Press Releases

New Awards for Finnviini Wines

Finnviini finds success in California again!

August 30, 2017 Espoo, Finland

Finnviini wines have been awarded medals at the 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition, the largest wine competition in the US.  All four wines entered received medals.

  • Gold: Vaapukka raspberry dessert wine
  • Silver: Valokki cloudberry dessert wine
  • Bronze: Sametti bilberry dessert wine
  • Bronze: Kaamos Christmas spiced lingonberry and honey wine

 

Since February, 2016 when Finnviini entered its first competition, the company’s wines have earned 12 product quality medals and a trophy in 6 competition, 5 of them outside Finland.  In all of the international competitions, the majority of the wines competing were made from grapes, and Finnviini’s berry wines were judged to the same standards.  This confirms that berry wines have finally achieved the same high level of quality as traditional grape wines when they are made with top quality Finnish berries and sound winemaking techniques.  Along the way, Finnviini has continuously broken barriers. 

Finnviini’s previous awards:

March 2017: Vinalies Internationales, Paris

  • Vaapukka wins a gold medal
  • Vappukka is awarded a trophy, one of only 8 given to the 3500+ competing products at one of the most prestigious wine competitions in the world.  It is the first trophy Vinalies has ever given to a berry wine, and only the second trophy ever earned by a Finnish alcohol product at a major international competition.

 

March 2017: Berlin International Wine Competition, Germany

  • Sametti wins silver medal
  • Valokki wins silver medal
  • Finnviini wines are the only non-grape wines to ever win medals at this competition

 

October 2016: Artesaaniruuan avoin SM-Kilpailu, Tammisaari, Finland

  • Valokki wins the bronze medal for dessert wine
  • Kaamos wins the bronze medal for innovative products

 

June 2016: Melbourne International Wine Competition, Australia

  • Sametti earns a silver medal, the only non-grape wine to ever win a medal in this competition

 

February 2016: International Eastern Wine Competition, Sonoma California

  • Sametti becomes the first Finnish wine to win a gold medal in an international competition
  • Valokki earns a silver medal

 

Finnviini wines are only available in Finland, though discussions are taking place with potential importers in several other countries.  In Finland, the wines are available in top restaurants.  They are also coming to Alko stores across Finland:

  • Sametti – available now, Suomi 100 Selection
  • Valokki – available now, Suomi 100 Selection
  • Kaamos – available October 2017, Christmas seasonal selection
  • Sointu – a unique method traditional sparkling wine made from honey and cloudberries.  Extra dry.  Available November 2017, Suomi 100 Selection

Finnviini also attends public events several times per year, where interested consumers can taste our wines.  Follow us on Facebook to see where you can meet us.

 

About the San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC)

The largest and most influential international wine competition in America, the SFIWC has been setting the standard for professional wine judging since its debut in 1980. Now in its 37th year, the SFIWC maintains the highest level of integrity with a blind-tasting system performed by a highly experienced panel of internationally acclaimed wine experts.

A SFIWC medal has been established as a reliable indication of wine excellence, and wines recognized as medal-worthy by our judges are universally understood to be among the very best.

 

About Finnviini

Finnviini Oy was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who immigrated to Finland from the US in 2008.  Paola earned a certification in Wine Production at the Häme Vocational Institute in 2013, and holds a degree in Finance from Bentley University. David is an Engineer who led the team which created the first commercially successful PCR machine designed and manufactured in Finland.  He has been making wine and brewing beer as a hobby for almost 15 years.  David started by using California grapes, then began experimenting with local ingredients after coming to Finland, where he attained certification as a Wine Producer from HAMI.  After years of trials, the pair felt they had something exceptional, and founded Finnviini to promote wines from Finland to the world.

 

Granted a commercial production license from Valvira in 2014, Finnviini currently produces wines in small quantities at the Lepaa winery in Hattula, Finland

 

___________________________________________________________________________

One of the best wines in the world is from Finland says the Union of French Oenologists

Finnviini Vaapukka given highest award in Paris

 

06.03.2017 Espoo, Finland

Finnviini Vaapukka Raspberry Dessert wine has been awarded a gold medal and the trophy for the best non-grape wine entry at the 23rd annual Vinalies International Wine Competition held 24-28 February 2017 in Paris.

The competition is run by l'Union des Œnologues de France (the Union of French Oenologists) and attracted more than 3500 entries from 45 countries around the world, though the largest number – almost half of the total - were from France.  This means that the judges rated Vaapukka more highly than thousands of grape wines, many of them French.

