Last week we launched VinTrade, an online marketplace for wineries and growers to trade bulk wine, cleanskins (unlabelled bottled wine) and wine-related dry goods, like screwcaps or empty bottles.

The site is the vision of Tim Nowell-Usticke from Wineworks. He wanted to provide Wineworks customers with an easy way to sell surplus stock, or supplement their own production with the right products at the right price.

Sellers can describe their products in detail, set a reserve and ‘buy now’ price, and receive email notifications when questions are posted on their listings.

Buyers can filter and search the listings, save their search preferences and receive email notifications when new listings match, and use a watchlist to keep an eye on listings they are interested in.

Traders can also view market price and volume data visualised with Google Chart Tools, and use a reputation and feedback system to assess other traders before committing to a purchase.

VinTrade was built on Drupal, an open-source content management system and framework, with a custom theme providing the good looks and a custom module handling extra functionality.

Being a Drupal geek, I enjoyed finding ways to tackle some of the more unusual functionality Tim wanted.

The ‘saved searches’ feature in particular (saving combinations of Drupal’s exposed filters, if you’re familiar with Drupal) with automatic email alerts for new listings matching those filters was a great challenge.