Willamette Valley Vineyards has had an incredible journey over the past 35 years since finding land to plant.
It all began with a dream that Founder Jim Bernau couldn’t possibly achieve alone or finance – to build a world class winery in the Willamette Valley to make Pinot Noir unique to their weather, topography and soil while taking care of the land and each other.
His belief was many wine consumers of modest means shared the dream and would combine their efforts to pursue it. Jim learned that wine enthusiasts were not “qualified” investors and could not legally invest without the vineyard becoming a public reporting company under federal law. After three years of intense study and support from an Oregon wine loving attorney, Willamette Valley Vineyards qualified their submission to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and conducted the nation’s first successful Regulation A public offering in 1989 resulting in just under 1,000 owners investing an average of $1,500 each.
Hundreds of winery owners took the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s exam to obtain a Server’s Permit so they could serve in the Tasting Room and at events. A number organized to deliver wine to wholesale accounts directly out of the back of their cars which led to the winery becoming the number one selling wine brand in Oregon by 1994. They operated this ownership-driven distribution model for nearly 25 years. Their original owners worked the bottling line until they were advised by the Oregon Department of Workers Compensation it was unwise for people over 80 years in age to be doing such work. Several subsequent public offerings in 1990-1992 raised additional growth capital resulting in over 5,000 owners from all over the U.S. and beyond.
In 1994, the winery qualified for the NASDAQ under the symbol WVVI. The winery has benefited from this broad based ownership with one owner musing: “This is the only stock I own where I can drink myself to profitability.”
In fact, given the ownership discounts, purchasers of certain volumes can earn a return without selling their stock. The winery has performed as an economic investment over the years with operating results that are favorable based upon their size in the industry. The consumer-owned business model has produced a lot of business success where they are able to conduct work according to the values they hold dear and support the community as best as they are able.
Although they have a lot of fun with their owners, their vineyard and wine making work is quite serious and over the years have produced well-regarded wines at the hands of some of the region’s best talent.
They have begun their next “crowd funding”, picking up where they left off last December by offering wine enthusiasts an opportunity to be a part of Oregon’s wine future through ownership of preferred stock. They had to return approximately $2 million from wine enthusiasts in their last round as the $6 million offering oversubscribed. They now have over 9,000 wine enthusiast owners holding their winery’s Common and Preferred Stock.
These funds will be used to build two new boutique wineries, one in the Eola Hills of the Willamette Valley to make Elton Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and the other in the Walla Walla AVA called Pambrun focused on Cabernet Sauvignon – as well as support their continuing efforts to find and plant intriguing vineyard sites in Oregon.
A groundbreaking event at Pambrun in the Walla Walla Valley AVA is being held May 15, 2016. If you can, please attend the Walla Walla groundbreaking or visit Willamette Valley Vineyards on your next trip to the Willamette Valley, they would love to host you with our lodging and food pairings.
Please contact the Winery Director Christine Collier with questions at Christine.Collier@wvv.com or 503-588-9463
Preferred Stock Ownership Information Share Price: $4.35 April 1 through June 30, 2016 (increases to $4.45 on July 1, 2016) Annual Dividend: 5.1% Minimum Shares: 200 ($870) Maximum Shares: 1,205 ($5,241.75) Offering Limit: $4.125 million as there is a federal limit on the value of Preferred Stock that we can issue relative to the trading of our Common Stock.
The Preferred Stock has received a listing on the NASDAQ under the symbol WVVIP. As the stock certificates have recently been issued, no trading has yet commenced. For those that wish to make an investment, they can review the prospectus, financial reports, and 8-K at wvv.com/ownership and return or electronically-sign a completed Subscription Agreement form to the winery. For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-588-9463.
Free Writing Prospectus (to Prospectus dated December 23, 2015, as Supplemented by the Prospectus Supplement dated March 10, 2016) Filed Pursuant to Rule 433 Registration Statement No. 333-208715 Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc., has filed a registration statement (including a prospectus) with the SEC for the offering to which this communication relates.
Before you invest, you should read the prospectus in that registration statement and other documents we have filed with the SEC for more complete information about our company and this offering. You may get these documents for free by visiting EDGAR on the SEC Web site at www.sec.gov. Alternatively, we will arrange to send you the prospectus (including the documents incorporated therein by reference) if you so request by writing us at email@example.com or by calling us toll-free 1-800-344-9463.