American Canyon company offering single-serve wines

American Canyon company offering single-serve wines

Do you ever browse the wine section at a store and wish you could first try a glass before buying the entire bottle?

How many times have you wasted wine because you didn’t want to drink all 750 milliliters in one sitting?

ONE87 has a solution for both: ready-to-drink, single-serve wines coming to a shelf near you.

Napa’s Bill Hamilton, owner of ONE87, is in the process of partnering with many local wineries to package their wine into single-serving, 187ml vessels that they can then distribute worldwide.

He’s obtained the licensing to use a heavily-patented technology and packaging process from French company OneGlassWine, and has the exclusive rights to this licensing in North America.

OneGlassOne has been using this technology for more than a decade.

The vessels, both stemmed and stemless, are PET Food Grade, BPA-free and vacuum sealed to ensure freshness and portability and 100 percent recyclable. They have a shelf life of 12 to 24 months.

Hamilton is from Kansas and resided in Dallas for 30 years before coming to California 15 years ago. He’s spent most of his career working in commercial finance and real estate, but has an entrepreneurial spirit.

The filling technology intrigued him when he discovered it and seeing a demand for it, he became a student of the industry and, “jumped in head-first, for better or for worse.”

Others have tried single serve packaging for wine before. Currently, Zipz Packaging Technologies and Stack Wines have iterations on the market, but Hamilton said he doesn’t view them as a threat.

“I’d say we have zero legitimate competition,” he said confidently.

“We think we’ve got the easiest and, by far, the most effective means to deliver a wine in a single-serve portion. Besides the fact that our technology is very much more attractive visually and offers a more pleasant drinking experience than anything else out there, we have the ability to design custom vessels for wineries.”

Customers can further differentiate themselves from the competition with unique vessel design, much like wineries do with labels or bottle shapes. The size can vary as well, ranging from 60ml to 450ml.

The target price range will be between $3.99 and $7.99 each, the equivalent of a mid-range $15 to $20 bottle of wine. However, one of his clients is planning to package a $50 bottle of wine as a test.

Hamilton is aware that single-serve wine has a bad reputation, but he said ONE87 can change the consumer’s perception.

“I think we change that by the appearance of the vessel to begin with,” he said.

“If you look at our vessels, that’s not a paper label, that is silk screen printed on there. It’s a higher quality look.”

“And where typically wines in a single serve wouldn’t be a specific vintage, certainly not an AVA, ours will always be vintage specific, varietal specific and AVA specific. We also put a story about the area it was produced from on the back.”

For any remaining skeptics, a multi-step process ensures that the wine maintains its quality, he said. The facility is a controlled environment at a constant 58 degrees.

There are also several measures taken to prevent oxygen from getting in the vessel, like eliminating the use of pumps in favor of gravity-fed movement, a slow and gentle filling system and a foil cap seal that vacuums the oxygen out of the head space to less than 0.2 percent.

“It’s just a compilation of five to six pieces of magic that keeps that nasty guy oxygen out of the wine, which is the deteriorating force,” Hamilton said.

He’s even developed his own brand, Vai Vino, Italian for Go Wine. He buys small lots of wine from boutique wineries, packages them with his technology and releases them under Vai Vino, and likely other brands in the future too.

“Everyone is looking at single-serve as having some crappy wine in it, and that was true. But with our packaging you can put high-quality wine in it. That’s why we’re doing our own brand,” Hamilton said, hoping to set an example and standard with his own label.

ONE87 opened its American Canyon facility and offices on Lombard Road and is rapidly expanding.

Currently, they have one filling line with a capacity of filling 1 million vessels a month. But by January, they’ll have two additional machines that will increase their production level to 5 million a month, for which Hamilton said they will have the demand.

He also sees potential to break into the restaurant industry, and maybe even concessions.

“The food market is wide open to us. When you order a glass of wine at a restaurant, they have to open a new bottle and then they have to sell the remaining three glasses in that wine that day.”

“It’s downhill in quality from there,” said Hamilton, who has an idea to sell 24-packs of carafe-style vessels to restaurants.

Plans to start producing ready-to-drink cocktails are set for the start of 2017.

And while his background may not be in wine, he says the proof is in the positive response he’s gotten from the wine industry thus far.

The company was even awarded the People’s Choice Award for Most Innovative Packaging at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference in Yountville this past August.

