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Podcast #197-Stephanie DeMasi of Fly Wine & Juslyn Vineyards in Napa Valley

Such a fun day with Ray Fister from Life Between the Vines.  Ray always comes to our Napa Auctions and events with such zeal and enthusiasm, its hard to resist opening up.  And what can I say, I have a face for radio (or podcasts!)

Check out the Vino Video with Stephanie DeMasi and Ray Fister:

“It takes a great entrepreneur to come up with clever and creative ideas when it comes to

bringing new wine to the market. Stephanie DeMasi of Fly Wine and Juslyn Vineyards

is just that person. Stephanie’s energy and ideas plus a taste for fine wine have meant great success for

her ventures. We finally got time with Stephanie during Auction Napa Valley week to catch up on her latest ideas.”

Thanks Ray!



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Meet the 2016 Women in Business Awards-winners


Stephanie DeMasi of Napa’s FlyWine and Juslyn Vineyards wins Women in Business award

June 27, 2016, 5:01AM

Founder, FlyWine; CEO and vintner, Juslyn Vineyards; management consultant sales, DeMassive Consulting,
Age: 38
Residence: Napa
Hometown: New York

The trip to Napa and a chance to help with the grape harvest sounded like a great adventure, so Stephanie DeMasi took the plunge. What turned the 2002 trip into a business career was “realizing the need for business savvy workers (so) I cancelled the flight home and stayed.”

DeMasi began working with key people in the wine business and developing client relationships with vintners throughout Northern California.

“I founded FlyWine in 2014 to fill a hole in the wine market for high-quality, ­single-serving wine options as an affordable luxury for savvy drinkers,” she said. “The business is 100% self-financed and gives a portion of its sales to selected nonprofits.”


Professional background: Management consultant and vintner-entrepreneur

Education: Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

Staff: one

Inspired by studies through WSET, I moved to Napa in 2002 to work a harvest. Realizing the need for business savvy hard-workers I cancelled the flight home and stayed! Over the next years I worked with Cathy Corison, Mark Pope among others while “landing” at Juslyn where I am now the Managing Partner. Lot18 hired me as a curator for two years and those client relationships quickly evolved into long standing consulting contracts with vintners throughout the Northern California AVAs.

I founded FlyWine in 2014 to fill a hole in the wine market for high quality single serving wine options as an affordable luxury for savvy drinkers. I work with other vintners to create one of a kind lots for my “traveler” bottles — 100-milliliter TSA-friendly! — as well as bottle other vintners wines into the packaging for commercial use.

A large part of my work focuses on philanthropy, part of the mission statement for FlyWine is give back 10%–15% of sales are donated to selected non-profits throughout the country. FlyWine is 100% self-financed, I carry 1-3 consultants on PT basis throughout the year to help with events and social media.


This year I bought a home. With all of the eggs I have in the air, a great sense of pride comes from being able to financially support myself while maintaining my relationships in each arena.

Participating in Premiere Napa Valley 2015 with my first FlyWine lot within the first six months of launching. The room was on fire.


Asking for help, missing my loved ones who are all over the country.


Dedicated. Loyal. Grateful. Intense. Hospitable.


The overwhelming assumption is that a male is carrying me, that this was “given” and not earned. Having my work called “cute.”

Being consistent, quick witted, always following through on my word, and surrounding myself with other entrepreneurs and women professionals that were working through similar biases and presumptions in the workplace especially in outside industries.


My profession will continue to consolidate. I will be focused on the creative, more self branding and training young people who I can learn from.

When I was in high school I helped a Marybeth, a 30-something professional women, open a My Favorite Muffin and deli. She left a vice president-level position in a national retailer while going through a divorce. The Deli became everything and I became a manager quickly. I knew then I wanted to be a powerful entrepreneur that could be self reliant and literally hands on. I loved that job and it’s the reason I was accepted in the Hotel School and continued seeking out other women brave enough to make such changes.

Contrasting, I sadly had an equaling impacting experience with someone I had placed on a pedestal. She told me I’d be nothing. Now she sits across a table from me on the opposite coast as a wine professional.


I tell my interns now, the bad experiences can shape the good in you as much as the good ones.

Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Richard Branson

Typical day at the office: LOL! I’m up by 6 a.m., bang out email, walk the dogs and get the day together in my head. If I’m in the office, its from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. I try to hit yoga or something at noon for an hour or so. Meetings are sometime around 1:30 p.m.

Texting is my life. Sending work orders to my assistant or arranging wine drops, etc. This goes on until 5 p.m.

Then I walk the dogs again then put on the next hat whether it means meeting a VIP or arranging an itinerary tasting for a client. Emails through 10p or so, an hour of something on TV or reading. Final dog walk, rinse repeat.

The next day, I might not leave my desk for 10 hours.

Best place to work outside of your office: Anyplace I have a wireless LTE data connection is my office.

