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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Canton's Gervasi Vineyard to Launch Hand Sanitizer Production in Barbecue Sauce Bottles

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 11:44 AM

  • Photo via mando116/Instagram

In a press release Wednesday, Canton's Gervasi Vineyard said that it was in the process of procuring necessary ingredients and packaging supplies to produce hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gervasi planned to launch production at its facility immediately with the goal generating 2,500 bottles for medical providers and general consumption in three weeks. As many as 800 bottles could be available next week. 

Andrew Codispoti, the vineyard's director of winemaking and distilling operations, is taking charge of the project. He said that Gervasi will follow the FDA and World Health Organization formula for making sanitizer.

The primary ingredients for the formula include ethanol, glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and purified water. Gervasi's new distillery, what it calls The Still House, has many of the necessary ingredients, including grain alcohol, on hand already.

"As soon as we learned we were permitted to convert our distillery operation to making hand sanitizer, we knew this was something we wanted to do,” Scott Swaldo, Gervasi's GM, said in the press release. “Repurposing the distillery gives us a unique way to really help our community with something desperately needed during this crisis."

Gervasi is working with local companies to source packaging products. Due to pressure on the supply chain, it's making for some unconventional choices. It is partnering with Ohio's Berlin Packaging, for example, to purchase screw-cap barbecue sauce bottles in which the sanitizer will be packaged and sold.

“Due to the high demand for hand sanitizer, the traditional bottles were too difficult to source,” said Codispoti. “It’s not ideal for administering hand sanitizer, but we felt it was more important to get the product in circulation.”

Gervasi joins Lakewood's Western Reserve Distillers as local companies that have repurposed their alcohol production lines to produce sanitizer during the pandemic.

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