Pix launched in November and is growing fast, delivering an entirely new way for wine lovers to discover wines and for wine producers to drive direct-to-consumer sales. It just passed a major milestone by opening to everyone to explore — no log-in required.
The platform’s wine discovery engine is built on a wine catalog of almost half a million wines gathered from retailers, wineries, and DTC platforms like VinoShipper, VinSuite, Commerce7, and VineSpring. Any winery already on one of these platforms can just ask to add its wines to the Pix database at no cost. If they’re not on a platform, they can send Pix a data export.
“It’s essentially a wine shop,” says Joe Fattorini, Managing Director for Trade at Pix. “There’s a real richness in the wine selection. Sometimes we’ll add a winery that produces only two wines. The user doesn’t differentiate on whether producers are big or small. They want variety. Over my 35 years working in the wine trade, I realized that allowing producers of any scale to reach people at a mass level serves the customers’ needs.”
“You can search for anything in our database,” says Fattorini, “then click for more information, including how to buy from the producer or a local shop.”
An artificial intelligence engine drives the search function using meta tags assigned by the Pix team and Napa Valley Wine Academy students. Flavors and aromas are typical wine descriptors, but Pix realized that wine choice would also depend on the season, the occasion, and the preferences of others joining them. So they tested different meta tags to see which made people click through and read an article.
“What we’re interested in is how we can help people discover wines,” Fattorini notes. “From a user perspective, we found that they seemed to have a visceral connection to textural words like smooth, rich, elegant, expressive and full-bodied.”
Pix’s solution is to use three meta tag levels to describe each wine: first a texture word, then a flavor word, and finally a story word that relates to the wine, such as vegan, organic or made by women or Black winemakers, or the user’s story, like wanting wine to serve at a summer BBQ or to take to the in-laws for a holiday dinner.
Expert wine collection curation
Pix also builds collections of 12 wines, such as 12 of the tens of thousands of cabernet sauvignons in the database. The collection names often depict its organizing principle, like the Future Classics collection, composed of full-bodied wines from appellations that aren’t widely known. Collections can be wines with high scores at low prices or wines from the TV show Discovery of Witches that the producer seeded into the show. Another collection is wines with animals on the label.
“We’ve made the big challenging world of wine small,” says Fattorini. “They can see the entire collection on the screen at one time. And in that small collection may be something that they’ve never seen before, something that makes them click through to buy it.”
When they do, they’ll find a thumbnail picture and three or four words that tell them what it’s like, how it tastes and where they can purchase it.
Inspiring articles on The Drop
Another key to the discovery engine is the articles on Pix’s front page from The Drop, an independent publication that pulls people in from around the web. Pix juxtaposes these stories with collections, drawing readers to explore the wines discussed and beyond.
“I’d love people to come and see what we’ve built,” Fattorini says. “We’re still building, and every day it’s better because we add something new, often based on what users and producers tell us they’d like to change or add.”
Little by little, Pix is making the vast wine world more sippable — learning what consumers like based on behavior and sparking discovery through inspiring articles, user-friendly search. And if you’re a producer, be sure to join the adventure.
Interested wine producers can go to www.pix.wine/trade