Those Who Can, Do: Niebaum-Coppola Packages Sofia in Aluminum

Sofia Mini sparkling wine targets Sex and the City set

Apr 28, 2004

With the success of her last film, Lost in Translation, writer/director Sofia Coppola's name is appearing everywhere these days, from movie marquees to magazine newsstands. You can even find it on an aluminum can of sparkling wine. That's right: a can.

The Sofia Mini—187ml of Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine packaged in a bold pink can—is produced by Niebaum-Coppola Winery in Napa Valley, owned by Sofia's father, director Francis Ford Coppola. It joins labels such as Pommery's Pop and Piper-Heidsieck's Baby Piper (both come in 187ml bottles) in a new niche: single-serving bubbly aimed at the nightclub crowd and often sipped through a straw.

Niebaum-Coppola president Erle Martin said the Sofia Mini is the winery's attempt to reach new customers. The target audience is "the Sex and the City crowd," Martin said. "A 20-something, predominantly female, sophisticated, urban market, rather than the established wine consumer. The idea is to take some of the intimidation out of wine."

Packaging fine sparkling wine in a can is a radical idea, Martin acknowledged. "Francis has made a career of going with his gut and we just decided to run with it," he said. "The wine industry is going to need innovative, user-friendly packaging if it's going to grow."

The winery has produced Sofia in a traditional 750ml champagne bottles for some time. The current release—the 2003 Blanc de Blancs, a blend of mostly Pinot Blanc with some Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat added in, sells for $19 and is the same wine canned in the Sofia Mini, Martin said. The wine is produced from grapes grown in Monterey.

Neibaum-Coppola produced 5,000 cases for the test run—with 24 cans per case—and it sold quickly enough that production is expanding rapidly, Martin said. The cans retail for $5 each, or in four-packs for $20. For more retail information, see www.sofiamini.com.

News Packaging

You Might Also Like

As Spain Reopens, Its Wineries Forge Ahead

As Spain Reopens, Its Wineries Forge Ahead

The pandemic hit the nation hard, and vintners know reopening will be slow. They're trying …

Jul 6, 2020
Charlie Palmer’s Aureole Pivots to To-Go, Plans Next New York Home

Charlie Palmer’s Aureole Pivots to To-Go, Plans Next New York Home

The landmark restaurant might return to the Upper East Side in 2021. Plus, the team behind …

Jul 2, 2020
French Wine Firm EPI Buys Majority Stake in Michael Mondavi's Folio

French Wine Firm EPI Buys Majority Stake in Michael Mondavi's Folio

The luxury goods firm, which owns Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Biondi-Santi, …

Jul 1, 2020
From Napa to Burgundy: A Live Chat with Diana Snowden Seysses

From Napa to Burgundy: A Live Chat with Diana Snowden Seysses

The Snowden Vineyards and Domaine Dujac winemaker discusses her Napa roots, emmigrating to …

Jul 1, 2020
Dry Skies Ahead

Dry Skies Ahead

Some major U.S. airlines have restricted alcohol service during the COVID-19 pandemic, but …

Jul 1, 2020
Constellation Brands Buys Gary Vaynerchuk's Empathy Wines

Constellation Brands Buys Gary Vaynerchuk's Empathy Wines

The wine and spirits giant is looking to the $20 brand, sold entirely through e-commerce, …

Jul 1, 2020