Coravin is the wine gadget that changes everything. It all started in 2000, when inventor and wine lover Greg Lambrecht had an epiphany.
“What I realized was the entire way we consumed wine was constrained by the volume of sale,” says Lambrecht. “I wanted to be able to explore by the taste or by the glass at my own speed, without having to think about when I was going to go back to that bottle again.”
Over the next decade, he created a series of prototypes, putting his engineering degrees and experience in the medical device industry to work. In 2011, Lambrecht founded Massachusetts-based Coravin.
Coravin’s initial solution was elegant. A noncoring needle is inserted through the cork into the bottle. It removes wine and displaces it with inert gas, preventing oxidation. Voila! The wine lover has a beautiful pour to enjoy while the rest of the bottle is preserved indefinitely.
Since its first device launched in 2013, Coravin has relentlessly focused on making its products “faster, easier, more fun, independent of closure, still or sparkling.” This includes four products launched this year.
Coravin Pivot is an easier to use system that employs a stopper and pour spout, preserving wine for up to a month. Under $100, it also has a lower barrier to entry.
“It works with any closure, and it’s super fast. I love the thing,” says Lambrecht.
Coravin’s Pivot Pro, meanwhile, targets on-premise use.
“It’s a virtuous circle,” he says. “You can offer better wines by the glass without waste, you make more revenue at a higher profit margin, and the customer is happier and has a memory that they’ll never lose.”
The company also launched the Model Three Pro, a professional version of its original Timeless system.
Most impressively, this fall Coravin launched a sparkling wine system. Developed over eight years, the Coravin Sparkling stopper fits any bottle from a split to a magnum (“I gotta tell you, that took a lot of work,” Lambrecht admits). After pouring, the device puts carbon dioxide back into the bottle at a specific pressure, preserving wine up to a month.
Consumers who currently limit sparklers to special occasions can now enjoy a glass any day of the year. Businesses with limited glass pour options are able to offer as many as they like, free from fear the wine might go flat. Lambrecht says on-premise early adopters are crowing.
“One said to me, ‘If we knew that people wanted to drink Ruinart by the glass out of magnum that badly, we would have just opened a bottle!’ ”
Such changes in consumer and business behavior are at the heart of Coravin’s success. The company’s mission has always been “to change the way the world drinks wine.” It has. And for that, Coravin is recognized as the Innovator of the Year.