La Copita uses Spanish wine. :: SUR
Recently some of the leading specialist food and drink publications in the United Kingdom have been whispering about the coming launch of a new product that promises to introduce the concept of drinking wine as you would a can of beer. The secret is a single-serve ‘glass’ is made up of a PET plastic, resistant and totally recyclable, sealed with aluminium and a screw cap.
The idea is to bring wine to places it hasn’t been able to go before, for example, big sports and musical events where glass bottles or containers are not permitted. This single dose plastic glass is not an attempt to compete with the bottle, rather it gives the opportunity to increase sales, breaking the limitations associated with traditional wine glasses.
Inova Simple Inspiración, a company with roots in San Pedro Alcántara, has an exclusive licence to the technology to produce these novel glasses in Europe and Asia. The company was founded by Simon and Marina Robertson, a couple who arrived in Malaga three years ago.
“We are in love with the Costa del Sol,” says Marina. Simon is English and Marina is Russian. Before settling down in Benahavís, Simon worked in a multinational tobacco company and Marina worked for the United Nations. Nothing to do with wine at all.
Although they already knew the concept, it wasn’t until 2013 that they decided to definitively hedge their bets with the new format, called Quart Vin Glass. The idea was originally thought up by a French inventor in 1999, and the bottling machine, which still remains in Bordeaux and the licence cost 800,000 euros.
Coming this month
According to Marina their appearance in the British press has prompted importers from all over the world to get in contact with Inova to receive samples. This month sees the production of the first 150,000 glasses. At its maximum capacity Inova hopes to produce 10 to 15 million glasses per year with the majority of activity concentrated in the summer when there are more open air concerts and events.
The Quart Vin plastic glass is made from 39 grammes of PET, can hold 187 millilitres and can keep wine for up to 12 months. “It has the same thickness and weight as a glass wine glass,” explains the co-owner of Inova. The plastic glass can be used by wineries or other companies who want to create a brand buying from third parties. This final point is what Inova is making its own brand, ‘La Copita’, made with Spanish wine from La Mancha . From the first production that will go out in March, 80,000 units will be sold under this brand name in foreign markets.
In Spain, one of the limitations of Inova is the difficulty around using these glasses with wine that has the ‘denominación de origen’ seal as this requires that it is bottled here. Inova is negotiating with municipalities in Rioja the possibility of installing a machine there, like in Bordeaux although according to Marina “it will take time for them to accept us as we are very new.”
It is expected that the first Quart Vin glasses will be sold in Spain at the end of 2014 at large events, on airlines and trains. The format has already enjoyed great success in the United States. Now it’s Europe’s turn.