 “This is one of the most prestigious wine competitions in the world,” explained Paola Guerrero de Cohen, CEO of Finnviini.  “It takes 5 days for the 150 professional tasters to perform blind evaluations on the wines entered, and the criteria for awarding medals is very strict.”  This year only 328 wines – less than 10% - were awarded a gold medal, including Vaapukka.  

In addition, trophies are awarded to the wines that achieve the highest score in each of the 8 competition categories: Dry Red, Dry White, Rose, Sparkling, Sweet, Fortified, Eaux-de-vie and Other.  “Other” includes ciders, distilled beverages and all wines not made from grapes.  In both 2015 and 2016 the trophy for Other was awarded to ice ciders from Canada.  This year it was awarded to our raspberry wine from Finland.

“Since we began making wines, the biggest challenge we have faced is the common perception that it is not possible to make good wine in Finland” says David Cohen, chief winemaker at Finnviini.  “This should eliminate any doubt.  The berries in Finland can be used to make wines that are as good or better than wines from anywhere else in the world.” 

So what should people in Finland think now?  According to Paola and David, they should realize that just like with beers and spirits, mobile phones, games and medical devices people in Finland can make top quality products of almost any type if they just bring knowledge, hard work and passion to their efforts.  As we celebrate 100 years of Finland, that understanding brings promise that the country’s greatest successes are yet to come.

About Vinalies International Wine Competition

Every year, the Union of French Oenologists organizes one of the most prestigious competitions in the wine world. Over 5 days, the jury members, all experts in sensorial analysis, gather together each morning under the presidency of a French wine specialist, to blind taste wines from all four corners of the world.

Boosted by the competition’s high renown, the medal-winning bottles are sold throughout the world and are highly appreciated both by distributors and consumers.

 

About Finnviini

Finnviini Oy was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who immigrated to Finland from the US in 2008.  Paola earned a certification in Wine Production at the Häme Vocational Institute in 2013, and holds a degree in Finance from Bentley University. David is an Engineer who led the team which created the first commercially successful PCR machine designed and manufactured in Finland.  He has been making wine and brewing beer as a hobby for almost 15 years.  David started by using California grapes, then began experimenting with local ingredients after coming to Finland, where he attained certification as a Wine Producer from HAMI.  After years of trials, the pair felt they had something exceptional, and founded Finnviini to promote wines from Finland to the world.

Granted a commercial production license from Valvira in 2014, Finnviini currently produces wines in small quantities at the Lepaa winery in Hattula, Finland

 

___________________________________________________________________________

Finnviini announces distribution agreement with Wholesaler Metro

20.02.2017 Espoo, Finland

Beginning this month, a selection of Finnviini wines will be available for purchase by licensed companies through Wihuri Group’s Metro Wholesales operation.  Sametti, Valokki and Vaapukka dessert wines will join Metro’s extensive selection of alcoholic beverages offered to licensed companies.

“Demand for Finnviini products is growing, and we need to meet the needs of our customers.” Said Paola Guerrero de Cohen, CEO of Finnviini.  “We have been selling direct, and will continue to do so, but for many companies purchasing through Metro will be a more convenient option.” Because many restaurants and bars are already purchasing items through Metro, they can simply add Finnviini wines to an order, eliminating added expenses of shipping and invoices.   She added that this will be particularly convenient for companies that shop in Metro’s cash-and-carry locations in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku, which will stock the wines in the stores there.  Companies can purchase even single bottles if they want to test how a wine pairs with a restaurant’s menu item, or test the appeal of carrying the wine at the bar.

About Metro

Metro is part of Wihuri Oy, which has operated in Finland since 1901.  Metro is one of the leading wholesale operators in Finland and offers almost 40 000 items: fresh goods, frozen goods, general and specific merchandise and a complete line of alcoholic beverages. There are 27 Metro cash-and-carry outlets.  

About Finnviini

Finnviini Oy was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who immigrated to Finland from the US in 2008.  Paola earned a certification in Wine Production at the Häme Vocational Institute in 2013, and holds a degree in Finance from Bentley University. David is an Engineer who led the team which created the first commercially successful PCR machine designed and manufactured in Finland.  He has been making wine and brewing beer as a hobby for almost 15 years.  David started by using California grapes, then began experimenting with local ingredients after coming to Finland, where he attained certification as a Wine Producer from HAMI.  After years of trials, the pair felt they had something exceptional, and founded Finnviini to promote wines from Finland to the world.