Current reading: “House of Leaves”

Most want to meet: Richard Branson, the queen of England, Red Zone owner, and Green Bay Packers’ Jordie Nelson.

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Forward Thinking: Liquid Assets, Part 2 by Ann Marks-McGee


Forward Thinking: Liquid Assets, Part 2

Top trends in the flavor and beverage industry. Amy Marks-McGee, Trendincite LLC;; 1-888-561-1229

See whole article here

TSA friendly products are popping up with introductions like FlyWine and Carry On Cocktail Kit. FlyWine was introduced last year and features super premium wines available in single serving 100 ml ”Traveler” bottles.

“The wines are handcrafted by credible winemakers from reputable American Viticultural Areas (AVA),” says Stephanie DeMasi, vintner/founder of FlyWine. “Each wine has a unique story and the winemakers choose a charity to which 15% of sales are donated.”


FlyWine features super premium wines available in single serving 100 ml “Traveler” bottles.


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FarmStar Living: 2015 Gift Guide Feature

As seen in Farm Star Living’s 2015 Gift Guide: No one deserves an ugly sweater this year!  Check out them all:)
fly-9-1000x681 white-single-opt

FlyWine: $10

FlyWine’s “tasteful”  Travelers are carefully crafted Single Serving wines packaged in convenient, fun, (TSA friendly!) 100mL bottles. They source fruit from sub-AVA, highly regarded vineyards in Napa and Sonoma by collaborating with other established Vintners to proudly produce a Better Wine by the Glass option.  FlyWine then teams with a non-profit organization to donate 15% of sales (average $1/Traveler). To date “In Good Taste” recipients have been DogIsMyCoPilot, Family Services of Napa Valley, Do it for the Love Foundation, and, currently Roots of Peace.

FlyWine is the perfect gift for the frequent traveler, the amazing Host or Boss/Employee, and is also a great Welcome Gift and Party Favor. A truly delicious bottle of wine can be expensive, and a full bottle of wine can be difficult to finish before it spoils, but gifting FlyWine takes care of both of those problems. For the holidays and special events FlyWine has Custom Gift options for the label and gift packages with Go Vino glasses and Seattle’s Finest Chocolates (which ALSO donates One Meal / Bar Sold to food banks with their #chocolategives campaign).

Follow FlyWine: Facebook : Twitter : Instagram

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Featured in: d Travels Around: 2015 Best Gift Guide for Travelers

d travels around

By Diane Edelman : 11/15/2015

Welcome to the second edition of The Feel Good Gift Guide, which highlights some of the best gifts for travelers in your life.

There are so many gifts for travelers on the market, and will soon be an onslaught of online gift guides for travelers. But, this guide is different.


Read the whole scoop Online, you will find only sustainable gifts that are either locally sourced or give back to communities. So, keep that special traveler (or travelers) in mind and get shopping for the holiday season today and give the travelers in your life something special! And, people who know me, these are ALL excellent gifts for a certain person you know.


The Gift Guide for Travelers featuring only sustainable gifts and gifts which give back to local communities. Pictured: Wine that passes through the TSA, courtesy of Fly Wine. For more, visit

Forget spending those hard-earned bucks on wine while in-transit. FlyWine makes the perfect gift for any wine-loving globetrotter. Packaged in single serving, 100mL TSA-Friendly bottles, these little personal wine stashes are easily stashed and even more easily consumed. Sourced from sub-AVA Vineyards in Napa and Sonoma, FlyWine partners with respected vintners and charities to fund raise $1 per bottle (roughly 15 percent of each sale) to their In Good Taste program. Past recipients include DogIsMyCoPilot, Family Services of Napa Valley, Do it For the Love Foundation and Roots of Peace  | Buy it now

Thank you Diane!! A great Guide for sure!


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The Nittany Epicurean: Quality Wine in the Air

Today, I’m bringing something new and different to my ongoing series of discovery of some of the great wines of California. Today’s twist comes from a company that packages some of the best wines Napa and Sonoma have to offer in a package that’s allowable for air travel. FlyWine packages these great wines into “travelers” which are single serve, 100mL bottles that are TSA friendly. Consumers can now great some of the best wines from California on airplanes.
Here’s a selection of some of the wines from FlyWine that I got to try:
These wines* include the following:
  • 2013 The Amplifier Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Page Wine Cellars [75% Mt. Veeder, 25% Oakville]
  • 2012 Emerson Brown 111 Michaels Estate Cabernet Sauvignon vinted by Emerson Brown (Napa, California)
  • 2012 The Kitchen Sink Red Blend produced by Fama Wines
  • 2010 Spring Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Juslyn Vineyards (Napa, California)
  • 2010 Perry’s Blend produced by Juslyn Vineyards (Napa, California)
  • 2013 The PartyStarter Sonoma Valley Pinot Gris produced by Hand in Glove Wines

You’re recall that I’ve previously reviewed the 2010 Perry’s Blend produced by Juslyn Vineyards. The quality of that wine was akin to the quality of the others we enjoyed.

