In 2017, then Denver J.P. Morgan Private Bank vice president Dana Spaulding decided to found a wine company. Motivated by her husband’s request to “please quit wasting wine” after she would open a bottle only to have a glass — Spaulding created Wander + Ivy. Designed in hopes of bringing an upscale option to the single-serve market, Wander + Ivy features a range of organic wines sourced from family-owned vineyards across the globe. The limited-edition runs come fully finished and are served in elegant, easy-to-open 6.3-ounce glass bottles. The current line-up includes a cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay from California, a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand a rose from France and a red blend from Spain.
Spaulding cites the wedding proposal she received in Tuscany in 2014 as the real beginning of her interest in wine. Having worked with many clients in the food and beverage community at J.P. Morgan, she says she had a great deal of business inspiration even before settling on the specifics that would form Wander + Ivy. Spaulding named Purely Elizabeth and Birch Benders as some of the major influences that helped shape her decision to start her business. However, now Spaulding has her own credentials and received her Level II Sommelier Certification with the International Spirits and Wine Guild in 2018. As for her team, it currently consists of her and two other women, with their primary demographic being female millennials.
“I’m trying to create a product that I’m personally looking for,” smiled Spaulding. While the product certainly has a feminine appeal, the packaging is far more chic than cute. The crest was designed to impart a bit of masculinity, and the animals that cover each bottle can be found prim and proper on the front and drunk on the back — sophistication and fun in equal measures.
Since launching across Colorado at the end of 2018, Wander + Ivy has grown to be available in over 100 stores, including locations in New York and California. Wines are available online and in-store with an average retail price of $6.99. Retailers include Whole Foods Boulder, Applejack, Molly’s Spirits, Mondo Vino, Ron’s Liquor in Costco and the Denver Hyatt Downtown. Gift-ready four-packs ($27.96) are available exclusively through the online store. Regular case discounts are available through a quarterly wine club subscription. In light of social distancing, Wander is also offering 15% off of online case orders with the discount code GLASSATHOME15.
The company’s rapid success can largely be attributed to Spaulding’s palate. While the packaging and convenience certainly play a role, the wines themselves are exceptional. “I wanted a really great glass at home — a treat,” she stressed. Each varietal provides an elegant, straightforward version of its expression — patrons can expect to relish the quality and lack of frills. Each edition is only available until the product runs out — with Spaulding planning to launch a new set every year.
Wander + Ivy is available directly from the online store.
All photography by Adrienne Thomas.