Granted a commercial production license from Valvira in 2014, Finnviini currently produces wines in small quantities at the Lepaa winery in Hattula, Finland.

 

___________________________________________________________________________

Sametti will be in Alko’s Finland 100th Anniversary Special Selection

14.11.2016 Espoo, Finland

We are proud to announce that Sametti has been chosen by the Finnish state alcohol retail monopoly, Alko, as one of an exclusive group of wines, and one of only three Finnish berry wines to celebrate Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence in 2017.

“To be selected as a wine to represent Finland this way is an incredible honor” according to Paola Guerrero de Cohen, Finnviini co-founder.  Chief winemaker, David Cohen, agrees:  “it is humbling to know people will be using our wine to toast 100 years of Finnish independence.” 

Humbling, yet fitting.  Sametti does not try to pretend it is a typical wine.  Instead, it follows the Southern European ideal of what a wine should be: it reflects the character of the land from which it comes, which makes it a unique and proudly Finnish wine.

Sametti is made from bilberries (wild forest blueberries – mustikka), which grow in every part of Finland and have been enjoyed by people for as long as people have lived here.  Being so common, it is sometimes overlooked just how special the Finnish wild berries are.  When making wines, the quality of the finished wine is limited by the quality of the fruit.  It takes exceptional fruit to make exceptional wines.  With the honors Sametti has achieved in wine competitions in California and Australia, where combined it was ranked higher than over 1600 competing grape wines, there is no doubt that Finnish bilberries are extraordinary.  They are also a natural Finnish resource that cannot be copied, and can be used to create innovative and high value products that will help propel Finland to continued prosperity as we begin our second century of independence.

Sametti will be available in Alko stores throughout Finland beginning on 21 November 2016.

About Alko

Alko Inc. is an independent limited company wholly-owned by the Finnish Government and administered and supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The Finnish alcohol system is based on responsibility, and its objective is to minimize the harm that alcoholic beverages may cause. Alko’s operations and its exclusive right to the retail sale of beverages containing over 4.7% alcohol by volume are based on the social and health policy objective of mitigating the adverse effects of alcohol consumption.  

Alko has 350 shops and 107 order points covering the whole of Finland.

About Finnviini

Finnviini Oy was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who immigrated to Finland from the US in 2008.  Paola earned a certification in Wine Production at the Häme Vocational Institute in 2013, and holds a degree in Finance from Bentley University. David is an Engineer who led the team which created the first commercially successful PCR machine designed and manufactured in Finland.  He has been making wine and brewing beer as a hobby for almost 15 years.  David started by using California grapes, then began experimenting with local ingredients after coming to Finland.  After years of trials, the pair felt they had something exceptional, and founded Finnviini to promote wines from Finland to the world.

Granted a commercial production license from Valvira in 2014, Finnviini currently produces wines in small quantities at the Lepaa winery in Hattula, Finland.

 

___________________________________________________________________________

Finnviini Oy will be at the Sial International Food Exhibition in Paris

16.09.2016 Espoo, Finland - For immediate release

The company’s wines have been awarded in the USA and Australia, and are now set to thrill Paris.

“We are ready to show the best of Finnish wines to the world”, says Paola Guerrero de Cohen, Finnviini’s co-founder.  “We are producing wines that everyone in Finland should feel proud off.  Our hope is that the wines become attractive to foreign markets and increase Finland’s exports of domestically made products.” 

By attending the Sial Paris exhibition, Finnviini hopes to find the right importers for their products.  There are tens of thousands of food and beverage professionals from all over the world attending the fair.  The challenge will be to select the right partners to work with Finnviini.  Everyone is looking for the next big thing and Finnviini’s wines could prove to be it.

According to David Cohen, chief winemaker for the company, “we have wines that are novel, provide distinctly different flavors and pairing potentials with foods than what is currently available, and from a quality standpoint are comparable to the best high-end grape wines.”

Finnviini can be found in the Food from Finland pavilion Hall 2 Stand No. M026 from October 16-20, 2016.

About Sial

Created in 1964 in Paris, over the years SIAL PARIS has become the world benchmark for players in the food, retail and hospitality sectors. It is a global showcase that brings the key producers and buyers together with a focus on the world’s major challenges.  It will be the largest food exhibition this year in Europe, with an expected 155,000 visitors, 6,500 exhibitors from 104 countries, 1,500 journalists and over 120 official delegations.

