Welcome to Able Grape.

Thank you for being a part of our community.

Our goal is simple: we want to be your first stop for finding trustworthy, in-depth online wine information. We don’t think the needs of wine professionals and passionate consumers are well served by general-purpose search engines, and we’d like to do better.

How we aim to be different

  • We focus only on trustworthy, deep wine information. Our goal is to index every trade, consumer and scientific publication, every organization, every producer, every academic resource, and the best blogs in the world of wine, in any language.
  • We’ve built sophisticated wine-specific ranking technology, which understands things from the different ways people write about vintages to the relationships between thousands of grape varieties, regions, producers, and business and technical terms. More importantly, we’re constantly improving our technology as we learn from our users.
  • We provide filters to instantly show only certain kinds of content, so you can quickly sift through results to find exactly what you want.
  • We work hard to provide unique sources of content not visible to a “normal” search engine, from the INAO or the Conseil des Vins du Médoc websites to the VITIS-VEA and FAO AGRIS scientific abstract databases, to Wine Enthusiast magazine.
  • Every result has attribution so you can decide which sources you want to trust.
  • We provide an innovative user interface that helps you explore the search results more quickly.
  • We try to return the best results in any language, because wine is global, and the most authoritative content on different topics is often in different languages.

What’s happened since our launch

We launched our first public beta at the end of January, a “soft launch,” with little fanfare, because we wanted to focus on learning from our users, and developing a high-quality, dedicated community based on word-of-mouth.

Since then, we’ve made huge strides based upon what we’ve learned. We’ve grown our database to 38,511 web sites, spanning 15 million pages, vastly improved relevance, added a browser plugin so you can use Able Grape right from your toolbar, provided customizable search preferences, and recently launched our beta 2, with an improved user interface and search tips to help you get the most out of Able Grape.

We’ve gotten a little press

Though we’ve been focused on our product, and not on PR, we’ve been tickled to find that word is starting to get out. Kind articles have appeared in:

We’ve seen posts from dozens of fine international blogs as varied as:

And we were thrilled when the Sydney International Wine Competition made us their official search engine, adding an Able Grape link to each winner, so visitors to their site can learn more about the wines.

Our sincere thanks to all the people who are helping others find us.

How you can be involved

We hope you share our desire to have a fantastic, useful search tool for the international wine community. We need your help. Here’s how:

Give us feedback

First, when you use Able Grape, remember that it’s a work in progress, and think of yourself as part of the team. Each of you has some unique area of expertise, or passion, in the world of wine, and we want your contributions!

Many of the improvements we’ve made have started with great suggestions from our users. Not finding great results for some topic? Know of a great resource we haven’t included? Drop us an email. You might be surprised what we can do.

Please also take our user survey; this will help us make Able Grape the best it can be! (And you might win some bottles of great wine, too).

Help get the word out

Second, please help us get the word out about Able Grape. There are a few ways you can do this:

Sponsor our site

We’re looking for top-notch wine companies to sponsor Able Grape with banner ads on our home page. This can be a great way to get your brand in front of a diverse and growing global community of wine professionals and passionate consumers, as well as showing your support for our project. Please email us for details.

How Able Grape can help you

We can do more than help you find trustworthy wine information. We can also help people find you and the information you publish. Our audience is as targeted as our search results: our users are passionate wine lovers, and over 60% are professional. There are a couple things you can do:

Enhanced Site Program

Able Grape can be a great tool to help your customers and potential customers find trustworthy information about you and your products. We are developing a very cost-effective program to give you more control over how your site appears, and to help users quickly find information about your products that would be difficult or impossible to find on Google or Yahoo! Please email us if you are interested in joining our pilot program.

Consulting services

Doug Cook has over ten years’ experience in the web search industry, building web search engines with hundreds of millions of users, for clients including AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo!. In building Able Grape, he has looked at more than 15,000 wine websites, run hundreds of thousands of wine searches, and talked to many wine professionals about how they search for wine information. He would be happy to analyze your site and work with you and your web designer to make your site more search engine- and user-friendly. Please contact Doug for details.

We’ve got some exciting features launching soon; look for these in the next newsletter! I hope you find Able Grape useful, and thanks again for being part of our community.

Doug Cook
Founder, Able Grape

2 Responses to “Newsletter #1 – an Introduction”


  1. 1 Alessandra Rossi September 11, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Doug, glad to be in your community.
    ale

  2. 2 ablegrape September 26, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Ciao, Ale,

    Glad to have you!

    doug


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Able Grape, a wine information search engine

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