Food & dining

Yummy Wine RayZyns make the most of a bad situation

Wine RayZyn raisin snacks are made with wine grapes.
Wine RayZyn Company
Wine RayZyn raisin snacks are made with wine grapes.

“Make lemonade out of lemons” is Andrew Cates’s recent mantra. Cates owns the prestigious Segassia Vineyard on Mount Veeder in Napa where century-old vines produced illustrious cabernets until the Northern California wildfires destroyed his family vineyard and home. Cates is responding to his own disaster by raising money to aid others affected by the fires as well as recent hurricanes. Two years ago, Cates and his father, Chris, a cardiologist, sourced grapes across California and launched a product line Wine RayZyn, a raisin snack made with wine grapes. They developed a process to dry the grapes with the skin and seeds intact for extra nutrients. The seeds become toasty, giving the raisins crunchiness. They introduced four varieties: ChardonayZyn, MerlayZyn, CabernayZyn and Dark Chocolate CabernayZyn (about $2.79 for 1.6 ounces; $8.99 to $9.99 for 8 ounces). Since the fires, the Wine RayZyn Company has salvaged unharvested wine grapes and grapes unusable for wine but perfect for their raisins and packages them as Rescue RayZyns (2 packs, 4.5 ounces each, for $13.99). A portion of the proceeds goes to the Napa Valley Disaster Relief Fund and the Food Recovery Network. Thanks to Cates, repurposed wine grapes are having a very good year. Wine RayZyns are available at DeLuca’s Market, 239 Newbury St., Boston, 617-262-5990; Foodies Urban Market, 230 W, Broadway, South Boston, 617-269-4700; Good Health Natural Foods, 219 Columbia Road, Hanover, 781-826-0808; or at Rescue RayZyns are available through the company’s website and at ANN TRIEGER KURLAND