Máire and Walt on a bed of their first CapaBungas
After 50+ combined years in the wine industry we had drunk more than our fair share of wine and eaten pounds and pounds of cheese. We’d used many wine accessories and been dissatisfied with nearly all of them. What if there was a better way? What if these accessories could be invented by wine professionals with inside knowledge? Accessories that not only were functional but simple to use and second to none? What if we took the snobbery out of wine and made these products fun as well as functional?
Before 2011 we had spent our entire careers in the wine industry on the East and West Coasts of the US. While creating innovative packaging for our Napa Valley Red Wine, Rua, Walt imagined a different capsule that was reusable and made from the same material (silicone) used for bungs that seal oak barrels when wine is aged. Thus, the name CapaBunga® - a cap that looks like a bung. We realized almost immediately that every wine drinker should have at least one! And from there the business was born; first selling custom branded caps to the wine industry in beautiful Sonoma County where we still live and then to a wider audience when we launched a consumer line featuring catchy slogans and graphics on brightly colored CapaBungas.
The response was terrific. Our customers quickly started asking for more products. We started scrutinizing all the accessories we’d come across in our wine careers and set out to improve on them one by one. CapaBubbles® to reseal sparkling wine came next followed by GlassWhere® identifiers. The Cheese Vault® was our first foray beyond wine accessories followed by the Bread Cap. In 2018 we finally added the wine accessory we’d used the most – the corkscrew! In our previous career we’d sometimes had to open 30 bottles in a day – no wonder it was a wine professional that invented an ergonomic handle for the #1 wine accessory – it was a natural evolution.
Our latest adventure was merging with tote+able, a company based only 5 miles from our offices in Windsor. We'd shared many meals (mostly tacos) together over the years and felt a kindred spirit with this tight knit family company. They did a lot of custom work but had the added attraction of fabricating nearly all the products here in California. In October of 2018 we joined forces and the creative juices keep flowing.
From winemakers to inventors to makers - what a wild and crazy ride and we wouldn't change a thing!