Our Story

Chicago winters are brutal, but they make the spring so much sweeter! A few years back, we had one of those breathtaking 80º April days that knock you off your feet. With a brilliant blue sky and warm spring breeze, I hatched a plan to spend the afternoon with my wife and celebrate the return of spring.

New Buffalo, Michigan – one of my favorite little beach towns “around the corner” from Chicago – isn’t far, but it’s far enough. I had our day-date on the lakeshore perfectly planned and tucked away in my backpack: some great eats, a Spotify playlist, and the real kicker – a surprise bottle of my wife’s favorite sauvignon blanc.

And that’s where things went a little sideways. Our wine had gotten really warm in the sun… our plastic cups cracked from the journey… and I forgot the damn corkscrew. Not exactly the magical moment I planned.

We had a good laugh at ourselves and decided to walk back into town for dinner. As I picked up my old backpack with that heavy, warm bottle of wine in it, a bell went off in my head.

We could do better.

Why can’t we make wonderful wines… that could also be easy to carry and drink? No corks, no corkscrews, no glasses? It was at that moment that the idea for Backpack Wine was born: a way to get back to simplicity, helping people get the wine they want for locations or occasions that don’t always offer wine. For the parties, bars, events, and Tuesday nights – we can make the wine that can do more, made for you to take off the beaten path.

I’ve been in the wine and hospitality business for a long time – and this light bulb moment motivated me to reconsider what I’d always assumed about wine. I explored new ideas and directions to grow the wine experience – to explore new traditions, customers, and occasions. Backpack Wine is the result of this journey.

Today we make great tasting wines that simply fit our lifestyle – and hopefully yours.




Jim Doehring
President, Backpack Wine Co.

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