About Finnviini

Finnviini Oy was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who immigrated to Finland from the US in 2008.  Paola earned a certification in Wine Production at the Häme Vocational Institute in 2013, and holds a degree in Finance from Bentley University. David is an Engineer who led the team which created the first commercially successful PCR machine designed and manufactured in Finland.  He has been making wine and brewing beer as a hobby for almost 15 years.  David started by using California grapes, then began experimenting with local ingredients after coming to Finland.  After years of trials, the pair felt they had something exceptional, and founded Finnviini to promote wines from Finland to the world.

Granted a commercial production license from Valvira in 2014, Finnviini currently produces wines in small quantities at the Lepaa winery in Hattula, Finland.

 

___________________________________________________________________________

Sametti impresses again – this time in Australia.

2.08.2016 Espoo, Finland - For immediate release

Finnviini Oy is proud to announce that Sametti dessert wine made from wild bilberries (forest blueberries) has been awarded a silver medal at the 2016 International Melbourne Wine Competition in July, outranking more than 600 competing wines.  It was the only non-grape wine to be honored with a medal in this competition.

“We feel this confirms just how special Sametti is,” says Paola Guerrero de Cohen, Finnviini’s CEO.  “Taste preferences differ around the world, and there was no guarantee that because the judges liked it in California it would appeal in other places as well.  Now we know.”

In February 2016, Sametti earned a gold medal in the International Eastern Division of the East Meets West Wine Competition, held in Sonoma Valley, California.  Finnviini’s Valokki wine made from Cloudberries was awarded a silver medal in that same competition. 

Paola pointed to Finnish consumers as a “good example of how taste preferences vary”.  Even though Sametti scored a higher ranking than Valokki in California, Finnish tasters seem to be evenly split between which of the two wines they like more.   Valokki was not entered in the Melbourne competition, because "all finished production has been sold.   Valokki will be available for purchase by the glass during intermission at the Helsinki Opera House in 2016 and 2017" she confirmed.

So where will you be able to taste Sametti? “In Finland, there are a few restaurants that either have Sametti available, or will soon – follow our Facebook page for announcements” said David Cohen, chief winemaker for Finnviini.  “We hope it will be chosen by Alko to be part of their 'Centenary of Finland's Independence' (Suomi 100 Vuotta Juhlavuosi) line of products.  As we believe it is the first, and so far only Finnish wine to ever be awarded a gold medal in an international competition, we think it is a strong candidate for that honor.”  If chosen, Sametti will appear on Alko shelves before the end of this year. 

The company is also actively looking for partners outside Finland who wish to import Finnviini wines to their countries.

About the Competition

The Melbourne International Wine Competition is in its third year, and has become an important venue for identifying quality wines in Australia.  Blind evaluations are performed for each wine by a panel of judges.  All judges are wine professionals: retail store buyers, sommeliers, restaurant beverage directors, hoteliers, distributors and importers.  Unlike most other competitions, retail prices for the wines are taken into account during the judging.  So to win an award, it is not enough that a wine is high quality - it also has to be a good value.

About Finnviini

Finnviini Oy was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who immigrated to Finland from the US in 2008.  Paola earned a certification in Wine Production at the Häme Vocational Institute in 2013, and holds a degree in Finance from Bentley University. David is an engineer who led the team which created the first commercially successful PCR machine designed and manufactured in Finland, and has been making wine and brewing beer as a hobby for almost 15 years.  He started by using California grapes, then began experimenting with local ingredients after coming to Finland.  After years of trials, the pair felt they had something exceptional, and founded Finnviini to promote wines from Finland to the world.

Granted a commercial production license from Valvira in 2014, Finnviini currently produces wines in small batches at the Lepaa winery in Hattula.

___________________________________________________________________________

Finnish wine wins gold at California wine competition

14.03.2016 Espoo, Finland - For immediate release

Finnviini Oy is proud to announce that its wines have been awarded medals in the International Eastern Division at the 2016 East Meets West Wine Challenge.

“We had the opportunity to enter two of our dessert wines in this competition, and both were awarded medals” explained Paola Guerrero de Cohen, Finnviini’s CEO.  “Valokki, our wine made from cloudberries was given Silver. Sametti, made from wild bilberries was awarded Gold!”

