When Greg Snell arrived in Napa, California, he yearned to own a winery. But prohibitive costs and his limited knowledge of winemaking made the dream infeasible. Undeterred, he conceptualized a contraption designed to guide oenophiles through the intricacies of making wine. The result is the WinePod: a high-tech, multitasking home winemaking machine that instructs users in undertakings ranging from grape crushing to fermentation. As Snell puts it, "There is nothing else like it."
By removing traditional barriers to winemaking, the WinePod., priced at $3,499, has struck a chord with wine enthusiasts. "Until now, winemakers [haven't had] interactive products to make wine," says Snell, 41, who co-founded Provina Inc., his San Jose, California, business, with Vlad Firer, 55. By year's end, projected sales should mature to a cool $1.5 million.
Snell is toasting the fact that his innovation has been so well-received: "People from all over the world want to buy the product."