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Wine cooler quartet brings party to U.S.

Left to right: Derek van Bakergem, Erik Grossberg,

Left to right: Derek van Bakergem, Erik Grossberg, Wyatt Carder and Matias Chiota Photo Credit: Left to right: Derek van Bakergem, Erik Grossberg, Wyatt Carder and Matias Chiota

How many men does it take to create a wine cooler? According to the makers of Pampelonne Rosé Lime, the answer is four.

And these guys honestly look like they should be in an ad campaign as the masterminds behind a Muscadet blend fused with lime, passion fruit, grapefruit and sparkling water. Pampelonne is beautifully packed in a sleek Breton striped can, and it’s only 110 calories.

Let’s see what these four international men have to say about their business.

Q: Where are you from?
A: Erik Grossberg:
I grew up in Washington, D.C., and went to school in Boston. I was working in real estate and I wanted to do something creative. I’m friends with Derek, so it was natural to want to work together.

Derek van Bakergem: I’m from the Netherlands but grew up in France, and after college I worked in hospitality.

Wyatt Carder: I grew up in Vermont and in Colorado. My background is beverage and wine. I’m heavy into the wine game. Derek and I met in hospitality, and Erik and I met in the wine industry.

Matias Chiota: I’m originally from Argentina and grew up in Madison, Conn. We moved to Belgium, and I vacationed in the South of France. I have a love affair with that region. I’ve also been in the wine business from the importer/distributor side.

Q: What was the inspiration behind Pampelonne?
Derek: I loved this style of drink in St. Tropez: iced Tropez blend, or of rosé and peach. When Wyatt and I became partners, we created a new formula and an 8.4-oz. can vs. glass. Big parties always started in Pampelonne beach next to St. Tropez, so we decided to bring the party to the U.S.

Q: When does the line launch?
A: Derek:
We officially launch in June, but had it at the Intermix party at the New Museum on the Bowery in May.

Q: What’s your business plan?
Derek: It’s challenging to launch a brand. We have a different approach, where we started with New York for the summer and then Florida and nationwide. With our first line, the rosé lime, we are approaching a high-end market much like the Club 55 and the day clubs that exist, similar to those in St. Tropez. We are starting with three lines: rosé lime, red sangria for New York Fashion Week, and White Bellini for winter for après- ski. Our strategic partners are Dean and Deluca, Lavo, Bagatelle, and Day and Night Club. We are partnering high, and not in the ready-to-drink area.

Q: Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: Wyatt:
Travel internationally and observe many different regions. Travel will give you the tool kit to do what you love.
Erik: Bring a great team. Your team is paramount.


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