Fancy a private dinner party for two with a Michelin-starred Chef and an overnight stay at a resort in Auberge du Soleil, Napa? At $800 a head, that’s a really fair deal. But if you’ve got $100,000 to spare and want to visit Bordeaux, Napa, Mendoza, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Germany and Portugal, why not partake in “Seven Weeks of Wine and Indulgence in an Unforgettable Around-the-World Adventure“? You can order both experiences on sale right here in Lot18′s new Experience section.
Lot18 is oft referred to as “the Gilt Group of the wine industry.” Similar to the fashion startup’s sister companies Jetsetter, Gilt City, and the newly launched direct competitor Gilt Taste, Lot18 is expanding its brand into more than just a flash sales platform for wine. Lot18′s new Experience section offers wine and gourmet-themed travel excursions, exclusive dinners at Michelin-starred restaurants and other local and national packages designed to help Lot18 members indulge just a little bit more.
“When people travel to wine country, they create emotional connections with the specific vineyards, wines and gourmet foods that make such a visit memorable,” said Philip James, co-founder and President of Lot18. “Our goal is to help our members build even more meaningful relationships with the food and wine brands they enjoy, whether it’s by traveling for a private tasting and tour of the vineyards or by visiting a nearby restaurant for a five-course dinner with a winemaker and well-known chef.”
The launch of Lot18 Experiences coincides with the company’s one-year anniversary. In 12 months of operations, Lot18 has attracted over 550,000 members and sold more than half a million bottles of wine. This summer, Lot18 also added a Gourmet section for products such as olive oil, chocolate, caviar and coffee to complete its Dionysian quest. Lot18 Experiences will soon offer similar special engagements in Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities through a network of partner sites, to be announced at a later time.
“As Lot18 continues to grow, our aim isn’t simply for more people to discover food and wine. It’s that they’ll make them a part of their special nights out – even their vacations,” said James.
In just one year, the New York City startup has grown to 90 employees, poaching some of the finest wine connoisseurs the city has to offer. In May, Lot 18 raised $10 million in a Series B funding round led by NEA Ventures and FirstMark Capital, who also led the $3 million Series A round.