Sonoma moms launch West Shore Wine Co.
Like so many things, it began with filling a need. These two busy Sonoma moms were looking for something to drink at family picnics or beach trips that was portable, delicious and easy.
“You don’t want to bring a full bottle of sparkling, because it will go flat,” said Meg Edwards. “We have a friend who always brought cans of beer camping, but we didn’t really like beer.”
As the canned cocktail and wine market exploded, Edwards and her business partner Robyn Sebastiani wanted to bring something fresh to the market. Their first release, a sparkling rosé under the label West Shore Wine Co., has just hit the market, distributed online and at a handful of markets in town.
“There’s no reason you can’t have quality wine in a can,” Edwards said, adding that she tasted “every canned wine in Safeway,” and wasn’t impressed. They wanted to bring something new to market.
The businesswomen looked to their Wine Country connections to take their idea to fruition. It helped that Robyn is married to Chris Sebastiani, of Viansa Winery, who was able to assist in sourcing grapes and soon they had a blend both women adored.
“It’s a low level of carbonation in there... and it’s dry, not sweet,” Edwards said, adding that it’s 11.5% alcohol by volume. “It’s perfect for people who want a quick glass of wine with their sandwich.”
The look of their brand is distinctively feminine, with a can designed to mimic a sunset. Edwards comes from a marketing background while Sebastiani knows sales, and the team hired a design firm to help clinch the sophisticated look and feel of the brand.
Edwards grew up in Sonoma, the daughter of a family who ran a wine cork business. She attended St. Francis Solano School and Justin-Siena High before heading to Santa Clara University. By happenstance, her childhood friend Chris Sebastani also attended that college, where the two would socialize. Eventually Chris met his future wife Robyn, and introduced her to Edwards. The pair became fast friends.
Today, Edwards and her husband, Jeff, live in Marin with their daughters, age 7 and 5. The Sebastianis live in Sonoma with their 5-year-old twin girls, giving both families a lot in common.
“We’re both raising young girls and always on the go,” Edwards said.
While the first batch of cans recently hit the shelves in Sonoma, West Shore Wine Co. is already beefing up production, with plans to triple the amount of wine canned in its next run. They’re also considering additional flavors.
“I love sauvignon blanc. I’m a still wine drinker, so we’ll see,” Edwards said.
She added, “What we wanted to do is start with direct to consumer, everything is available online.”
In addition to westshorewine.com, you can find cans of West Shore Wine Co. at the Sonoma Cheese Factory, Sonoma’s Best and Vineburg Deli.
“This is our first warm weather season [in business],” Edwards said. “[Sparkling rosé] felt like a really good fit.”
Contact editor/publisher Emily Charrier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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