- San Diego, CA
It was the Ancient Romans who pioneered glass vessels to decant wine—yet since the 1730s when British glassmakers added a stopper to limit oxidation—little has changed to the basic design of the decanter. Fast forward to the 2000s: an American inventor revolutionizes the aeration of wine so enthusiasts can enjoy it in seconds, not hours. Discover how Stephen Gould brought this invention to the next level and aligned it to Vinturi’s core vision.
Great ideas have been discussed over wine for millennia and the inspiration that struck Rio Sabadicci and his neighbor, a military jet engines mechanic, was no different. Amazed at the enhanced aroma, flavor and finish of decanted wine, but dismayed at the hours it can take to be ready to drink, started Rio on a mission. By applying principles of fluid dynamics to draw in air, his Vinturi wine aerator creates a vortex that instantly mixes air and wine to release its full flavor.
The challenge for Vinturi? Find manufacturing solutions in California within budget. If achieved, the growing company, owned today by The Legacy Companies, would realize its vision of making all of its product components in the USA. Enter the power of Stephen Gould and the ingenuity of Charlie Affourtit, Project Director at the San Diego branch. In order to comply with high standards of safety and the precision required meant that Charlie became a quick student of curing liquid injection molding and temperature elasticity. His contributions brought about new solutions as he collaborated with chemists, factory owners, and even a concept car designer.
“Everyone who sees the Vinturi aerator thinks it’s so easy,” remarks Charlie, “but behind its elegance is a tremendous amount of engineering. The drafting angles within it are especially difficult to manufacture.” For eight months, Charlie was told how impossible the Vinturi aerator was to make because it violates every rule of the plastics industry. The challenges in mass producing the design involved its varying thicknesses throughout, its smooth exterior curve, and controlling cooling temperatures to prevent it from warping.
With an undaunted Stephen Gould attitude, Charlie was able to source a factory in San Diego that houses the largest compression molder in the US. It pressed down 8500 pounds to sandwich a high density molder, achieving the sturdy black base which allows the Vinturi aerator to stand alone and stabilize a wineglass and its valuable contents.
Another complexity Charlie’s team solved was creating the seamless black ring to perfectly fit the curves of the clear aerator. They developed a proprietary process using a liquid injection mold, resulting in an elegantly silent, easy-to-grip band. When it came time to brand the two-color base, the team innovated a way forward, curing silicone-based inks. While each solution involved extensive research and experimentation, Charlie’s team kept strict quality control throughout a complicated manufacturing process.
In addition to achieving Vinturi’s envisioned design and producing it on a mass scale, Stephen Gould continues to produce all components of its packaging, complete assembly, and manage distribution to large retailers nationally. Charlie adds, “Best of all, our client no longer has to deal with port hassles, freight costs, or a myriad of logistics. They trust our team with the details. They simply give us the orders and we take care of everything else.” Always a champion for our clients’ goals, Stephen Gould streamlined Vinturi’s production and increased capacity by engaging competitive suppliers and manufacturers—all locally in the US.