Real Time Wine is closing (but that's not yet the end of the story)

An open letter sent to the users of Real Time Wine, Wednesday 23 April 2014. It's not all bad news as a little passion side project called Incogvino will come out of this. But it's time for me to move onto new things. So. Internet. What have you got out there that's cool to do? :)

Hello Wine Fans! Let's cut straight to it. I've got good news - and I've got bad news.

The Bad News.

It’s a sad day, but unfortunately I have decided to close down the Real Time Wine app. Turns out we built an amazing product and an incredible community – but just didn’t manage to monetize quickly enough. In the South African landscape, socially active wine (and beer) drinkers with smartphones who wanted to change their buying and discovery habits… just wasn’t a big enough market.

The app will be shut down and the domains redirected on Monday 5 May 2014. Read on to see where they'll be redirected.

It has been a helluva ride. And I have YOU to thank for that. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined the quality of the community that came together around this product. Here are some highlights for you:

  • 4,407 Wine FANS
  • 116 SuperFANS
  • 13,725 reviews and 31,760 ratings
  • 12,058 wines on the system
  • 3,340 farms/producers (including a few international ones, you Wine Fans travelled a bit)
  • 1 Published eBook

Thank you for everything, from the bottom of my wine soaked heart!

I will be writing a bit more about this in the coming weeks. While trying to avoid the schmaltzy boo-hoo of a closure email, I think there are some incredible stories to tell about the business side of Real Time Wine. Call it catharsis or call it wanting to give a little back to the ecosystem that supported everyone involved in the project. Keep an eye on

But wait, there’s more…

The Good News.

Firstly, we’re open-sourcing everything – all code to the apps and mobile sites. We won’t even wipe the wine stains off it. If you’re a developer and you want to have a hack, if you’re a SuperFAN and you want to tinker, if you’re a mad Wino and you want to launch something similar – be my guest! I’ll post more about this in time on

Secondly, the REALLY Good News: We just couldn’t let the community go. The SuperFANS, the relationships we’ve built up with amazing people in the wine industry and all the content and passion we still have to share. It’s all just TOO COOL. So I won’t let it go. Hah.

Today, I’d like to announce a partnership with Marthelize Tredoux (SuperFAN and winner of SA Young Wine Writer 2013).  Together, we’re going to use the social community built up over the last 2 years to launch a brand new venture: INCOGVINO. This will offer a platform for wine writing, news, reviews, events and the odd competition or two. It’s also the place where the SuperFAN Club (and our infamous Twitter Tastings) will continue! We’ll still have a place that is firmly focused on experiencing all the wonderful things this wine country has to offer. A place where my (and our) passion for wine can live on.

incogvino adj. without being known for predictable tastes and opinions, wine-drinker in disguise, an assumed character exploring the realm of wine without pretence, prejudice or pedanticism.

Come visit us – and tell your friends as you reminisce over those crazy wine reviews you wrote. Then write more!

That’s a cool end (and beginning) to the story hey? See you on Incogvino.

Love you all,
Andy Hadfield
Chief Wino


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