Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This Is The End, My Friends... The End

Mid-May 2009 Provina closed its doors, and the principals started to wind down the company. Despite the serious development put into it, the quality of the WinePod, and its power as a research tool, in the current economy Provina was not able to find enough buyers for the Pod or to close a new investment round, and just ran out of money.

I want to thank the dedicated and talented individuals with Provina who trusted me to help them develop and support their product. It was an honor to work with you, and I hope we will be able to do so again in the future.

I also want to thank the enthusiastic WinePod users who trusted me to help them push through the sometimes challenging learning curve required to produce quality wines. So long as your Pods function and you have grapes to work with, don't hesitate to contact me with your questions.

In the future I may still have a few WinePod Experiences to post to this blog -- check back when you have the chance.


psenechal said...

Do you know if the WineCoach software application is going to be made available? I'm very curious about using it as I start to make my own wine...even though I don't have a WinePod. Thanks.

John M. Kelly said...

Sorry I did not have a clue how to answer you for so long.

Greg Snell, co-inventor of the WinePod, remains involved in development of the products they had in the pipeline when ProVina was forced to close down.

It is possible that you can still contact him through the WinePod website regarding the WineCoach software.

Northern Winer said...

Hi John,

First, I just want to say how much I've enjoyed following your blog. While I don't own a "pod" I am nevertheless an avid home winemaker.

I don't know if you are aware, but the entire Provina frozen must inventory ended up in a winemaking supply store here in the Midwest. While the WinePod may have come to the end of the road, the fruit lives on.

I've made quite a few of these musts in the last year, including the Roberts Road Pinot, Rancho Sarco Cab, Annadel Syrah, and both of the whites.

Yesterday I picked up 5 pails of the Napa River Ranch Cabernet. You wrote several blog entries while making this wine, but I don't recall reading anywhere what your final impressions were. Perhaps I missed it? How did it compare to the Rancho Sarco Cab, which I feel is excellent. I would also like to ask if you were to do anything different, what would it be?

Thanks. I hope you are still checking in from time to time.

John M. Kelly said...

Greg Snell and I stay in touch - I was aware that the fruit had found a home. If it is kept at the proper freezing temperature there is no reason to believe it won't still be yielding great wines 10 years from now.

I found the Napa River Ranch Cabernet to yield a wine with more classically "California" dimensions than the Rancho Sarco fruit did. The NRR Cab I made is tighter, more restrained, with a leaner and less aggressive tannin structure, and a skosh of Rutherford dust and bell pepper.

By comparison the RS Cab is fatter, with chocolate notes and grainier, grippier tannins. I like the RS for its expressiveness and the NRR for its finesse and balance. I hope you enjoy comparable results.

Anonymous said...

Any new development with the Winepod or with its inventors?

John M. Kelly said...

It appears that the WinePod will not be produced again. Greg Snell, the principal innovator, is focused on a new company called Better Barrel, Inc.

Christa said...

Hi john,

I purchased a Wine Pod a few years ago and your blog walked me through my first wine, a Cab Sauv (Which I am partaking in a glass as I type). The wine turned out phenomenally and I owe a great deal of its success to your guidance. I saw on the winepod.net website that there is a 2013 version of the Wine Pod - a possible sign of its resurrection - but I am not sure if there is anything truth to that. Do you have any insight into this?

Also, I am trying to locate the sealed lid system so that I can age in the Wine Pod but never was able to get my hand on one. Do you know if Greg has any old stock on the sealed lid kit that I might be able to purchase?

If you have any unpublished experiences with the Wine Pod since your last post that you would be willing to share?

Again, thank you so much for putting the time and attention into this project and for doing such a wonderful job documenting your experiences. I always reference your work when making new batches every year. Kudos!

John M. Kelly said...

Hi Christa - Greg Snell is back in business with the WinePod. I am not sure at this time whether or not they will continue to produce the original model, but the latest announcement I've seen suggests that they hope to start delivering the new 40L WinePod Mini in December.

Don't hesitate to contact them through the WinePod Mini website (winepod.net appears to be 404) to find out if they can still supply parts for the original Pod, including the sealed lid system.

When the Provina - the WinePod developer - wound down in 2009 I gave them back all the equipment they had lent me to help them with product development. I may still have a few lid parts laying around, but I don't think I have a complete lid. If the new WinePod people can't help you out let me know and I will dig around to see if I have anything useful for you.

In the meantime, it looks like Greg Snell is keeping a blog on using the WinePod.