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Wine shipping company opens in St. Helena

Wine shipping company opens in St. Helena

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Out Of The Box

Co-owner April Damron and Keynan Burnett, shipping and client services supervisor, share a celebratory elbow bump after Friday's ribbon-cutting at Out Of The Box, a new wine shipping company.

Out Of The Box, a new direct-to-consumer wine shipping company, celebrated its ribbon-cutting on Friday at 940 Dowdell Lane.

Owned by John and Nat Komes in partnership with April Damron, the business specializes in wine club and daily shipments and can handle special requests like rush orders, gift cards, custom packing and kitting, and will-call preparations for convenient pick-up.

“We brought on a team of wine industry veterans so we can support different types of wineries, but primarily small- and medium-sized DTC teams that need a little more support,” Damron said.

The business is adjacent to the Napa Valley Wine Warehouse where many clients store their wine.

“It makes it very convenient for us to fulfill because we’re just on the other side of the door,” she said.

Shipping and client supervisor Keynan Burnett has worked for wineries across the Napa Valley in hospitality, sales and wine club management.

“I always ran up against obstacles when it came to fulfillment, mostly having to do with the extension of a service throughout the full experience,” he said. “You host people at your winery and they have an amazing time and they buy some wine to ship home – but then something goes awry with the shipment, and it shadows the experience they had at the winery.”

With inside knowledge of how wineries operate, Out of the Box “can bring a level of service we honestly haven’t seen in this industry in Napa before,” Burnett said.

Tourism will return to the valley post-COVID, but the shift toward DTC shipping will continue because consumers want to enjoy their wine at home – even if home is in another country, he said.

“I just got a call from a client who wants to ship something overnight to somebody for their birthday tonight,” Burnett said. “We can make it happen.”

Greg Baylor has over 40 years of experience in warehousing.

“The integrity of the wine is the most important thing,” Baylor said. “If I’m going to ship from here to Florida, it’s going to go through four or five hot states to get there. And depending on the shipping method it might take four or five days, so there’s a chance it might get compromised.”

Amazon has changed the way consumers think about shipping, but the reality is that wine shipping is expensive and highly regulated, Burnett said.

“In this business, you get what you pay for,” he said. “Our rates are very competitive, but we also deliver on that great service.”

Rombauer Vineyards' viticulturist Patrick Tokar explains how sheep are helping to diversify their St. Helena vineyard's ecosystem.

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