When Ramona first hit shelves in late 2016 with a grapefruit wine spritzer, promising “wine without rules”, a picnic-kayak-hike-friendly can, and some seriously Instagrammable branding, it’s safe to say we were on board. Since then, sommelier Jordan Salcito (currently Director of Wine Special Events for Momofuku and Eleven Madison Park alumna) has launched a lemon wine spritz, and now a dry sparkling rosé.
In addition to boasting an updated design––the rosé cans are the first without Ramona’s face, although Salcito says both lemon and grapefruit will remain unchanged––the sparkling release is the spritzer’s first big foray into charitable giving. A portion of proceeds from each canned rosé sale will be donated to The Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education, which focuses on education and extracurricular programs for children in refugee camps, and is an organization Salcito says is truly close to her heart. “One of the organization’s Executive Directors, John Sexton, is a dear friend who in fact officiated our wedding,” she says. “He first made me aware of Catalyst’s work and impact, and I realized Catalyst’s mission to empower others through education and community is deeply aligned with Ramona’s and mirrors our value system.”
Of course, Ramona is far from being the first or only canned rosé on the market. With brands like Underwood, Yes Way Rosé, Una Lou, and Nomikai (to name just a few) already out there, Salcito says she entered the landscape with her eyes wide open, mindful of the dangers of saturation.
“We knew we only wanted to approach the canned rosé space if there was a void we could fill,” she says. “We have not found another rosé on the market that is organic, sparkling, that tastes like something we want to drink.” Salcito says her first “ah-ha moment” with rosé happened nearly fifteen years ago at her now-husband Robert Bohr’s former restaurant, Cru. “I was taken aback by a Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo from the late, great Eduardo Valentini. The wine stunned me, and changed my perception of rosé.” When team Ramona decided to listen to its vocal community and finally make a canned rosé, Abruzzo was one of the first places Salcito began to explore. “We think it offers such a distinct flavor profile that it could turn any rosé skeptic into a believer,” she says.
While the grapefruit flavor is fairly easy to find in wine shops and specialty grocery stores across the country (including Whole Foods), the canned rosé is currently only available nationwide through online delivery with Parcelle Wines. In the coming months, Salcito hopes to expand into several markets, including restaurants in the New York area. And for those who simply aren’t rosé fans, or can’t wait until another new release, a tip: blood orange spritz is coming this fall.