Blend Craft Wines was recently announced to be the first place winner and overall challenge champion in the 2012 Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge. Among the company’s products offered to the cruise industry is the so-called Winemaker Experience, whereby guests make their own blend.
Offered aboard the MSC Poesia this past Caribbean winter season passengers were able to taste five different wines and then create their custom blend glass, according to Gail Nicolaus, vice president of marketing for MSC Cruises. They also had the option to make from one to 12 bottles of their custom wine, professionally bottled and labeled.
The wines were in barrels, marked by their varietal, from which the participants poured into glass beakers in various measures to create their own blends.
According to Blend Craft Wines, it offers a unique, interactive and entertaining winemaking and other wine themed experiences onboard, creating a virtual winery at sea, giving passengers the experience of visiting a working winery in Napa or Bordeaux.
The company’s staff is certified Napa Valley wine experts with prior winery and winemaking experience, college study in professional wine making (enology) and related backgrounds. They are experts at making wine fun and approachable. “We guarantee an unforgettable experience!” the company stated on its website.
“Our Winemaker Experience allows guests to explore various wine varietals, create their own unique wine blend, design their own label, and bottle and cork their creation using our easy to use winemaking machinery. The Winemaker Dinner combines the Winemaker Experience with an exclusive wine tasting dinner with the winemaker in one of the ship's premium restaurants. Finally, our Wine Tasting College combines a traditional wine tasting party with a fun and educational 30 minute mini seminar on your favorite wines.”
Blend Craft Wines was founded by Jeffrey Maltzman, who also runs Maltzman & Partners, a law firm specializing in the cruise and resort industries. His wife, Anamaria, is part owner of the wine company and a partner at the law firm. They got into the wine business two years ago when they founded Maltzman Family Vineyards in Sonoma.