So, does this make Sametti the best wine in the world?  “No” laughed David Cohen, chief winemaker at the company, “but it does mean that the judges found our wines to be of exceptional quality, and they gave Sametti a rating that placed it in the top 10% of all the wines entered.  That means it scored better than a thousand grape wines that competed.”

Being recognized as world-class is a milestone for Finnish wines; the country is not widely known for producing wines.  When registering for the competition, one of the fields that needed to be entered was “appellation”.  Despite hundreds of options to choose from, “Finland” did not appear on the list.   “That is hardly a surprise,” says Paola, “even in Finland many people do not know that local wineries exist.” Finnviini’s entries were the only ones awarded medals that did not come from a listed appellation.

When will Finnviini’s wines appear on the shelf of your local Alko?  “That might take a while” admitted Paola “our production right now is very small, and we need to find a new location to operate from, which means raising money for the effort.”  Both Finnviini owners cautioned that even after setting up their new site, ramping up their production would take time.  “Our advantage is the quality of our products, and we won’t do anything to compromise that” David explained, “we will take a measured approach to expanding production to ensure we keep the quality high.”

Finnviini plans to focus on exports for their wines, but will have some wine available at selected venues in Finland.  They are currently seeking investors, evaluating distributors and accepting orders from licensed businesses on future production.

About the Competition

The East Meets West Wine Challenge is held every February in Sonoma Valley, which along with Napa Valley is the heart of the premium California wine industry.  It was created in 2013 by combining two established competitions.  The West Coast Wine Competition has annually recognized wines produced and bottled in Western North America since 1982. The International Eastern Wine Competition, started in 1975, is one of the oldest and longest-running wine competitions in the US, and it accepts entries from around the world.  The 2016 competition attracted nearly 1300 entries, the vast majority of which were wines made from grapes.

About Finnviini

Finnviini Oy was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who immigrated to Finland from the US in 2008.  Paola earned a certification in Wine Production at the Häme Vocational Institute in 2013, and holds a degree in Finance from Bentley University.  David has been making wine and brewing beer as a hobby for almost 15 years.  He started by using California grapes, then began experimenting with local ingredients after coming to Finland.  After years of trials, the pair felt they had something exceptional, and founded Finnviini to promote wines from Finland to the world.

Granted a commercial production license from Valvira in 2014, Finnviini currently produces wines in small batches at the Lepaa winery in Hattula.

___________________________________________________________________________

Kynsilaukka available in limited quantities from Alko

15.08.2015

Espoo, Finland

At the 2015 Kerava Garlic festival on August 15th, Finnviini Oy will announce the release of Kynsilaukka, their cooking wine made from Garlic. “This is an exciting moment for us, as we have been working on perfecting this product for more than five years, going back well before the founding of Finnviini,” stated Finnviini founder and CEO B. Paola Guerrero de Cohen. “We are so happy that we’ll be able to share this unique contribution to culinary excellence”.

Ms. Guerrero de Cohen further went on to describe Kynsilaukka as a dry white wine that is intended solely for use in cooking, where it adds richness to dishes and an incredible garlic flavor that is subtlety changed by the fermentation process itself. “The garlic flavor from Kynsilaukka is as strong, but smoother than you would get by adding fresh garlic to a dish” she explained.

Kynsilaukka can be used in stews, marinades, sauces or any recipe that calls for wine. It truly stands out in sautéed dishes. And although it has an alcohol content of 12.5%, the fact that so little is needed compared to the weight of the food being prepared, combined with the natural tendency of alcohol to evaporate when subjected to heating, means there is very little alcohol left in the finished food. “The alcohol acts as a carrier for the garlic flavor, extracting it from the cloves, holding it securely and then transferring it to the foods as part of the cooking process before the alcohol is substantially burned off” explained David Cohen, who oversees Finnviini’s R&D efforts. “And of course, because it is a wine, it also imparts all the benefits to the food that is the reason cooking with wines are so much a part of Italian, French and Spanish crusines. There is no reason classical Finnish foods couldn’t also benefit from this.”

Tasting samples of sautéed mushrooms cooked with Kynsilaukka will be given away at the Kerava Garlic Festival at the Finnviini booth in front of the entrance to the Prisma. The wine itself will be available for purchase while supplies last at the Kerava Alko, or by order from the Alko stores at Helsinki Arkadia, Iso Omena, and Tapiola.

Finnviini Oy is a wine producer that specializes in alcoholic celebration beverages made from Finnish berries and other high quality ingredients. For more information, contact Finnviini at info@finnviini.fi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *