Who we are
The Vindurance story really begins with Kathrin, a winemaker and competitive endurance athlete looking for something to fuel her gruelling training schedule and demanding career.
Kathrin Puff has worked the world over as a winemaker: Germany, Thailand, Italy, Span, New Zealand, South Africa, USA and Chile; but her interest and passion for winemaking began while still at high school, spending her after-school hours working in wineries as a cellar hand. While formally studying winemaking and viticulture at university in Germany she began running as it was the easiest sport to do without specialist equipment.
Kathrin successfully transferred her studies to Italy becoming chief winemaker at Winery Dievole in Tuscany, at the same time joining a running club and racing almost every weekend. 2006 Amateur Champion Tuscany in Uphill Running, Kathrin completed her first marathon later that same year in Florence and began competing in at least one marathon every year after that.
Moving to Thailand after her appointment as Technical Director (Production and Winemaking) at the Siam Winery, Kathrin was bitten with the triathlon bug after completing the famous Phuket Triathlon in 2009. Almost every weekend she raced somewhere in Thailand and for a few years was always the female winner.
Training with a coach for more than 6 years it was in 2012 that she made the transition into longer endurance events at Ironman distance. From December 2012 to July 2015 Kathrin completed 12 Ironman triathlons (3.8 k Swim - 180 km bike - 42 km run) training 20+ hours per week next to her very demanding role at the winery. It was now that the ideas for innovative sports foods began circulating.
In a desperate search for something palatable, tasty and easy on the stomach, Kathrin used her technical expertise in winemaking to start experimenting with her own home-mixed concoctions from wine grapes.
“Soon I realised that nutrition was key to recovery but also performing well. The commercial sport foods I was using were giving me nausea and making me feel sick from the overly sweet and artificial flavours and colourants. I trialled my own sport juices and condensed gels made from the grapes growing in the local vineyards. I felt much better and was more energetic throughout the races (no stops for the loo stops or GI distress).”
Kathrin Puff Director Powered By Grapes
When her home-made gels tasted so good and knowing that grapes have a low glycemic index and are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, Kathrin started thinking about how to make wine grape energy gels available to other athletes.
Archie Gracie has worked with beverages now for almost 25 years: starting at Diageo the world largest Spirits company (then known as United Distillers). Some of his career highlights include leading the innovation team at the Brand Technical Centre in Scotland, as well as managing many manufacturing facilities, at one stage looking after all manufacturing in Asia.
While not a distiller himself, Archie has been heavily involved in blending and new product development, which is where he developed an extensive knowledge of and passion for flavours. He’s hosted many whisky tastings and also whisky dinners, pairing scotch whiskey with differing foods to create a wonderful taste experience where both the food and drink enhance the flavours of each other.
Basing himself in Thailand to be closer to family, Archie first met Kathrin when he arrived at the Siam Winery to head the winery and supply chain. Kathrin shared her story and ideas for grape-based energy gels for sports nutrition and Archie was immediately enthusiastic! Even though Archie is not a triathlon athlete like Kathrin he has completed enough marathons to forge a common link and enable them to creatively think nutrition and energy for endurance sports. Both started to explore options and had conversations with wineries in the South East of Australia.
“Everyone knows how good Australian wine is so it was a natural choice for us to launch Vindurance there. We can source the best grapes and work with some of the world leading vineyards to ensure we get great tasting and high quality ingredients for our products. It’s an added bonus that Australians are some of the best Triathletes and endurance sporting participants.”
Director Powered By Grapes
Their friends at the Australian winery worked together with Archie and Kathrin to find the right wine grapes for the gels, and hence a long blending and trialling process commenced. Plots were selected that provided grapes to the desired profile. The right harvest time is crucial to the sugar levels, flavour and mineral content. Vindurance Energy Gels and Sports Foods are made with the same love and care as a boutique bottle of wine.
Shortly afterwards, Ian lloyd joined the team. Ian and Archie are former colleagues working together for many years at the beverage giant Diageo. Ian was inspired by the Vindurance idea and quickly helped the team progress, managing supplier and partner relationships across the business.
A high calibre business and procurement leader, with a 24 year career history in hospitality, premium beverage and IT industries; Ian is managing operations in Australia. Ian is out on the road attending high profile as well as regional sporting events, building brand awareness and customer connections.
Ian is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD) and is also responsible for managing the compliance, finances and corporate governance of the company. In many ways it is Ian’s attention to detail and experience with customer and supplier relationships that has ensured Vindurance is available to all outdoor lovers, sports enthusiasts and recreational athletes.
“Through our science-backed selection of winery partners, our dedicated experts have been able to ensure the best possible quality products. We select only the highest quality grapes with optimum mineral content, flavour profile and sugar level for the very best sport nutrition. We do not add any supplements to our products, and all minerals are there naturally.”
Director Powered By Grapes
Vindurance is 100% Australian Made
Vindurance Energy Gels and Sports Foods are made from 100% Australian premium wine grapes proven to increase endurance, the immune system and oxidative metabolism. Manufactured in Australia and overseen by three amazing and dedicated professionals, Vindurance is set to be the first choice for endurance athletes; recreational and professional sports men and women; as well as outdoor enthusiasts across Australia.