One the one hand, Jay Levy , as a partner in Zelkova Ventures, is a conventional New York City tech VC with investments in promising start-ups like Fab, Klout and Crimson Hexagon. But Levy, as the founder of the Napa based Uproot Wine, is also an entrepreneur himself, using his knowledge of online technology, particularly social media, to develop a northern Californian direct sales wine company that focuses on the consumer experience.
Levy – who is now commuting between his New York City office and the Uproot Wine headquarters in Napa – sees Uproot Wine as primarily a marketing company which is able to provide what he calls “transparency” for the production and selling of wine. Not surprisingly, perhaps, Levy sees social media as critical to Uproot’s business, acknowledging that a third of all his business comes from social media, saying “it’s all about Facebook” when it comes to building lasting relationships with wine drinkers.
Full Disclosure: Jay did give me a bottle of his Sauvignon Blanc and, while the jury may still be out on the scalability of his business model, I don’t think anyone will be disappointed with the excellent quality of Uproot’s vintage or the design of its labels with their very cool infographic describing the taste of the wine.