Nectar of the Vine co-founder Dennis Hart first became involved in the food business back in 1992, when he created European Gourmet Almonds, selling maple sugar and gourmet roasted nuts with his three sons. After many years in the food industry, he and partner (now wife), Carol Nastasi started Nectar of the Vine in 2006, because of their entrepreneurial spirits, energy, and their tastes for fine foods. They wanted to provide a fun, new way for people to enjoy wine. Dennis and Carol are now retirement bound, and while they both still have ties to the day to day operations, they’ve decided to slow down a bit and pass the baton to Carol’s son, Anthony Nastasi.
Anthony graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Landscape Architecture, a passion of his ever since he was a young man. Following graduation, Anthony worked in the architecture field for nearly 10 years, first in Ohio, then Wisconsin and finally Michigan. While he remains very passionate about architecture, he made the career changing decision to return to Northeast Ohio with his wife and three children, to join the family business in 2015. While the architecture and food industries are vastly different, his experiences as a project manager prepared him for the task at hand. Anthony is beyond excited to build on all the hard work Dennis and Carol started years ago. He recently welcomed his brother Nicholas Nastasi to manage the warehouse functions, and relies heavily on his mother-in-law Connie for other office duties.
Our company is stationed in Burton, Ohio but our entire line of signature Wine Frappés and other gourmet products can be found at events across the country. We have built a wonderful client base at these events and look forward to returning year after year to introduce new flavors. We do not sell our mixes in retail and big box stores but only at events, online, and to smaller boutique shops in an effort to maintain uniqueness.
The inception of a new flavor typically comes from trending mixed cocktails, which we’ll recreate to taste great with wine. To begin a new flavor, our mix starts with an all natural cane sugar base. We then begin adding the raw ingredients, such as dried fruit flavor, and depending on the flavor, there could be up to five different dried fruit products in one mix. Once we feel the ratio is correct, we record the weights and amounts, and test it with the wine. We sample the flavor once it’s mixed and frozen, and yes we do have wine slushy tasting parties! We then collect all the comments from the taste-testers and start the process over until we reach the perfect flavor. This could take several attempts, but the art is getting the right balance of all the flavors.
Once we have just the right mix, we take our recipe to a licensed commercial kitchen and mixing facility. Because we offer a consumable product, the USDA requires us to make our goods in a facility that is licensed and certified. The facility holds certification in Gluten Free, USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project among many others, and has a full traceability and product recall system in place. We take the quality and safety of our products very seriously and pride ourselves on providing the best quality and safest product to our customers. Upon completion of the mixing process, our delicious mixes are brought back home where we individually hand wrap and label each mix.