Whether solving a problem or seizing an opportunity, these five wine industry suppliers used ingenuity and technology to develop innovative products and solutions for vineyards and wineries. They represent the vanguard of product and service innovation that is essential for the advancement and prosperity of the wine industry.
The winners of Wine Industry Network’s seventh annual WINnovation Awards for excellence in wine industry innovation are:
- DIAM Bouchage
- VA Filtration
Below are short introductions to the specific innovations from the winners that merited their recognition.
The continued consolidation of distributors is making it harder and harder for small brands to make it in the three tier system. Even for those who do get a distributor, they will get very little sales support as just another of the thousands of small brands that they represent, and if they don’t move the needle on sales, they risk being dropped from distribution.
BevStrat was created by long time beverage alcohol industry professional Brian Rosen with experience in both retail and distribution to help small brands tackle these obstacles to making it in the three tier system.
Bevstrat provides an independent sales force across the U.S. that can handle sales calls for the many brands that don’t have the resources to put together their own dedicated sales teams for the various markets they target. BevStrat currently supports 114 SKUs and 25 makers and sell hundreds of cases every month for clients, giving small brands a chance to make it in today’s highly competitive three tier system.
DIAM Bouchage has an established reputation for their micro-agglomerated corks treated with the Diamant process which uses supercritical CO2 to extract compounds that cause sensory deviations, including TCA from the cork. DIAM has manufactured these technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, and spirits for years, and have built on the technology over recent years providing different and reliable levels of permeability to suit the winemaker’s needs.
Their latest innovation is Origine by DIAM, an ultra-sustainable cork made from natural ingredients: cork, beeswax emulsion and a 100% vegetable polyol binder. The beeswax used is completely natural, making the corks watertight and protecting the wine against any capillary migration while also protecting the integrity of the cork elasticity.
Origine by DIAM offers all the hallmarks for DIAM corks: reliability, natural sealing, and consistent performance with no detectable TCA. The Origine is available in DIAM 10 and DIAM 30 for still wines. Cork already has a highly sustainable credentials, but Origine takes the next step in the evolution providing an option for wineries that are fully committed to natural and sustainable products and won’t compromise on the quality and reliability of their wines.
Using data analytics for marketing isn’t new, but the wine industry is still learning how to best take advantage of the massive amounts of data that can be collected about their consumers. Emetry‘s innovative approach is to aggregate data from multiple sources and help wine brands quickly and clearly see what opportunities exist in the market, so they make informed strategic plans for growth and marketing.
Their software uses data from a range of digital sources, including the wine scanning app Delectable, and packages it into one easy to use insights dashboard. Within the dashboard, users are able to enter their product and look at the diagnostics of it in different markets. The insights go beyond product sales data and focus in on consumer purchasing behaviors. The users can see what type of consumers are talking about their product, where they purchase it, what else they purchased, who their competitors are within a market and more.
Experienced data analytics experts, Emetry delivers the relevant, accurate, and actionable insights that the wine industry needs to better understand their consumers and what powers their purchasing decisions. Their innovative approach to aggregating and processing big data presents a valuable opportunity for the wine industry to take better advantage of consumer data to help grow their brands.
Prosurix was invented by Steve Glamuzina, long-time owner and operator of Georgetown Wine and Liquor, to guard against fake wine and spirits products making it into the hands and cellars of consumers. With high-profile stories and seizures of fake wine, Prosurix offers assurance and protection for consumers against counterfeiting, but that’s just the beginning.
The combination of the Prosurix app and unique encoded NFC chips on each product not only form a powerful anti-counterfeiting shield at a low price point, it also offers wineries an opportunity to track their goods and interact directly with the consumer at the point of purchase through the augmented reality features of the app, which can deliver information that informs the consumer at both before and afterward purchase. The app includes a cellar archive for the consumer to keep record of their wines, and brands can communicate with the consumer that has their wine cellared to offer them pairing suggestions or offers of similar products they might like.
The Prosurix app works with both iPhone and Android, and devices that doesn’t already have the app installed will be prompted to download and install it by the NFC chip, so there’s no confusion about finding the correct app to read the chip. There is an increasing number of options for augmented reality apps available in the wine space, mostly based on label recognition, but the most notable developed only for proprietary brands and offers limited utility for the consumer. Prosurix’s combination of anti-counterfeiting, non-proprietary wine marketing tools, and consumer utility sets it apart as leader in the space.
VA Filtration USA is a wine service company with an ingrained spirit of innovation, designing and manufacturing all products in-house. They provided numerous cutting edge technologies to the US wine industry since they started operation in 2002 and have grown to be the number one provider of remediation and filtration services to the wine industry.
Their numerous technological achievements including small lot filtration solutions, have made a huge impact in the quality of winemaking as a provider of world class machinery and services to the US and international wine industries including VA reduction; Smoke taint reduction; 4EP Reduction; alcohol reduction; crossflow filtration; lees filtration; and sweetspotter for small lots.
The latest offering from VA Filtration is its lees recovery system which allows the recovery of wine from lees without the use of DE. The benefits of the technology include zero oxygen pick-up, filtration to 0.2 microns, resulting in complete removal of bacteria, no D.E needed, and no heat pick-up.
The system was fully designed, tested, and manufactured in-house by VA Filtration, a huge achievement for a small company, and a testament to their commitment to always be on the cutting edge of winemaking and pushing the goalpost of the possible toward higher quality wines.
Wine Industry Award Winners and Reception
See the Individual and Supplier Wine Industry Award winners announced by the North Bay Business Journal, and join us in honoring all of them at the awards reception on December 4, 2018 at the Doubletree Hotel, Rohnert Park.
By Kim Badenfort