“Let’s just say that we’re in various stages of discussions with several of the top 10 wine producers in the world,” he said.

“I keep thinking, ‘Am I just having a pipe dream here?’ But we’re getting people in the industry jumping on our team. I look for the day where retailers like Total Wine and BevMo have a full aisle of nothing but single serve. I don’t think it’s that far off that we will look like craft brew sections do today.”

“We think we’ve got the easiest and, by far, the most effective means to deliver a wine in a single-serve portion. Besides the fact that our technology is very much more attractive visually and offers a more pleasant drinking experience than anything else out there, we have the ability to design custom vessels for wineries.” Bill Hamilton

Packaging and Design Spotlight: ONE87 Aims to Capture High-end Single-serve Market

New player in the single-serve packaging game aims to change the perception of the category with design.
Erin Kirschenmann
IN AN ON-THE-GO, MOBILE society, the ease and convenience of single-serve packaging has reached every consumable category, from potato chips to dessert. In the beverage world, beer has been the immediate favorite as cans and bottles easily lend themselves to picnickers, travelers and the portion-control conscious. Single-serve, on-the-go-friendly wine has emerged as a category all its own in the last decade, ready to compete against beer in this market. For many of those years, single-serve wines—in a can, pouch or PET—contained low-priced wines, and the general consumer quickly adopted the perception that wine in such an alternative package was not high-quality.
Now there is a new player in the packaging supply game that is trying to help continue the push to change that perception. When the opportunity to purchase the right to a 12-year-proven, French-designed and -patented packaging technology came along, Bill Hamilton seized it, and the result is ONE87 Wine and Cocktails. He also obtained the exclusive distribution for, and co-packs with, the OneGlassWine filling system in North America.
“The idea of 187 ml servings of wine is not particularly new. The mere fact that the consumer purchases wine in these containers shows just how strong the demand is for a single-serve wine,” said Hamilton. “We live in a portion-control society with all consumables, for a variety of reasons, yet the sensitivities of wine made it impossible to adequately preserve the characteris- tics that make wine the complex, unique beverage that it is. What was missing was the technology to handle the sensitivities of wine so that ‘fine wines’ may be enjoyed in single-serving and not relegated to Two-buck Chuck.”
Product Features
ONE87’s single-serve packaging is made from a food-grade PET plastic guaranteed for a 12-month shelf life and is 100 percent recyclable. To bottle, wine is dispensed into the container while the OneWineGlass filling system simultaneously removes oxygen from the headspace and inserts a layer of inert gases in its place. The patented technology allows for a vacuum-seal to maintain freshness and preserve the wine. ONE87’s operations protocol is Global Food Safety Initiative-compliant and will be Safe Quality Food-cer- tified later this year.
Design-wise, ONE87 alternatives have some interesting features that help to create the illusion of drinking from a regular wine glass. A glass-like rim, Hamilton said, “delivers a soothing, glass-like drinking experience.” In addition, an easily attachable and detachable stem provides the opportunity to drink the wine more casually (stemless) or in a more formal manner (with the stem attached).
The design alone certainly lends itself to a higher-end drinking experience. With a stem, fingerprints are less likely to mark up the bowl, and the glass won’t be warmed up through body heat. Traditionalists will also appreciate the more conventional swirling ability and perceived sophistication of an included stem.
“I have studied this market segment for almost three years and, in doing so, applied more than 30 years of varied business/entrepreneurial experiences,” said Hamilton. “We are not a ‘me too’ product/solution; we are the ‘new and best, go-to’ product/solution.”
60 October 2016 WBM
Hamilton has invited winemakers and marketers skeptical of the process/ alternative packaging to submit a 15-gallon keg of bottle-ready wine to be packaged for samples at no cost.
“We are simply the very best single-serve wine option for both off-premise, on-premise and direct-to-consumer, hands-down,” he said. “What better way to create interest in your range of labels than by offering mixed varietal case- packs, of exceptionally presented, single-serve vessels from our collection. We believe this will increase DTC sales as it relieves the consumer of that fear of buying a bottle of something they really didn’t care for.”

Why wine presentation matters...

On Wine, and Why You’re Not as Smart as You Think

Mike Peterson Wine enthusiast and founder of Vintopia

You’re seated at an ivory table in an Ikea-furnished room. A mustached man in a tailcoat enters, and gently sets 2 unmarked bottles of wine down on the table along with a crystal tasting glass. He informs you in his thick German accent that one bottle is $5, and the other $50, and politely challenges you to taste them to identify the more expensive of the two.

