Velvet Palate, a New York-based members-only website with free membership, is offering small and mid-sized winemakers a time-based online sales option for handcrafted wines through its website

By using the time-based online sales option, the handcrafted wines can be sold to new consumers and at discounted prices for nearly 40-65% off retail.

Velvet Palate co-founder Kim Kooren said Velvet Palate seeks out winemakers who are passionate about the wines they craft, and make them available to consumers.

"While occasionally we have wines from larger runs, most of our wines are hand-harvested-and-sorted and rarely found in retail stores," Kooren added.

In a recent sales event, a Spain-based Altanza winery’s red wine, harvested from over 75 year old vines and aged for 18 months in Allier French oak casks, was put for sale on the and was sold for $26 as compared to its retail price of $73.99.

Though the website sales accounted for 1% of all Internet sales in 2011, it is predicted that there will be sudden growth in online wine sales in future.

The website provides users with wine offers based on their wine preferences and level of knowledge about wines and also educates customers about wines along with the profiles of winemakers and vineyards.

Velvet Palate further plans to add custom bottleneck gift cards and make tasting notes, descriptions and information available for download from the website.