Napa-based Wine RayZyn Company – which launched in January 2016 banking on the inspiration to turn dried wine grapes into a snack – this week reported reaching distribution in more than 1,500 stores as well as breaking into international markets and some restaurants.
Describing its network of wide national distribution the company stated its products were available in a dozen UNFI / Haddon House distribution centers and six KeHE distribution centers, with regional distribution through Market Centre and Nassau Candy. Among Wine RayZyn’s retailers are natural and specialty grocers including Whole Foods, Safeway, ACME, Tops, Papa Joe’s Market and Morton Williams.
In a story in February in the Business Journal, Andrew Cates and his dad, Chris, described how they founded the company after wandering through a Napa Valley vineyard and noticing that pickers had harvested all but about 5 percent of the winegrapes.
They applied for a utility patent on a process used to dry thick-skinned wine grapes while toasting and caramelizing their seeds.
“We take a wine grape, plump fruit, and specially dry it on the vine” in a facility, Cates said. “It’s oven-ish.”
The dried grapes have a shelf life of two years.
Because they contain seeds, wine RayZyns have more antioxidants per ounce than green tea, red wine and raw grapes. So Andrew Cates touts the product as a “superfood.” Antioxidant numbers are higher for dried winegrapes than fresh grapes, in part because much of the water is gone, reducing weight while retaining other ingredients. Regular seedless raisins have fewer antioxidants because they have no seeds.
The company reported its core products continue to include CabernayZyn™ (made from dried cabernet grapes); ChardonayZyns™ (made from dried chardonnay grapes); MerlayZyn™ (made from dried merlot grapes); as well as Dark Chocolate Covered CabernayZyns, which represents “guilt-free indulgence” combining heart-healthy cabernet grapes and dark chocolate.