Copa Di Vino: Small Town Roots, Big Time Dreams

By Meg Hodson
Ahhh, wine.  I might like it just a teensy bit.  For me, writing and wine go hand in hand.  What could be better than sipping your favorite Cabernet as you put your passions to paper (or, in this case, to my blog)? Well, I just so happen to be doing that right now.  I'm writing VERY late and only want one glass of wine. What do I reach for? Copa Di Vino.
The story of Copa Di Vino touched me instantly.  The heart and soul of Copa Di Vino lies in The Dalles, Oregon.  This community with a small town appeal is located in the scenic Columbia Gorge.  Having resided in a comparable town, similar in it's size and sense of community, for 10 years, I immediately connected to the story of the company.  The Copa Di Vino story defines community.  The  story epitomizes what it means to be a family-run company with every intent of staying local, maintaining roots that run seven generations long.  
Copa Di Vino The Dalles Sunshine Mill Winery Wine

James Martin, the CEO and driving force behind Copa Di Vino, was faced with a problem.  The Dalles was in a slump; the once bustling town was facing tough economic hurdles.  James, though, made an unofficial pledge to this community to keep his dreams for the company in his hometown.  That is when the decision was made to buy the historic but crumbling Sunshine Mill, right in the heart of The Dalles.  The mill needed a lot of work, but James and his family were devoted to the task of making this the home of Copa Di Vino.

Copa Di Vino The Dalles Sunshine Mill Winery Wine
I had the pleasure and opportunity to attend a special event at the Sunshine Mill Winery a few weeks ago. The work and attention to detail the family have put into Sunshine Mill to make it both the new home for Copa Di Vino, yet still keep some of it's vintage elements, shows.  This video sums up perfectly the commitment the family has:
They were able to successfully create a bottling system for Copa Di Vino that maintained the integrity of the wine.  It was no small task, taking 2 years to perfect.  But they were successful, eventually distributing to 44 states.  While offers came in from big companies to "go corporate" with the brand, James and his family kept their faithfulness to The Dalles and continue to cultivate the brand locally.  
It's a story that continues to evolve, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, it might be time to #discovercopa.


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