The biggest technological trends in wine and winemaking

It’s not often that I manage to combine two of my life’s passions: technology of the future and wine. When we think of the wine business, the images that come to mind may be more of vineyards stretching across the French countryside than robots and digital transformation. But the fact is that the industry has always been driven by science, technology and innovation. Today, things are no different. The latest wave of technology-driven change is focused on artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things, augmented reality and blockchain.

In line with other industries, winemakers and sellers are facing challenges posed by climate change, as well as increasing consumer demand for traceability and accountability in their supply chains. Technologies like these will help create new solutions, as well as increase efficiency and reduce waste. They are also leading to new ways for us consumers to experience wine consumption. So here’s a summary of how these trends are changing the way we make, sell and enjoy wine.

Augmented Reality and Intelligent Packaging

Wine labels must become much more sophisticated. The information will be accessible via QR codes and even AR, giving buyers information about the products they are buying, as well as the production processes and conditions in which they were made. The Living Wine Labels app leverages the “confession” stories of those featured on the bottles of 19 Crimes, with a bottle of Californian red offering mundane advice from none other than Snoop Dogg. Sparflex developed the AR wine sheet that launches animations and stories straight from the label, as did Californian wine producer Rabble, with labels brought to life with dramatic animations using medieval-style illustrations. Some of this may seem cryptic, but marketers today firmly understand the value of building stronger connections between brands and users by developing technology-driven experiences like these.

Blockchain and NFT

Anyone keeping an eye on future trends in the wine and beverage industry will have noticed the impact already being made by blockchain and, in particular, NFT technology. It is the very fact that NFTs are “non-fungible” – meaning they are unique – that makes them valuable as they can be linked to real-world items (like a bottle of wine) and used as a certificate of authenticity or provenance. They can be sold purely as collectible works of art inspired by real-world great wines – as is the case with BitWine, a collection of 1,000 fully digital wines designed by sommelier Lauren Vaile. After all, if we’re all going to live in the metaverse, why not have a cellar stocked with virtual wines to show your friends when they come to visit? If you prefer to invest your money in real wine, the WiV platform might be more attractive. Their NFTs are all tied to real wine bottles that are securely stored, meaning that if the owner wants to drink them, they can exchange the NFT for the bottle. On the other hand, if they simply want to sell it for a profit, they can simply pass the NFT on to the new owner.

Wine Block Chain is a platform that promises to help establish trust and transparency across the industry by allowing every step of the process to be recorded in secure, tamper-proof blockchain ledgers. Developers EZ Lab recently completed a trial, in partnership with Ernst & Young, in which a bottle was tracked and certified from vineyard to bottle. All information can be verified through a smart tag that can be scanned by the customer with their smartphone, from when it was filled to when pesticides and fertilizers were used during production.

AI and automation

WineCab created an AI-driven wine wall, complete with robotic sommelier. The massive installation — starting at around $179,000 if you’re interested — uses AI to choose the perfect wine to accompany your meal before its robotic arm transports the bottle from the wall to the dispenser. The perfect toy for multi-million wine fans to add to their mansions.

For a slightly more affordable option, Preferabli (formerly known as Wine Ring) is a recommendation platform not only for wines but also for beer and spirits that learns about user preferences and how to pair the perfect drink with meals. . Designed to be used by retailers and consumers, it is available as a smartphone app or built into LG’s Signature range of wine cellars.

Many uses have also been found for AI in the growing process – including the computer vision solutions provided by Tule that use video to monitor plants as they grow and provide feedback informing growers when water levels are adequate and what levels of water. “stress” the vines are under.

Ted, the vine robot developed by Naio Technologies, helps tend crops and remove weeds, reducing the need for growers to put potentially harmful herbicides in the soil.

Green Brain is a project that harnesses the power of satellite imagery together with AI to monitor the health of plantations across entire vineyards, providing growers with information on how irrigation is working as well as the health of their plantations, offering early warning of when they may be at risk from disease or pests.

Other systems use automated drones instead of satellites, like the one used by Spanish producer Bodegas Ayuso, which combines drones with satellite imagery, ground sensors and data from local weather stations. All data is processed by AI algorithms to provide insights that can be used in real time.

The wine industry is using many interesting technological innovations, and many more to come. If you want to stay on top of future trends, subscribe to my newsletter, check out my books Technological trends in practice and Business trends in practiceand follow me in twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube.

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