iHeartWine is a new app showcasing independent winemakers and connecting them directly to drinkers

Smaller producers have been profoundly impacted these past two years as the devastating triple punch of bushfires, Chinese tariffs, and the global pandemic has shaken the local wine industry. I don’t even need to tell you important it is to support your favourite winemakers at a time like this, so the arrival of a new app like iHeartWine is an incredibly encouraging development, seeking to digitally connect grape growers with wine lovers.

It’s important to note, too, that retailers take a large portion of sales profits. All of this has come together to push a steady decline of smaller winemakers and grape growers that will negatively impact the industry for years to come. There are ways to help out and benefit in the process, and this app is one of them.

iHeartWine is a new app acting as the first marketplace to essentially draw a direct line between winemakers and buyers. Created by Marc Malouf, it’s been geared to showcase independent and boutique wineries across Australia – ones you may not necessarily be spotting in the local bottle shop.

All wine sold on the very straightforward platform comes directly from the wineries themselves, which means the winery earns 90% from every bottle. To compare, you’d typically see that figure cut to around 40%-60% if you’re buying your wine from bigger retailers.

The benefit to you? Aside from knowing you’re supporting an incredibly important part of the local wine industry, the app is just as much a discovery tool for unique wines that are typically harder to come across for the average buyer. Being able to browse through rare vintages and a potential collectors goldmine from your phone is going to be very valuable moving forward, especially if fewer people are dining out than usual.

“Every winery on iHeartWine makes wines from a place of truth, passion, and obsession,” explains Malouf. “These are the wineries and winemakers we should be paying attention to and celebrating. They are the true Australian heroes of the wine industry, but they often suffer from the same fundamental flaw – they are somewhat invisible to wine drinkers. Unless you stumble across a wine on a restaurant list or take a wrong turn on a trip through a wine region, chances are you will never come across these hidden gems and I think it’s time we changed this.”

Producers registered on the app so far include Yarra Valley gem Thousand Candles, Bended Knee, Avani Wines, and more. For a full list, download the app below.

You can download the iHeartWine app and start browsing here.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.