Copia Changes its Mission, Focuses on Wine
Since it was established in 2001, Copia has embraced the lofty goal of being, “The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts.” Unfortunately, a less than ideal location (Downtown Napa) and rather convoluted mission has caused Copia to struggle financially over the past few years. Most of the visitors who come to wine country immediately head upvalley and bypass the town of Napa altogether.
In an effort to shore up its position as a major tourist destination, Copia has announced that it will refocus on what made Napa Valley famous in the first place- wine. To this end, ten self-serve wine tasting bars have been installed and each offers a themed selection of four wines. Examples include, “Best of Napa Valley Appellation,” “Chocolate-Friendly Wines” and “Favorites from Copia’s Wine Team.”
Education is a major component to these wine tasting bars as well. One is called, “Finding Fault in Your Wine,” and will pour a sound wine, a wine with TCA, a wine with volatile acidity and a wine contaminated with Brettanomyces. Consumers will be able to compare these faults side-by-side with an unflawed wine so they can better distinguish them.
Another tasting bar is called, “Oak Gets in Your Wine,” and will pour four different Chardonnays. One is fermented in stainless steel tanks, one is fermented in stainless steel tanks with the addition of oak chips, one is fermented in French oak barrels and the last is fermented in American oak barrels.
These wine tasting bars are an excellent idea and seem like they will be quite useful for developing educated consumers. There is certainly no substitute for tasting wines side-by-side in this fashion to develop one’s palate. But the question remains, are these reforms too little too late for Copia?