FlyWine can be purchased directly from its website in a variety of packages that include many different wines. Options include single bottles for $10 all the way up to packages of wines with custom labels for $60.

You can obtain more information on FlyWines by contacting the company directly.

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Small Business Trends: Spotlight 9/16/2015

Spotlight: FlyWine Offers Wine with Both Convenience and Quality

Sep 16, 2015 by Annie Pilon

Wine in Small Bottles

The wine industry is known for quality and precision. But wine drinkers also appreciate convenience, which is why the single-serve wine industry is experiencing a boom as of late. The only problem is, most of those single-serve wine brands don’t produce wine with the same quality and standards that wine drinkers have come to expect.

That’s the problem that FlyWine aims to solve. The company produces single-serve wines, but doesn’t do so in bulk. And it partners with different winemakers for each edition. So those looking for the convenience of single-serve wines can still enjoy the quality and variety they’ve come to expect. Read more about FlyWine in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers premium wine in small bottles (a 100ml bottle).

Business Niche

Offering convenience and quality.

FlyWine’s founder, Stephanie DeMasi tells Small Business Trends, “The single-serving wine industry is growing rapidly now that, just recently, companies and entrepreneurs understand the demand for conveniently packaged wine. But the integrity that makes the wine industry special is being pushed aside to make way for profit. FlyWine seeks to change people’s perceptions of single-serving wine. We partner with a different reputable Napa winemaker for each of our editions who wouldn’t attach his/her name to a product that lacked premium quality. The quality gap between our competition and us is noticeably wide.”

How the Business Got Started

Because of a gap in the market.

DeMasi had studied wine since college, moving to Northern California from New York in the early 2000s. She even worked her way up to partner in two wineries.

She was interested when some companies began to take on single-serve wine. And she thought that there should be a company that provided single servings of high quality wines.

Wine in Small Bottles

Biggest Win

Getting high ratings for its first-edition wine.

DeMasi says, “The first edition of FlyWine, named The Kitchen Sink, is a Sonoma Coast Red Blend. It received a 90-point rating from Robert Parker out of the barrel. This was a great win for the company right out of the starting gates. It proved that FlyWine could stand up to the established industry, even if it comes in small bottles.”

Biggest Risk

Donating profits to charity.

DeMasi explains, “From the start we wanted FlyWine to be a company that gave back to the community. The idea was to partner with a different charity for each edition and donate $1 per bottle. Setting aside 10 percent of revenue from the beginning could have put us in a sticky financial situation, but it was important to us to take the risk, and it worked out perfectly.”

Lesson Learned

Take your time with branding.

DeMasi says, “In the beginning we were rushed to put together the brand and get FlyWine on the market. I think out success could have been even greater if given a little more time to visualize what we wanted this brand to be. Now, after our first wave of editions, we are compensating for this by giving our brand a little ‘facelift’.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Marketing to raise national awareness of the brand.

Wine in Small Bottles

Company Mascot

A bottle of wine with a mustache.

DeMasi explains, “We started a series of social media posts featuring Tommy the Traveler. He has quite the personality and travel stories, and he is nothing but a FlyWine bottle with a fake moustache.”

Favorite Quote

“A ship is safe in a harbor. But that’s not what ships are for.” – William Shedd


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Foodie News Worth Talking About, by


Fast Food: July 17, 2015

Today is National Peach Ice Cream Day!  Here’s a recipe for Caramelized Peach Ice Cream.

On July 16 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Groupon acquired OrderUp, an online and mobile food delivery service.

On July 16, 2015, The Washington Post reported that the Redskins are bringing new concession items to FedEx Field.  Although there hasn’t been any official announcement of the new additions, fans tasted pulled pork sandwiches, crab cakes a Reuben and a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich among many offerings at a fan tasting event earlier this week.

On July 16, 2015, Live Science reported that with the help of a seaweed that naturally tastes like bacon, bacon-flavored health food “has arrived.”

On July 16, 2015, Business Insider reported that due to the avian influenza outbreak, several fast-food chains are removing eggs from their menu and substituting ingredients, due to the high cost.

On July 16, 2015, Paste reported that there’s a wine available that you can finally take through airport security.  Flywine is only made in 100 ml bottles and comes in two red and one white variety.  Based on the Paste reviewer, it even tastes pretty good!

On July 15, 2015, CNN published some of photographer Chris Warner’s foodscapes.  These are edible landscapes that created from food.


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Wine. all the time

OH how I ♥ when someone gets it! And when that someone is Comedian Wino Marissa Ross well its pretty darn entertaining!