What percentage of the time could you identify the more expensive wine? 70 percent? 100 percent?

The Price-Quality Heuristic

In a study conducted by psychologists at Hertfordshire University, 578 people were asked to do the exact same exercise across a broad selection of both red and white wines. On average, each taster correctly identified the wine’s price category just 47 percent of the time for reds, and 53 percent of the time for whites. In other words, the probability of distinguishing correctly was akin to a coin flip!

While most of us would like to think we can tell the difference, in reality, the average wine consumer struggles to differentiate wine based on price point.

Side note: Experienced wine drinkers have shown an ability to buck this trend, so don’t lose hope in your wine drinking future. They simply know the characteristics to sniff out that are associated with pricier, high-end wines.

It’s Thanksgiving dinner, and your eccentric uncle generously decides to crack open a bottle of his special red wine. “This is a $100 bottle I’ve been saving!” he boasts, as he carefully pours each person around the table a small glass. In eager anticipation, you raise the glass to your lips and proceed to give the wine a wee taste. It’s utterly delicious, and makes that $10 bottle you brought taste like battery acid in comparison.

Now let me ask you this: If your uncle never told you the price, would you have had the same experience?

In a Caltech study, neuroscientist Hilke Plassman conducted a tasting where subjects were led to believe they were trying five different Cabernet Sauvignons at price points of $5, $10, $35, $45 and $90. The ruse was that they were actually only drinking three wines. The first $5 wine was given twice — once with its real $5 price tag, and another time with a fictitious $45 price label. The second wine was marked with its actual $90 price, and then provided again with a fake $10 tag. The third wine was $35 and was marked as such.

Not only did the participants claim greater enjoyment when drinking the wines that were falsely identified as more expensive, but they showed increased activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex — the region of the brain associated with pleasure.

To be clear: They didn’t just think their wine was more expensive and therefore subjectively like it more. They literally experienced something different.

And so, the plot thickens!

On one hand, the average consumer struggles to distinguish between the inexpensive wine vs. the expensive stuff, and on the other, the pricier we perceive a wine to be, the more likely we are to enjoy it that much more. Taking these phenomenons into account, here is my proposal.

If still in the early stages of your wine learning endeavors, don’t spend more than an amount you’re absolutely comfortable with on wine. For example, when I first started really getting into wine my price ceiling was $15. Figure out what that per bottle price level is, and set it as your max.

Also, we know that our perceptions literally change the way we taste wine, so setting the mood is crucial to priming ourselves for maximum enjoyment. To do just that, I suggest investing in the following items (note: I have no financial stake in these products). Consider these your “wine perception steroids.”

This wine decanter ($12)

This will run you just over $30 in total.

Once you’ve acquired your decanter and your two beautiful glasses, proceed as follows every single time you drink wine:

1) Pour the vino into a clean decanter

2) Toss the bottle in the recycling bin

3) Pour the wine into your beautiful new glass

4) Follow the “wine god” routine, and let your imagination take flight as you revel in the finest wine this world has ever seen

The Unit Bias Heuristic

Scenario A: I’ve invited you over to my place for dinner, and alongside our first course I serve you a white wine in a miniature, 6 oz. glass.

Scenario B: I’ve invited you over to my place for dinner, and alongside our first course I serve you a white wine in a gargantuan, 40 oz. glass.

How do you think your actions and your experience would differ between the two scenarios?

It’s a well documented phenomenon that larger wine glasses result in greater wine consumption. A recent study was carried out by the University of Cambridge which found that restaurant patrons consume more wine when served in larger glasses, and at a faster rate.

I find from personal experience that the opposite is true as well — drinking from smaller wine glasses reduces the speed and quantity of wine consumption. My wine enrichment has grown substantially by merely being cognizant of wine glass size, how much I’m pouring, and the speed at which I imbibe.

When you’re at the movies indulging in the colossal sized tub of popcorn, you mindlessly devour it by the handful like it’s oxygen. When on your last glass of a remarkable bottle of wine, it’s liquid gold. You savor it to its very last drop.

