Going with the Flow
Two friends keg wine for the masses at their new Napa warehouse.
Courtesy of Free Flow Wines
Five years ago, Jordan Kivelstadt and Dan Donahoe were on the verge of tapping into greatness with their launch of Free Flow Wines, a start-up that stores wine in kegs, with little notion of the floodgates about to open. Now, this duo is bringing Wine Country’s esteemed labels via keg to bars, casinos, and restaurants near you.
Wine on tap is a booming business. Popular because it does away with glass bottles and preserves wine better, kegs eliminate most of the problems of spoiled and oxidized wine. When sealed properly, a keg can keep wine fresh for months. Also, the kegging process creates far less waste because kegs can be cleaned and reused.
Free Flow Wines is one of the few companies in Wine Country offering keg services to wineries, with product distributed around the United States. Kivelstadt and Donahoe "keg" more than 300 wines for some of Napa Valley and Sonoma’s most prestigious brands (J Vineyards and Trefethen, among others), and work with more than 1,750 businesses that serve wine, including Napa’s Kitchen Door and El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma.
Kivelstadt and Donahoe recently moved the company from Sonoma into a larger building in Napa to make room for state-of-the-art equipment. What will set Free Flow apart from other companies using kegs? A new, $500,000 automated German keg-filling machine.
“From logistics to installation support and maintenance, we had to do everything to deliver an exceptional product, or we would not succeed,” Kivelstadt says.
2557 Napa Valley Corporate Dr., Ste. A, Napa, (415) 626-1215, freeflowwines.com.