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Meet the Member: Dorothée Berny, Marketing & Communication Manager, U’Wine
Member news | July 21, 2021
We are pleased to welcome Dorothée to the FACC network! She has worked in the Marketing & Communications world for 10+ years and began the U'Wine experience 5 years ago as one of the first employees to build the world's next wine start-up.
U’Wine is a new generation negociant offering an experience and a unique access to the Grands Crus. With excellence, passion and innovation, U'Wine passes on the Grands Crus culture and bring pleasure and emotion to Wine Lovers around the world; as they guide them through the creation and the success of their Wine Cellar and offer them an access to the top 1% of the greatest Terroirs.
Could you share the genesis story behind launching U'Wine?
The story of U'Wine is the story of Thomas Hébrard, which began in 2010. Son of wine growers and heir to a family wine tradition since 1832, Thomas grew up in the vineyards and on the shores of the Arcachon basin. Co-owner of Château Cheval Blanc, his family has always made him taste wines since he was a child. After studying and working as an engineer, he wanted to start a cellar in 2009 and discovered that the wines he had the chance to taste in his family circle were out of his reach. He then decided to buy more than he needed to consume, to resell part of his cellar and finance it himself. The model attracted 3 friends, then 15, and after 4 years of discussions with the French Financial Market Authority, U'Wine was launched in Bordeaux in early 2015 with an offer to create a patrimonial cellar for individuals. We added services around the cellar: events, cellar and value monitoring, resale and delivery. I joined the adventure in 2016 to create the Marketing department, which is focused on events (Châteaux tours, tasting evenings) and the Customer Experience around the Application. Referred by many financial partners and then a private bank in 2019, U'Wine grew very fast, going from 5 to 15 employees in 4 years. Today, we are 30 U'Wine-Makers and have 2 offices in Bordeaux and Shanghai. We are the new wine ecosystem that wants to transform the wine world and offer a unique experience to its members. What a journey we have made in 6 years!
There are many wine enterprises operating in the wine market. What makes U’Wine stand out?
Our job is not simply to create cellars of fine wines for our clients. Of course, we provide all the "basic" services: wine sourcing, advice, selection, storage, worldwide delivery, and resale. Beyond that, we create a complete Experience for our members: immersion in the Châteaux through shared emotional and private moments in the Domains, a digital Experience through our Application (monitoring of one's cellar and its valuation, Conciergerie, e-tastings with winemakers) and finally a Tech Experience (all U'Wine bottles are "connected" and equipped with an NFC chip called "Tag" which allows our members to automatically update their cellar when they open their bottles). Additionally, essential to our ecosystem are the domains that we partner with. U’Wine highly values our relationships with the domains and châteaux that are not merely suppliers. We consider them as partners. They are integral actors in our past successes, present and future paths. These partners are carefully selected to make up our “top 1% of the world’s greatest terroirs”. In fact, U'Wine is a unique ecosystem bringing together everything a wine lover is looking for!
What can we hope to see from U'Wine in the future?
Our ambition is very strong: we thrive to build tomorrow's wine world by focusing on sustainability, long-term value creation and delivering emotions. U'Wine has been an international name since its birth and has the vocation to reach wine lovers all over the world! We will therefore continue the way we are going… And we wish to go fast, very fast. We are already present in China with our office in Shanghai and we want to enter the American market in the next 2 years. We will continue to innovate to further connect the world of wine through all the stakeholders of the chain: consumers, wineries, distributors... Our patented Tag offers us multiple technological possibilities to create value for each stakeholder. It is, therefore, very likely that you will hear about U'Wine, not only for wine lovers and consumers but also for wine merchants, restaurateurs, wineries... In the name U'Wine there is a "you" and this "you" represents the world of wine as a whole!
What is your creative philosophy as U’Wine’s Marketing & Communication Manager?
I am not interested in talking about wine the way everyone else in the wine world talks about it. What I like as a Marketing Manager is to tell our vision of wine and our life at U'Wine. Our contents do not talk about notes or scores of wines, they talk about the tasting qualities of wines, but also and above all about the moments when we tasted them, our feelings, our philosophy. Our positioning is upmarket and so is our content. Talking about U'Wine, making U'Wine shine means talking about U'Wine-Makers, our values, our way of choosing this or that wine and our evolution. Experience is key for us, as much for our Members as for each of us. Being faithful to our style and to what we want to say is what drives the marketing team and myself every day at U'Wine. Finally, my role is to make our members, our partners and the wineries we work with dream, to enchant them with an experience that they will not have with any other wine company. A daily challenge, but so exciting and endless!
Why did you join the FACC-NY network?
France is wine, so why limit ourselves to the French in France? Joining the FACC represents for us a new step to spread the unique model of U'Wine and to target the amateurs of Grands Crus all over the world, by relying first of all on a solid and installed network of French citizens abroad. We want to offer them the opportunity to build and manage their fine wine cellars for them from Bordeaux, taking care of everything. Moreover, the idea of the FACC community is quite close to what we want to create for our customers and members. Defining ourselves as an ecosystem implies that our members feel part of a community of members within U'Wine. The idea of sharing and gathering is part of our DNA (Excellence, Passion, Innovation) since we already live it during our events. So, it made a lot of sense for us to join such a community and offer them the U'Wine Experience, albeit from a distance! Finally, the fact that many events are organized within the community is perfectly in line with what we can offer. Organizing a Grand Cru tasting with our experts in a beautiful place in New York is the next step!