Fly Wine’s “The Amplifier”
Marissa Ross, 3/31/2015

DISCLAIMER: I do not encourage self-medicating to deal with anxiety related issues, unless I am the one medicating myself and I’m allowed to do that because I’m a grown-ass woman who has to go on planes sometimes and I get to make all sorts of bad decisions for myself all the time.

I discovered Fly Wine while I was in Napa a couple weeks ago at the Oakville Market eating fried chicken sandwiches. At the check-out counter I saw these and thought, “Well. I am going to New York next week. And I do have a tendency of spending an unreasonable amount of money on wine in planes because it’s the only way I can deal with being in a plane. So.”

The price tag was $10, which is pretty on par for your piece of shit plane wine. But this was a plane wine with a 90 point rating, which is something I do not usually give a fuck about but of course I’m going to say that a 90 point rating is way better than a “piece of shit plane wine” rating.

I bought three of “The Amplifier” Cabernet Sauvignon, which seemed reasonable, but then the cashier told me I could take up to five on a plane and then I was pissed I didn’t buy more, but didn’t want to then buy more because I didn’t want to seem unreasonable.

To my boyfriend, not the cashier. I couldn’t have cared less about what the cashier thought about me but my boyfriend already thinks I’m fairly unreasonable and incredibly reckless when it comes to airport/plane drinking so, you know, three was just fine.

I get to the airport early and get through security too quickly, despite security scrutinizing my Fly Wine. They were not entirely convinced that 100mL is the same at the 3.3oz and went through my entire luggage, and definitely looked at my vibrator I bought myself for my birthday, but had the decency not to say shit, which I appreciated.

I then sat at the bar for too long, and drank two extremely shitty expensive 9oz Malbecs while making conversation with all walks of life around me eating clam chowder, because that is the only thing you can buy and not go morally bankrupt at Gladstone’s in LAX before getting on my plane, opening my Fly Wine, taking two Melatonin and one half of Valium.

I mean, it was a Red-Eye, I had to take it seriously.

Especially considering I had forgotten my headphones and my Chicago Bulls neck pillow.

You might be thinking, “Hey, maybe after you drink a bunch and take a bunch of pills to help you sleep/not freak the fuck out, yeah maybe that isn’t the best time to be reviewing wine.”


Here were my thoughts:

“This wine smells mad jammy, and I hate the word ‘jammy’, but it’s super jammy in a super good way. It’s all raspberry and plum, with a hit of diner sugar packets when you tilt the glass. You know, like when you’re a kid and you’re an idiot so you sneak sugar packets? And eat them? Because your parents make you only drink milk? Ok that’s what it smells like. Sugar packets. In a good way.

It tastes like a very smooth Napa Cab. Which I’m very cool with. Still got that berry jammy, got that French oaky, got that vanilla. It’s just smooth, man. Super smooth. Like Leon Bridges smooth.

You can definitely Ross Test this. I Ross Tested half the bottle and it was great. This is the best plane wine I’ve ever had, and I’m very happy to have had it and only spent $10 on this bottle and loved it, rather than $9 and wanted to kill myself.”

I then PTFO. And it was the worst sleep of my life because I didn’t have my Bulls neck pillow but it’s chill.

Two days later, I was back getting hassled by TSA and then getting drunk in a bar to negate my fears and then getting on a plane home with two bottles of Fly Wine. I was in one of those extra leg room exit rows that doesn’t have a seat in front of you. I was seated next to a chatty older gentleman, who at first I was like, “Oh, no. Chatty, too nice me, next to a chatty, too nice older gentleman, this is trouble.”

Which it was. He insisted on buying me a cocktail, so I insisted we drink Fly Wine.

As it turned out, we both loved the Fly Wine even more than the cocktails, but I was then out of Fly Wine, so he kept buying cocktails and we spent the entire five hour flight talking about drag queen piano bars, $30 a night penthouses in Cuba, ex wives, rowdy harbor cruises, and whether or not anyone gives a shit about the wine point rating system, despite acknowledging we loved having the 90 point Fly Wine.

Basically we’re best friends now, me and Tony from 6E.
His daughter in 6F was like, “Pffft. Typical.” and rolled her eyes nine times.
But whatever. I now know a dude with hookups in Cuba that also knows a lot of HST quotes and loves tiny bougie travel wines and I got to have a lot of fun conversation instead of chomping black market Xani-bars, so pretty sure I took back the flight.

The point is, FLY WINE. GET IT. HAVE IT. TAKE IT WITH YOU. It’s the best because it tastes delicious while you’re working off a 40,000 feet anxiety attack AND you can make friends with it. It’s the best conversation starter, and it’s 10000x better than anything you’re going to buy on the plane.

TSA will give you shit because it “doesn’t look like 3oz” but I promise you, it is 3oz. And they will let you go and you will feel like you totally came up in the world BECAUSE YOU DID.