Each year the wine industry faces new trends, new challenges, and the continued pressure to stay ahead of the competition, but with them come opportunities and innovations that savvy wine businesses can take advantage of to strengthen their business and deliver a better product to their customers.
Every year Wine Industry Network recognizes five wine industry innovators, not just because of their impressive ingenuity or technical advances, but because of what it means to the industry. Because the industry as a whole is better off for having these innovative companies in their ranks.
The winners of Wine Industry Network’s ninth annual WINnovation Awards for excellence in wine industry innovation are:
- California Soda Company
Below are short introductions to the specific innovations from the winners that merited their recognition.
The Air Mixing M.I.® (Modulated Injection) developed by Parsec and distributed by ATPgroup is an innovative technique developed to break up the cap in the vinification of red wine. This new technology manages the marc cap with algorithmically controlled air injections that creates disruptive waves inside the tank, resulting in homogenous mixing. This technique reduces the vinification time by obtaining an effective and selective extraction from the entire cap, and the fluid integration of the juice eliminates the need to dig out tanks making tank turnover faster.
The system is intelligent with real-time, automated control of variations in temperature, nutrients and oxygen, so it can respond automatically as the fermentation evolves, making the waves more or less intense, and reducing the need for work and oversight.
The waves produced are customizable to the size of the tank and the desired extractive action, and one of the notable advantages of Air Mixing M.I. is that it is effective even in very large tanks and tanks with irregular shapes that make conventional methods of cap management difficult.
Developed in Italy, the Air Mixing M.I. has been installed in wineries around the world including Italy, France, Spain, Chile and the U’S.
California Soda Company
California Soda Company’s patent pending fine mister system allows for the application of Chlorine Dioxide to sanitize stainless steel tanks using a fine mist spray head resulting in approximately 98% savings in the water needed for the sanitation. By utilizing this system a winery can conserve not only the water used in the sanitizing process, but also the wastewater discharged resulting savings, and the reduce the time it takes to complete the tank sanitation, all the while achieving equal or better cleaning results.
After first having the idea for the mister application system, Ron Hinck, California Soda Company CEO, spent two years refining the technology, working with industry partners and testing it at Simi Winery in Healdsburg and several other wineries.
Studies show that the fine mist lingers in the tank long enough to ensure the contact time kills all bacteria, but does not contaminate the air around the tanks, which remains safe for cellar workers to breathe, with results below Cal/OSHA requirements.
Consumers’ desire for a healthy lifestyle has created a strong trend for low and no alcoholic beverages that could result in falling market share for wine, but ConeTech has developed GoLo, an affordable, energy efficient adaptive technology that enables the dealcoholization of beverages to 0.05% and allows, in a single pass, the recovery and retention of 100% of the products original aromas and flavor compounds. So wine brands that want to enter this market segment can do so without sacrificing the quality of their product.
ConeTech built off their existing low temperature distillation technology and paired it with the engineering and distillation expertise of Logichem in South Africa to develop the GoLo technology. In addition to the improved efficiency of the technology, they also improved the analytics of the finished dealcoholized wines to reduce the finishing work necessary to produce quality low and no alcohol beverages. The result is a more efficient process with less loss and a higher quality end product.
Wineries and breweries around the world are already taking advantage of this technology, and as the health and wellness trend grows, more wine brands might consider entering this market segment without risking the quality of their products and brand.
Liviri Vino is a wine shipping cooler designed for safe, cost-effective ground shipping that eliminates weather holds and allows year-round wine deliveries. The goals are to limit the seasonality of the wine shipping industry while also providing significant sustainability benefits.
The protective and highly thermally efficient box can keep wine cool for up to 5 days, allowing shipments to be sent via ground transportation, which avoids costly and environmentally damaging air express methods. The Liviri Vino shipping cooler can also be reused for multiple shipments, and at the end of its life cycle 95% of the materials are recyclable.
PreferencePro developed by VinterActive is an automated marketing solution that re-purposes some of the world’s most powerful email marketing technology software, makes it accessible, and customizes it specifically to benefits wineries.
The technology combines automation and artificial intelligence to ensure the right message is delivered at the right time to engage the consumer, improve brand connections, and grow sales. Early adopters of PrefrencePro are seeing opening and response rates improve by 40 to 50%.
Adopting new technologies, even ones promising great benefits like PreferencePro, can be a daunting task, but VinterActive has lowered the barrier by making sure that its powerful APIs make integration with existing point of sale systems seamless, and though the PreferencePro offers near endless opportunities for customization, it also provides a host of templates that wineries can use to quickly get started.
Wine Industry Award Winners and Reception
WINnovation Award winners will be honored at a joint awards reception with the North Bay Business Journal Wine + Beer & Spirits Industry Award winners on December 8, 2020. The awards reception will be a virtual event. Register for free to take part in the celebration of this year’s wine industry leaders and innovators. The WINnovation Award winners will be exhibiting at the North Coast Wine Industry Expo at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on March 4, 2021.