Turning Lemons into Lemonade Rescue RayZyn® Project
The Napa Fires of 2017 destroyed his home, winery, and the 2017 Segassia Vineyard® vintage. Sitting atop of Mount Veeder in Napa, Segassia Vineyard produces some of the most extraordinary and cult Cabernet Sauvignon fruit in Napa Valley. The award-winning wines created from this unique vineyard possess ripe and rich black fruit notes, lush and structured with layers of black cherry, crushed violet, lavender, and tobacco.
Andrew Cates, the owner of Segassia Vineyard, was devasted by the fire and unable to produce a 2017 vintage due to smoke taint concerns around the vine- yard’s fruit. Upon assessing his losses, he looked around at the unharvested fruit and wondered if there was anything that he could do to save the fruit from complete waste. The grapes were no longer suitable for wine, but they were still edible and tasty.
A couple of years before the 2017 fires, Andrew and his father, Dr. Chris Cates, founded The Wine RayZyn Company – a new superfood snack company that takes premium cabernet, merlot, and chardonnay wine grapes and transforms them into antioxidant-rich and crunchy wine raisins®.
Andrew’s father, a retired cardiologist, always knew there were substantial heart health benefits associated with wine and wine grapes, which lead to the formation of the snack company in 2014. These delicious and nutritious wine raisins are created via a patented drying process; one that super-concentrates the natural flavors of the wine grape varietal, while caramelizing and toasting the wine grape’s antioxidant-rich seed inside the whole fruit. Wine RayZyns varietals include CabernayZyn®, MerlayZyn®, and ChardonayZyn® and are Whole 30, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Non-GMO, Kosher, All Natural with no added sugar.
After the fire, rather than let Segassia Vineyard’s unharvested fruit go to waste, he and his father reached out and partnered with Food Recovery Network, a national non-profit lead by college students, whose charter is to fight food waste and deliver food to people in local communities that are food insecure.
Together, they formed the Rescue RayZyn® of ‘turning Project, with a mission lemons to lemonade,”creating healthy snacks from the wine grapes that were deemed unsuitable for winemaking due to smoke exposure.
RayZyn reached out to other Napa wineries and vineyard owners who were impacted by the fires, and, with the help of Steve Klein and Buena Tierra Vineyards, the Rescue RayZyn Project was able to “rescue” over 100 tons of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that would have gone to waste. Proceeds from the sale of each bag of Rescue RayZyns are donated to the Food Recovery Network and the Napa Valley Disaster Relief Fund in hopes of furthering the efforts around reducing food waste in America as well as helping those individuals who have been negatively impacted due to this unfortunate event.
In addition to the three varietals, RayZyn has created flavor variations which include Dark Chocolate Covered CabernayZyn®, Sea Salt Caramel ChardonayZyn®, Greek Yogurt MerlayZyn®, and Dark Chocolate CabernayZyn® Truffles.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO HELP SUPPORT THE RESCUE RAYZYN PROJECT: www.RayZyn.com
Article By: Lynne Randolph