It sounds like a joke: So there’s this guy in Overland Park making French wine with grapes from his own vineyard.
Only it’s true.
is originally from Nimes in southern France. He met his future wife when he was an exchange student at Grandview High School in 1993-1994 and decided to stay in the area.
Three years ago, Calini decided to start a company with a friend from church, Jerry Kenefake, to bottle wine made from French grapes and sell it in the U.S. A year later, he bought a vineyard in his hometown, which is in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
While Calini tinkered with the wines — he travels to France three or four times a year — Kenefake tapped into his background running a marketing firm to create a memorable name and logo. The
wines feature a cartoon pig in top hat and tails sporting a monocle and walking stick.
Eye-catching labels and real French wine for $9.99 a bottle is as charming a combination as Brie and baguette, and orders are rolling in from a dozen states. Calini makes six wines: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, a red blend (Syrah and Grenache), Chardonnay and Viognier.
The wines are sold at several area liquor stores, including Gomer’s in Lenexa and Lee’s Summit, Lukas Liquors and Lionsgate Liquor.