Who We Are

Ingrid and Robert Grueter, owners of Vinifera and creators of VinSanté

Bob Grueter is a Colorado native, and completed his education at Colorado University and received a law degree from the University of Denver. Ingrid Grueter was born and raised in Escondido, California, and attended the University of Northern Arizona. Bob moved his law practice to Aspen, Colorado in 1970, and Ingrid came to Aspen in 1973 to manage and later to become president of a title insurance company.

Bob and Ingrid married in 1983.  Their passion for wine led to the establishment in 1986 of Aspen Wine & Spirit, Co, a full service wine and spirit retail business.  In late 2001, they sold the company and opened Denver Wine Connection.

After listening to years of customer complaints about the lack of appealing, non-alcoholic wine alternatives, they began the process of developing VinSanté by engaging the help of their many contacts and friends — winemakers, eonologists and juice suppliers.

They worked for nearly four years with renowned flavor/food scientist Leslie Norris of FlavorSence Inc. to develop the flavor, body, balance and health benefits of the VinSanté products.

Leslie Norris, food and flavor scientist

Leslie Norris is a food and flavor scientist.  She received a BS in Chemistry from Goucher College and an MA in Food Science and Technology from University of Maryland at College Park. Leslie began her career with McCormick and Co., Inc, completing a rigorous, seven-year apprenticeship program under a master flavorist.

In 1997, the Earnest & Julio Gallo Winery recruited Leslie to develop their flavor research laboratory. During her tenure, Norris was Director of Flavor and Sensory Sciences, a division that was subsequently spun off as a new startup company, Dry Creek Nutrition, where she researched the chemistry, flavor and sensory aspects of wine.

Leslie began her own company, FlavorSense, in 2003 with the mission of “making sense out of flavors” by integrating chemical, flavor, and sensory research. She specializes in the wine industry, and is the only flavor chemist currently working in the wine industry. Leslie has also worked with the Australian Wine Research Institute, the Society of Wine Educators and the University of California, Davis.