Michigan Winemaker’s Machine Aims To Boost Sales By The Glass
TRAVERSE CITY — Veteran Michigan winemaker Edward O’Keefe Jr., founder of the award-winning Chateau Grand Traverse winery north of Traverse City on the Old Mission Peninsula, Monday unveiled a new dispensing system for serving wine by the glass.
Joining O’Keefe in the development of the Emerald Wine System is Bob Kalik, long time wine industry counsel and former president of the American Vintners Association. This green-focused wine dispensing system reduces waste, eliminates excess packaging, and cuts freight costs.
“We have been working on this wine dispenser for more than two years and the results will completely revolutionize wine by the glass sales,” O’Keefe said.
The system is designed to transform wine by the glass service in restaurants, winery tasting rooms, wine bars, casinos, cruise ships, hotel lobbies, convention centers, banquet facilities — any retail operation anywhere offering wine by the glass. It can be operated by wait staff or as a self-serve machine. The pour sizes are fully programmable for service by the glass, the carafe, or bottle.
The company says its Emerald Wine System revolutionizes the economics of wine-by-the-glass sales by capitalizing on the wine industry’s growing trend toward placing high-quality wine in boxes and pouches. The system’s oxygen-inhibiting vacuum pump insures that the wines have consistent quality and taste from the first pour to the last — much longer than bottle-based dispensers currently available. Use of bag and pouch packaging rather than bottles reduces packaging costs by 85 percent and eliminates labor and waste associated with disposing of bottles, half used product, and degradation of wine quality. Shipping costs also are reduced.
“With our touch screen operation and uniquely designed software, this dispenser not only maximizes profit but it also reduces labor costs while improving efficiency,” Kalik said.
This patent-pending system is designed for ease of operation and easy maintenance, along with security. Wine boxes or pouches are connected to the system by placing an adapter over an easy-to-use spout.
Manufactured in Michigan, the system is available in four or eight spout configurations. Options include a self powered stand-alone system with casters for mobility, a built-in credit card and room key reader, and an LCD screen that displays advertisements, videos, and wine information. Retailers can contract with Emerald to purchase data, distribute specialty wines, and learn more about other accessories.