I don’t usually post press releases verbatim – but this just came through and I think it’s rather cool…
27 November 2013
MEDIA RELEASE – PYRAMID VALLEY VINEYARDS
A small high-end winery in North Canterbury is set to become the first wine business in the southern hemisphere to accept bitcoin payment to make transactions easier for its strong domestic and international customer base.
Pyramid Valley Vineyards, Waikairi, produces collectable wines in New Zealand and sees the new currency as a development in line with its innovative approach to business.
“It’s exciting times we live in and bitcoin is a movement that is gaining huge international traction as a currency that is borderless,” says Caine Thompson, managing director of Pyramid Valley. “We’re increasingly getting requests from our international customers to be able to pay with bitcoin, particularly for our exclusive Home Collection wines. They don’t want to be worried about exchange rates and costly transaction fees.”
Bitcoin is growing in demand and popularity as an alternative currency, and Thompson says his company has “positioned itself on freedom and ‘outside of the square’ winemaking and thinking that’s often referred to as disruptive innovation in other industries.
“Bitcoin is a logical fit that we need to be a part of. As a company that is increasing our customer base around the world, it makes sense to accept payment in bitcoin especially when we sell our wines around the globe direct through our website.”
From Thursday 28 November, Pyramid Valley will be accepting bitcoin on selected products through its website and making it possible for cellar door customers to pay this way by using their cell phone.
Pyramid Valley joins a growing number of companies embracing bitcoin transactions. Some of the recent converts include Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Walmart through e-gifter and online e-commerce leader, Shopify.
Uptake is growing rapidly with over 12,000 businesses and charities across the globe now accepting bitcoin as a mechanism for trade.
Pyramid Valley Vineyards was established in 2000 by Mike and Claudia Weersing and has quickly become one of the country’s leading and most provocative wine producers.
“We continually challenge the status quo, push boundaries and the current paradigm. When this disruptive innovation is at the core of your culture, it makes for one incredibly exciting company with freedom,” says Thompson.
Pyramid Valley Vineyards
Phone 03 314 2006 or 027 2233312
“If New Zealand has created a finer Pinot Noir than these two single-vineyard wines from Pyramid Valley Vineyards (Angel Flower & Earth Smoke), I haven’t tasted it. They are among the finest out-of-Burgundy experiences I’ve ever had.” Matter Kramer, Wine Spectator.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION – BITCOIN
BACKGROUND INFORMATION – PYRAMID VALLEY VINEYARDS
“Wine to us is a genie, genius loci; our job is to coax it from its rock bottle. Every gesture we make, in vineyard and winery, is a summons to this spirit of place. Biodynamics, hand-based viticulture, low yields, natural winemaking – these are some of the means we’ve adopted better to record and transmit this voice.” Mike and Claudia Weersing.
Mike and Claudia Weersing came to New Zealand in 1996, when Mike began making wine with Tim and Judy Finn at Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson. After a long and intensive search to find a site for their own vineyard, they purchased a farm in the Pyramid Valley, near Waikari in North Canterbury, in 2000.
The vineyard of 2.2 hectares planted in four separate blocks, has been biodynamically managed from inception. The clay-limestone soils are married to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, planted on scarp slopes, at a density of 10,000-12,000 vines per hectare. The Home Collection blocks are named after the weed varieties predominant in each, which also reflect the different soils.
Grapes for the Growers Collection are supplied by admired colleagues around the country, and with sites, soils, and varieties different than those of the Home Collection.
Mike studied oenology and viticulture in Burgundy. He has worked extensively in the vineyards and cellars of Europe, and has made wine in France and in Spain. New world vintages include apprenticeships with James Halliday at Coldstream Hills in the Yarra Valley of Australia.
Claudia is a committed biodynamicist.