Lot18 Turns Wine Into Wine Country Excursions

Lot18, which offers wines online for a discount, is expanding into travel deals that are packaged especially for lovers of the fermented grape.

With the launch of the travel vertical, the members-only flash sales site treads more heavily into the territory of others who have been working on travel packages and other experiences for much longer.

Several other daily deals and flash sales sites have already gotten into the business of offering travel packages, including Groupon’s partnership with Expedia and Gilt Groupe’s high-end, exclusive vacations on its own Jetsetter.com.

The company’s new Lot18 Experiences will offer a twist, focusing exclusively on wine and gourmet food-themed excursions, from vineyard tours to dinners at well-known restaurants.

New York-based Lot18, which has raised roughly $13 million from investors, including the founders of Amazon-owned Diapers.com, has 550,000 members and has sold more than 500,000 bottles of wine.

The capital was expected to be used for launching new verticals; the launch of Lot18 Experiences coincides with the company’s one-year anniversary.

When it goes live today, travel packages will include a seven-week trip to several of the world’s major wine regions (Bordeaux, Napa, Mendoza, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Germany and Portugal). On a smaller scale, there will be one-night-only offers, such as food and wine pairing dinners at Auberge du Soleil in Napa and Le Bernardin in New York.

It will also launch soon in Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities, through a network of partner sites to be announced later.

In addition to wine and experiences, the site offers gourmet food products, such as olive oil, chocolate, caviar, coffee and more.

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