The Truth About This Blog

Published by Alicia Kennedy - 23rd Mar 2014

My name is Ryan O’Connell. I was an independent winemaker in the south of France and around 2009, Naked Angels rescued my family’s business through crowd-funding.

This blog exists to tell all the stories that don’t necessarily make it onto the site. Read more about my mission here.

What the heck is

This is a customer-funded winery. We’ve got 200,000 wine drinking customers who found a smarter way to enjoy high-end fine wine made by hard-working independent winemakers (like my family!)

  • 200,000 of our customers set aside $40 a month to spend on our wines — we call them Angel investors.
  • The money builds up in their accounts until they order wine — they order what they want whenever they want.
  • While the money sits in their account, we invest in independent winemakers around the world.
  • The winemakers think it’s brilliant because they get funding AND they know exactly who is going to buy their wine — their Angel investors.

This direct relationship between wine drinker and winemaker cuts out a lot of wasted costs like sales, marketing and financing. So the winemakers get to offer savings of 40-60% off some stunning world-class wines.

What is a French winemaker doing in California?

After the Angels saved my family’s vineyard and winery, my parents didn’t need me at the vineyard full time. And one day, I heard rumors about Naked USA so I volunteered to come over here and help pay it forward for dozens of winemakers — get them the funding that did so much good for my family. And here I am.

Also, technically, I’m not French. Although I will feign an accent sometimes just to impress people and seem more cultured. I was born in Florida. So it’s good to be back stateside, learning about wine in California!

Please feel free to email me at or tweet me @mroconnell