Maker Is Ready to Introduce You to Your New Favorite Wines

Photo by Clara Jones Photography

Maker Wine is on a mission to share “the why behind the wine” and, along the way, market a canned beverage that really stands apart. Maker offers high-quality wines in a can from small, diverse wineries, sharing the why behind the wine through a QR code on the back — leading curious drinkers to the winemaker’s tale on the brand’s site.

This is not the sugar-filled, vague red-blend, mass-produced canned wine you’ve huffed at in the past. Maker is putting premium, sugar-free, award-winning wines in a can, making them more sustainable (100 percent recyclable and easier to ship), approachable (no more blankly staring in the wine aisle), portable (perfect pour for a picnic), and easy to finish on a weeknight (one can of Maker equals one-third a bottle of wine).

As the founders will tell you, it’s like “high-end wine slipped into something more comfortable.”

“Beyond our love of wine, we were really excited about the stories behind it,” says Sarah Hoffman, who co-founded Maker with Kendra Kawala and Zoe Victor four years ago and is eager to tell the winemakers’ backstories. “They all have unique stories that brought them to wine. But when you’re shopping at the grocery store you don’t really see that.”

The concept came to Hoffman while she was in business school at Stanford, and she shared the idea with classmate and eventual co-founder Kawala. From there, they hit the road and pitched the idea to dozens of wineries up and down the California coast.

“We would go to the wineries with Coca-Cola cans with paper taped around them to look like what the Maker cans might look like eventually,” Hoffman reminisces, sharing that they focused on smaller, wineries run by women and people of color whose products weren’t getting sold in supermarkets but had a story to tell.

Five years later and a few of those original winemakers are still partnered with Maker, seeing their leap of faith pay off. The messaging is resonating with the public as much as with winemakers: Maker was conceived to introduce people to winemakers and to do so in an ethical, sustainable way.

“The wine industry has sometimes made people feel not smart enough while they’re trying to buy or enjoy the product,” says Hoffman, referring to the snobbery sometimes associated with oenophiles. “I think wine should make you feel included.”

Maker offers a Can Club membership, but you can also order online and find the wine in local stores.” Our ultimate vision for Maker is to change wine,” says Hoffman. Changing wine, one can at a time — and that’s something to cheers to.