After moving to Colorado from Los Angeles, Kyle and Cindy Pressman both felt inspired to chase their dreams of starting a business. As fate would have it, they were lucky enough to meet Chad Yakobson, founder and brewmaster of Crooked Stave in Denver—and their dreams began to manifest into reality. After many months learning from Yakobson, they conceptualized atōst; a line of flavor forward American Aperitivos for all-night sipping.
How it All Started
The couple wanted an alcohol they could both enjoy, something they could sip on together—all while being mindful of what was in their glasses. Cindy is primarily a white-wine drinker, while Kyle more regularly reaches for a spirit. As a result, atōst flavorfully combines the two, blending the luxury of a white wine with the quality of a craft spirit. They begin by crafting a delicious base wine, followed by in-house extractions made with natural ingredients and grape spirit. After infusing and aging the concoction, they bottle, label, and package the refreshment.
“Our winery offers the only line of ‘American Aperitivos’ here in the United States,” says Kyle. “Most consumers are only aware of aperitifs by their use in cocktails. After falling in love with the history and tradition of the liquor, we realized why most consumers weren’t willing to enjoy aperitifs straight: they are extremely bitter and overly sweet.” Since most spirit products are produced in Europe, atōst is the first line, crafted specifically for the modern drinker, here in the states. Less bitter, a fraction of the sugar, with trendy and approachable flavors, atōst is a sippable spirit—something worth pouring over ice and enjoying. That said, each flavor of atōst also makes delicious spritzes and world-class cocktails. The possibilities are limitless.
Passion and Purpose
In a market saturated with so many brands and products, the Pressman’s focus is to build a strong local and digital community. “It allows us to skip the middlemen and not sit untouched on liquor store shelves. Instead, we are able to build a direct relationship with our customers and hear from them, learn from them, and grow with them.” They also built an intimate atōst lounge, a tasting room, attached to the winery in Golden. “Waking up each morning knowing no two days are the same is exhilarating,” says Kyle. “The most incredible part of this experience has been crafting our line of aperitivos from scratch. We have a wall of more than 70 single ingredient extractions—it’s a library of flavors and colors and it creates a world of endless possibilities.”
While they offer a core line of flavors, they look forward to creating limited edition releases and building a local community. “But all that said, what I truly enjoy the most is seeing people try our product for the first time. It’s like nothing they have ever tasted before. Is it wine? Is it a spirit? It’s both, and seeing people fall in love with the liquid and brand has been life changing.”
Cindy agrees: “I love creating and sharing with other people. atōst feels like an ongoing art project that I get to build on and add to every single day.” Cindy has a background in fashion design and supply chain, while Kyle worked in sports marketing. “Whether I’m creating brand assets, jumping on the production floor to help Kyle with fermentation, or collaborating with other brands, every day is so exciting and full of opportunity. I’ve never had so much fun in my life!”