Drinking wine is a delicate experience. However, needing a corkscrew to crack up a bottle is impractical. Copa di Vino is a single-serve wine in a glass you drink on the go. Founder James Martin took his product to Shark Tank twice, and rejected all offers each time. As of 2023, Copa di Vino is worth $25 million.
About the Founder
James Martin was raised in Dalles, Oregon. He studied electrical engineering at Linn-Benton Community College and mathematics at Portland State University.
In 2003, he became the head of the beverage manufacturing company Quenett. When James got the chance to acquire an abandoned flour mill in the area, he was motivated to turn it into a winery. His neighbors and family helped him open up the Sunshine Mill Winery in 2005.
Founding Copa di Vino
The Oregon native once went on a vacation to France to visit their iconic vineyards. On the trip, he rode a bullet train, where he initially thought of the idea of drinking wine anytime, anywhere.
When he returned home, Martin was driven to develop the technology that would make his concept a reality. The product was ready in 2009, and the founder named it Copa di Vino, which means “a glass of wine” in Italian.
Martin eliminated the need for a bottle and corkscrew. When placed in a cup, the shelf life of wine significantly shortens, but the entrepreneur also found a way to prolong it. Because of this, his business boomed.
Shark Tank Appearances
James Martin made his first appearance on season two of Shark Tank, asking for $300,000 for 5%. Kevin O’Leary proposed $600,000 for 51% but the wine entrepreneur thought it was too high and rejected the deal. By the time he left the Tank all the Sharks disliked him.
A year later, Copa di Vino went from $600,000 to $5 million in sales but still suffered from inventory issues. He was eager to get back on the show and rub the Sharks noses in his success.
In 2012, he appeared on season three, still seeking $300,000 for 5%. This time, the Sharks were all interested. Kevin, along with Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec, offered $600,000 for 30%. James paused to have a sip of wip during negotiations which further annoyed the Sharks and they all pulled out.
After Shark Tank
After the first episode aired, the company grew distribution by partnering with major retail brands like 7/11, Walmart, Kroger, and Ralph’s Wines. Although he’s now one of the most hated pitchmen on the show, not taking a deal worked out better for him in the long run. The company continued to grow and the inventory problems were fixed.
Copa di Vino was acquired by Splash Beverage Group for $5.98 million in December 2020. At this time Copa di Vino was making $2 million in annual revenue. Since the acquisition, Copa di Vino has grown annual sales to nearly $6 million. As a result, the business is worth an estimated $25 million.
Splash Beverage Group is a publicly traded company on the NYSE and has a market cap of $74 million. Currently, Splash is losing money and the stock price has fallen 20% over the last year.