com. "The reason being that most wineries don't have the resources to manage online sales and marketing. Our consortium takes care of both for them. We give the wineries the tools and the access to grow their business out of the tasting room and into the e-commerce space. The wineries enjoy free positioning on our established site amidst their peers. At the same time, the consortium offers consumers online access to small-batch wines and hard-to-come-by selections."

WinesPlus.com expects to go live with its wine consortium in two weeks with an initial focus on Central Coast wineries.

About WinesPlus.com

WinesPlus.com is a Southern California-based wine e-tailer specializing in wines that are not currently available in California retail outlets, including 200 selections that are exclusive to the site. WinesPlus.com is distinguished by its profile-driven web-enabled wireless ordering system, real-time inventory and promise of next-day delivery. The site also offers wine education, Wine Clubs, information about food and wine pairing, a chat room and message board for the wine enthusiast and novice alike. WinesPlus.com is headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, CA.

For more information about WinesPlus.com, please contact Caitlin Dowe-Sandes or Christina Soletti at Magnet Communications 310.284.6820.