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Yao Ming Nears $3M Crowdfunding Goal For Wine Business Expansion

May 8, 2015

Former NBA star Yao Ming is within reach of his $3 million goal for a crowdfunding campaign intended to boost his Napa-based Yao Family Wines business. As of this morning, Yao had raised $2.81 million through fundraising site Crowdfunder, with $5,000 the minimum investment permitted.

Founded in late 2011, Yao Family Wines offers a Napa Crest Napa Valley Red Blend ($50 a bottle/10,000 cases produced annually), Yao Ming Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($150 a bottle/2,000 cases) and Yao Ming Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($625 a bottle/250 cases). To date, the company has sold above 10,000 cases totaling more than $8 million in revenue. Tom Hinde, formerly president and CEO of Flowers Vineyard & Winery, serves as Yao Family Wines’ president and director of winemaking.

The company is raising funds to support expansion in the U.S., as well as Yao’s home country of China, where the brand is handled by Pernod Ricard. Yao Family Wines is currently distributed in the U.S. by Crown Wine Group, a distribution arm of Jackson Family Wines. So far it is present in 12 states, including key markets like California, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts.

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