My first introduction to wine water was at the Summer Fancy Food Show in Manhattan a few weeks ago, where a group of Israelis served attendees sparkling O. Vine Wine Water in stemless wine glasses.
One taste and I was hooked – as you will be, too. It’s a light, refreshing drink made of pure spring water, and the flavors and antioxidants come from pressed wine grapes. This new, trendy beverage is all-natural, non-alcoholic, preservative free and naturally flavored and colored by wine grape skins.
As someone who’s followed beverage trends for years now, it seems the company is headed for success. First we had vitamin water, then coconut water, maple water, green tea, probiotic drinks, and now this – a non-alcoholic wine water. This drink fills a niche that none of the others have – it’s a fun, social drink full of antioxidants and hydration, with none of the negative side effects of wine. And with the sustainability factor – using a natural byproduct of the winemaking process which would normally go to waste – it’s a win-win for consumers and the environment. We expect to see others jumping on this trend in the near future, but we will look to O. Vine Wine Water as the pioneers in this new beverage category.
After the food show, I reached out to O. Vine CEO Anat Levi to find out more.
FTG: What inspired you to create O. Vine Wine Water?
Anat Levi: My belief is that we are obligated to preserve nature and keep our environment healthy, especially for businesses in a wine growing region. There is a lot of wisdom and wonder in nature – it teaches us, and it feeds us. I find it humbling, and very important, to protect our natural environment and sustain it for future generations.
The model for healthy interactions with the land is still building up and changing with time and experience. We are facing so many challenges that we need to constantly reinvent ourselves and our practices, but with so many people working together we can overcome challenges and create innovative products and practices that are in line with well-being for humans, and for the Earth.
As a former winery CEO, I wondered what we could do with all of the byproduct of the winemaking process. It produces a lot of waste. So I approached a company called Practical Innovation, and they came up with the idea of wine water.
What are your goals for O. Vine Wine Water in terms of distribution, expanding flavors, etc.?
For the first step, we are looking for partners to sell our O. Vine Wine Water worldwide. We have several good contacts and my goal is to set the distribution within a few months. After being in a few markets, we would look for a strategic partner to handle bottling and distribution. As for the product itself, we are planning to expand the line with other flavors and aromas using different wine grape varieties.
Where do the grapes come from?
The grape skins come from the Galil, in the north of Israel. O. Vine belongs to Golan Heights Winery, which owns another winery – Galil Mountain – and all the grape skin comes from both wineries.
What is the shelf life of O. Vine Wine Water?
We are working now to have a stable shelf life of 10 months to a year.
What has the reaction been by consumers and others to this new beverage concept?
Well, for us it was overwhelming! There has been a huge response. The first one that we saw that shocked us was a Facebook video someone made that went viral and received almost 2 million views in less than a week. Overall, consumers just love the product. At the Summer Fancy Food Show, we had thousands of people coming to taste our products, and the most common reaction was, “Amazing!”
Do you think O. Vine Wine Water can be as popular as coconut water?
We’ve created a brand new beverage category, and I believe that it will definitely be big.