Here is my personal recommendation:

  • Drink wine from smaller glasses (note: the Riedel glasses I suggested above are on the smaller side). You’ll find that you not only get to spend more time with the wine, but that you savor it on a deeper level because every sip brings you that much closer to the end of the glass. You can deceive yourself into thinking you’re getting more wine than you actually are by utilizing a smaller drinking vessel.
  • Every so often, play a game with yourself where before taking your next sip of wine you tell yourself that it’s the last you’ll ever have the luxury of tasting. Think of this as the equivalent of the infamous, hypothetical “last meal”, but for wine. It’s simply an exercise of profound appreciation that will enhance your enrichment.

The Representativeness Heuristic

If your mischievous pal served you orange juice disguised as grape juice, you’d wise up to his prank after taking your first sip, right? That’s what I figured when I actually tried this on a good friend of mine several years ago. To both my shock and my utter delight, he was completely oblivious. It was only until he was a third of the way through the glass and when I fell over in my chair cackling that he knew something was off.

In a famous study done at the University of Bordeaux in 2001, 54 wine science students were provided two glasses of red wine, and then asked to describe what they smelled with as much detail possible. Unbeknownst to the students, one of the red wines was actually a white that had been disguised with food coloring.

How do you think they responded?

Every single student proceeded to describe the white wine as a red! And mind you, these were no rookies, but trained wine science students in France! To describe the white wine dyed red they used descriptors like “jammy”, “cherry” and “crushed red fruit.”

The following chart illustrates the actual results from the study.

People massively discount the impact that sensory cues have on taste.

All of our sensory elements clearly play a powerful role in our experience of a wine. The more attention you pay to your wine, the more pleasure it will reward you in return. Every time you drink wine note the color, note the smell, and note everything you taste. Every observation will be a massive injection of meaning into your experience, no matter whether that meaning happens to be fake (as it was in the experiment) or not.

It’s 8AM on Friday, January 12 in a Washington Metro station  —  the height of morning rush hour. As thousands scurry through the hallways to start their days, a modest street performer in blue jeans, a wrinkled long-sleeved T-shirt, and a faded Washington Nationals baseball hat carefully scouts out his spot atop the escalators adjacent to the entrance of the station. With the case at his feet and a few bait dollars tossed in, he proceeds to serenade the frenzied passersby with his trusty violin. The occasional person tosses in their spare change, and at times a few crumbled dollar bills, but for the most part people storm onward with their heads glued to their feet and the sole mission to get wherever it is they are going.

The street performer may as well have been invisible.

Unbeknownst to those rushing by, the unassuming man on the violin was Joshua Bell, one of the most celebrated violinists of all time, playing some of the most beautiful, sophisticated, and challenging pieces ever composed. He was there as part of The Washington Post’s social experiment on perception (see Joshua Bell pictured above in train station).

Here was one of the world’s best violinists playing his heart out, and even as his enchanting melodies echoed through the hallways of Washington Metro, none but a mere few stopped to even take notice! They were in the midst of such rare greatness and beauty, yet completely oblivious. They were blinded by their bias towards street performers.

Our perceptions become our reality. From the price of our wine, to the glassware we use, to the mindsets we adopt, every single choice we make drastically affects our experience. So beyond my practical tips, never forget that what you perceive will undoubtedly alter each and every experience you have as you as you trek forth on your wine adventure.

Warner Bros Pictures’ “The Great Gatsby”What do you think? I’m going to continue to attempt the impossible of teaching you about wine without boring you to death. If you want to keep reading, follow me onTwitter, and check out my new publication, Vintopia. Cheers!

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BYOB is now BYOG (Glass)

Slap on the SPF 50 and break out the mosquito repellent.  Summer is officially here!  Outdoor activities are calling your name (tail gates, picnics, concerts, pool parties, etc).  The last things you want to haul around are a big clunky breakable wine bottle, glasses and a bottle opener.

In my quest to find a way to bring my favorite wine to my next BYOB party, I came across a company ONE87 Wine and Cocktails in Napa Valley that is looking to change the current juice box offerings and other ho-hum single serve options.  I had an opportunity to take a tour and meet with Bill Hamilton, the company founder and president.    

"The next big thing is the growth of the single-serve wine segment.  This is not your grandma's old wine box, cheap twist-top or can and the latest technology even allows consumers to drink from perfectly shaped wine glasses." said Bill Hamilton, President of ONE87 Wine and Cocktails. 

Seeing is believing and tasting was devine!  Next time make sure to BYOG (Glass)!  Cheers!