VinobyVana is an aromatized, low alcohol wine-based drink, comprised of a blend of rosé with natural fruit flavours.
Flavoured wine has been a huge trend in France since 2013; it’s the fastest growing beverage by volume and worth €82.5m in sales. Vana eyed an opportunity to bring the popular and innovative drink to consumers in the UK while holidaying in the South of France in spring 2014. So she partnered with fellow MBA graduate, Joris Magenti, who originates from the South of France.
However, her initial interest in wine originated from her university days where she took a wine course at Cornell, the New York university. Soon after, she began matchmaking people over regular wine dating events. “I organised wine dating events as way of encouraging people to meet each other and connect over the social occasions which wine present. One of my most successful events was at The Sampler wine store in London, called ‘Guess the Grape’. People loved connecting with wine!” says Vana.
The first in the VinobyVana range is Pink Grapefruit. It’s a vibrant, refreshing drink, which is low in alcohol – only 8%abv - and can be served on ice. “It will appeal to anyone who enjoys fruity, alcoholic drinks,” says Vana who has a Masters in Business Administration from Oxford University and undergraduate degree in science from Cornell University.
The style of wine is still relatively new to the UK, which is why Vana approached fellow entrepreneur and CEO of Virgin Wines, Jay Wright about launching her range.
“Vana is really hitting an untapped market with VinobyVana, but this isn’t the sole reason we’ve decided to support her business venture - which is quite a different product offering for Virgin Wines.
“It was also her entrepreneurial spirit and her genuine passion for connecting people with wine, going so far as conjuring up wine dating schemes. That is the kind of spirit, innovation, and risk we want to promote and support in the wine industry. It’s the Virgin way of doing things.”
Jay expects demand to be high as British consumers, particularly females aged 18-35, continue to look for lower alcohol wines. The company has taken a first order of 15,000 bottles and will be selling VinobyVana Pink Grapefruit by the case (or 6 or 12 bottles) at £5.99 per bottle RRP.
VinobyVana Pink Grapefruit is available exclusively from Virgin Wines by the case of six or 12 bottles.
4 January 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor