It all started when...
Soon after graduating from high school in her native Ecuador, Paola visited Boston in the US where she met David. Though only there intending to visit, David convinced her to stay. They were married a year later.
A few years after, David began home-brewing as a hobby. Upon learning that the same equipment could be used to make wine, Paola convinced David to expand the hobby, and it soon grew into an obsession, using California grapes that they ordered each year, and studying wine-making techniques from around the world.
In 2005, David co-founded a biotech instrument company, which was based in Finland. For three years, he commuted every month, until the project hit a critical stage and he needed to be in Finland full time. The family packed up and settled in Espoo. Not wanting to give up their hobby, they continued to home-brew beer, but it was impossible to get wine grapes. So they decided to experiment with local ingredients. For the most part, those first vintages did not go well. The methods they had learned for grapes couldn’t be used as-is, and the research they did on the internet for the proper way to make berry wines gave even worse results.
But one wine came out unexpectedly good. The sweet Cloudberry wine they made was simply amazing. With very little modification, that wine became the prototype for Valokki, which is Finnviini’s most popular wine in Finland.
Knowing that it could be done, and knowing from their experience with grapes that the key to great wines was great fruit – something Finland had in abundance - they embarked on years of research (as David’s project got extended) to figure out how to work other berries to make remarkable wines.
Eventually deciding to settle in Finland permanently, Paola began to think about what they had accomplished and realized there was an opportunity. The wines they had developed were unique and wonderful, and due to the incredible berries growing in Finland better than any other fruit wines they had tasted. Something so good simply had to be shared with the world.
In 2014, the pair founded Finnviini, to make fine wines that are proudly from Finland.