In the heart of Napa Valley, a region synonymous with the wine industry, FlyWithWine emerged in 2016 from the passion and expertise of two individuals, Ron Scharman and Ryan Neergaard. Their combined experience in the wine industry and destination tourism marketing laid the foundation for a company that would address a unique challenge: transporting wine safely and securely by air. This idea was the genesis for the VinGardeValise, a specialized wine suitcase.
Ryan Neergaard, the Director of Business Development at FlyWithWine, brought to the table over a decade of rich experience in the wine industry and destination tourism marketing. His expertise, shaped by an early foundation in the art and science of wines, acquired through a Sommelier Certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers, played a pivotal role in the company’s trajectory. Neergaard’s career, rooted in the prestigious dining landscapes of Napa, evolved to focus on the strategic growth of FlyWithWine. His dedication to streamlining the travel experience for wine enthusiasts, coupled with his talent for developing innovative sales strategies, has significantly expanded the company’s client base and influence.
Ron Scharman, CEO and Chief Marketing Strategist of FlyWithWine, infused the company with his extensive experience in both the retail and wine sectors. A Cornell University alumnus with an MBA in Finance and a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, Scharman’s career spanned over two decades in the wine industry, holding pivotal roles at various organizations, including New Vine Logistics, eWinery Solutions, and VinoVisit. His approach to business, blending a relentless entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for travel and culture, has been a driving force behind FlyWithWine’s success.
FlyWithWine’s flagship product, the VinGardeValise, epitomizes the company’s commitment to quality and versatility. This wine suitcase is ingeniously designed to ensure the safe transportation of various types of alcoholic beverages, from wine to spirits. The VinGardeValise stands out for its adaptability, offering removable inserts that cater to different bottle sizes and shapes, including Magnum and odd-shaped bottles. This feature, combined with its ability to double as a regular suitcase, underscores the product’s appeal to a broad range of consumers. The additional inserts for glassware and the TSA-compliant lock further enhance its functionality and security.
In 2022, FlyWithWine expanded its product line with the introduction of the VinXplorer Wine and Beverage backpacks. These backpacks offer an innovative solution for on-the-go beverage transportation, suitable for various activities such as hiking, biking, and tailgating. The VinXplorer’s design incorporates removable bladders and a hard-shell zippered case, making it a versatile choice for both beverage transportation and everyday use.
FlyWithWine’s growth trajectory has been marked by significant milestones, including the expansion of its warehousing and operations to international markets such as Canada, Europe, the U.K., Australia, and Brazil. The company’s products are now available in over 500 winery tasting rooms, distilleries, breweries, luxury retailers, and airport duty-free shops, as well as on its website and Amazon store.
As FlyWithWine continues to evolve, the company remains steadfast in its mission to be the global leader in the personal transportation of alcoholic beverages. Through their innovative products and strategic vision, Neergaard and Scharman have not only solved a practical problem for wine country travelers but also created a brand that resonates with the aspirations and lifestyles of wine and spirit enthusiasts worldwide.