When local wine lover Sunny Fraser wanted to make fine wines available for sampling to more people, she literally had to invent her own way to do it. The result was a singleserving wine package called “The Vini” that is spreading across South Florida.
Developed with her partner David Gordon, The Vini is a sleek glass tube with an 187ml serving equivalent to a quarter of a regular sized bottle of wine. It currently is available with a California Napa wine based on Zinfandel and a California Sonoma wine based on Chardonnay. But getting there wasn’t easy.
“The most difficult obstacle of this project was the fabrication of our custom 187ml glass vial,” Fraser said. “It seems so simple, because most people view it as a glass tube with a screw cap. However, the length of the design and the neck threads had never been contemplated on this type of glass before, so there has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears.”
Fraser, blond haired and green-eyed, was born in the Dominican Republic, grew up in a small-town in the Midwest, then moved to South Florida the latter part of her high school years, attending Miami Palmetto High, the University of Florida and Barry University. She worked at Gibraltar Bank and Trust before working at Sunbox Eleven Winery.
Gordon grew up in Pinecrest, went to Ransom-Everglades and now lives in Palmetto Bay. Since their bottling factory is in Sonoma, CA they spend part of their time there as well.
The Vini currently is available at Joe’s Stone Crab Take Away, Eden Roc Renaissance, South Beach Marriott, PGA National Resort & Spa, Joanna’s Marketplace and other retailers, restaurants and hotels. It also can be purchased through their website.
Fraser said that the packaging gets a good response from people when they see it for the first time.
“People are always intrigued and enthused by The Vini,”she said. “Our internal joke is that it’s ‘the puppy.’ People want to hold it and touch it. Once they have it in hand, they don’t want to let it go. It’s so tactile and engages all of the senses. When they taste it, they continue to be impressed.”
She said that hotels are a primary market for The Vini. As mini-bars become a thing of the past, in-room amenities are becoming their replacement.
“The Vini offers the guest a convenient, fresh, delicious glass of fine wine without opening an entire bottle or half-bottle as has been the only offering in-room previously,” Fraser said. “It also provides the hotel with a luxury lifestyle offering that inspires impulse buys with its unique, elegant and sexy package. It’s easy to consider having a glass of wine in-room, but having an entire bottle is too much of a commitment.”
Although she encourages people who have a new idea to pursue it, she also cautions them to go into it knowing that it will take a lot of hard work.
“Any endeavor requires total commitment and 110 percent of your time,” Fraser said. “It is not for the faint of heart and sleep isn’t an option. You must be totally devoted to your vision and keep believing, even through the challenges. And there’ll be challenges.”
For information visit their website at www.thevini.com