SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(invited to apply. Successful outcomes of these trials will result in a broader commercial release of the closure to the market in early 2011.)--Today, Tim Keller, CEO, announced opening of applications to participate in beta tests of VinPerfect closures in August 2010. The company has created an oxygen-regulating screw cap liner that provides consistent, low levels of oxygen to wines in the bottle. Interested wine producers are
“Everyone we’ve talked to in the wine industry has offered nothing but encouragement. This is something that winemakers, like me, have wanted for a long time. I expect the built-up demand will mean explosive growth for the screw cap segment in wine.”
The VinPerfect closure was borne of Tim’s intense frustration with corks and alternative wine bottle closures during his 12 years as a winemaker.
“Close to 1,000,000 wine drinkers every day open bottles of wine ruined by the closure. There is no reason to tolerate such a high defect rate. I started VinPerfect to give winemakers a better option.” — Tim Keller, CEO
But the story is much deeper. Wines are alive. All will consume oxygen in the bottle; different wine varieties and winemaking styles need very different amounts of oxygen. This is true even for wines that spend less than a year in the bottle. Unfortunately, most closures deliver either too much or too little oxygen. Too much and the wine oxidizes, ruining it permanently. Too little oxygen robs wine of its vibrancy and makes it susceptible to reductive defects. If the cork is contaminated as well, the wine will smell like wet, moldy socks.
Ideally, a wine closure should be defect-free and deliver a known amount of oxygen over a specific period of time. While current screw caps are a higher-quality alternative to corks, they lack adequate oxygen transmission, a deficiency that has made winemakers hesitant to use them on most red wines. Unique among all wine closures, the VinPerfect screw cap delivers predictable rates of oxygen to the wine.
“Testing of our oxygen regulation system has shown great results. We have shown an ability to select a given amount of oxygen and produce a liner that delivers it consistently.” — Tim Keller, CEO
Winemakers will be offered a choice of oxygen rates, each suited to the style of wine they make. Additionally, VinPerfect will provide direct technical support for customers, working with bottling line mechanics to certify proper cap application.
“Everyone we’ve talked to in the wine industry has offered nothing but encouragement. This is something that winemakers, like me, have wanted for a long time. I expect the built-up demand will mean explosive growth for the screw cap segment in wine.” — Tim Keller, CEO
Worldwide wine production exceeds 18 billion bottles annually. Only 10% are closed with screw caps, and those are mostly light white wines with very low demand for in-bottle oxygen. While many have focused on the aesthetics of the cork versus the cap, consumer acceptance is not the issue. The days of “cheap wine in screw caps” are long gone. Solving the “oxygen problem” means that VinPerfect screw caps will replace corks as the preferred, highest-quality closure for all styles of wine in the very near future.
“After being involved in innovative product development and introductions for more than two decades, this is the first time I have seen a technical product introduced to a market where literally everyone in the industry understands it immediately, and has been waiting for it.” — Jim Olson, President
Tim Keller Tim is a UC Davis trained winemaker with over 12 years experience in the California wine industry. He has served as a winemaker in the Stag’s Leap District of Napa and Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, among others. In addition to leading the VinPerfect team, he serves as a winemaking consultant for Alta Ridge Vineyards. Tim invented the VinPerfect screw cap during his MBA studies at UC Davis in 2007, and led his team to victory in the 2008 Big Bang! business plan competition. Tim graduated with his MBA that same year.
Jim Olson is a veteran entrepreneur who raised over $80 million in venture capital for his company Skystream Networks, which he led successfully through the steepest technology spending downturn in history. Skystream was sold to Tandberg Television in 2006; Tandberg was subsequently sold to Ericsson for $1.4 billion. He has also served in executive positions for two Fortune 500 companies, Hewlett-Packard and 3Com Corporation.
Jim brings seasoned executive leadership to the VinPerfect team, in addition to an appreciation of wine and a passion for building great companies.