Five Wine Businesses Recognized for Their Innovative Advances for the Wine Industry

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:

  • BevStrat

  • DIAM Bouchage

  • Emetry

  • Prosurix

  • VA Filtration

Below are short introductions to the specific innovations from the winners that merited their recognition.

BevStrat

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

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.

Emetry

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

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

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.

New app to detect fake wine launches nationally, developed in Buffalo

By: WKBW Staff

Posted: 11:37 AM, Mar 1, 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Western New Yorkers know their wine. 

Steve Glamuzina has nationally launched Prosurix, an app designed help stop the sale of fake wine and spirits. He developed the app back in June 2015.

How the app works

The app uses near field communication technology to track a bottle from the time of bottling to when it's sold in a store. 

A Prosurix tag is attached at the time of bottling and encoded with an encrypted ID. The tag makes it nearly impossible for counterfeiters to affect a legitimate bottle. As the bottle travels from distribution to retail, the tag is scanned at each point, which allows for real time tracking and ensuring authenticity.

Fake wine is big business

“The selling of counterfeit wines and spirits, especially online, has become a big business,” said Glamuzina. “While sometimes spotting fake products can be obvious, for the regular consumer they may think they are just getting a good deal. Prosurix provides a solution to ensure the authenticity of the product and providing specific product details to consumers at the point of sale.”

To download the app, visit Prosurix.com.

New tech protects wine buyers from fraud

 Steve Glamuzina has developed a new technology to cut down on wine and liquor fraud with a chip embedded onto the bottle label. (Dave Jarosz)

Steve Glamuzina has developed a new technology to cut down on wine and liquor fraud with a chip embedded onto the bottle label. (Dave Jarosz)

By Cherie Messore | February 23, 2018

Fake news, forgeries and other Internet scams are nothing new to the world, sadly. But a local businessman has developed a cutting-edge technology to help cut down on at least one bad behavior: wine fraud.

Wine fraud is a global issue with local ramifications. Steve Glamuzina, owner of Georgetown Square Wine and Liquor, says it’s a growing problem as more consumers bypass their local stores to shop for wine online. Glamuzina found his customers were bringing in counterfeit wines they’d purchased online believing they were the real deal.

He realized that once consumers were hit, reputable dealers and retailers were also victims. He turned to technology to create a safeguard that assures buyers the product is authentic.

His tech tool, Prosurix, uses near field communication (NFC) technology to assure the customer that the content reflects what is stated on the label — and implied by the price tag.

The NFC chip is embedded into a label, which the manufacturer applies to each bottle. Wine buyers can download the free app (from either Google Play or the Apple Store), scan the label, and verify authenticity immediately. The wine retailer and the consumer will know right away if it’s legit.

“The chip can’t be written over,” says Glamuzina. If it’s damaged, it’s a red flag that the bottle may be compromised.

In addition to snuffing out counterfeit wines, Prosurix delivers a wealth of information. By scanning the NFC, the app can call up video from the vineyard where the wine is grown; suggest food pairings; or deliver viticulture information.

It’s a next-gen method of blending consumer protection with information and metrics. It creates two-way communication, too: The consumer can post and share comments about the wine. Hello citizen sommelier, goodbye faux-jolais.

Glamuzina hired a local chief technology officer — Jeff Murphy — to develop a proprietary algorithm that’s the foundation of the patented product. Prosurix began rolling out last month for clients in California and Washington state wine-producing regions. Glamuzina said wine makers have been very receptive to the prospect of having their products protected, and by having new ways to deliver marketing messages directly to consumers. “Other companies are scanning wine labels, but nothing else is authenticating products in this way,” said Glamuzina.

Prosurix isn’t limited to wine.

“Anything can be counterfeited,” says Glamuzina. “This technology can be spun out to other products, too, like medical devices or pharmaceuticals. There is great interest in rolling this out to other products. It’s just a matter of time.”

Prosurix App: Authenticating your Alcohol

A Western New Yorker has made it his mission to spot real from fake alcohol and he made an app so you can, too.

Author: Stephanie Barnes

Published: 7:53 AM EST February 21, 2018

Whether it's bubbly, liquor or wine, when you open a bottle, you are probably focused on the smell, listening for the fizz or noticing those tannins and notes.

You are probably not wondering if what you are about to pour is phony.

"Counterfeiting is becoming very prevalent in today's marketplace," Steve Glamuzina, creator of the app Prosurix, said.

Counterfeiting alcohol can include imitating or refilling a bottle with a cheaper variety.

It is difficult to pinpoint exact statistics of the problem due to the nature of counterfeiting but there are a handful of high profile cases. Take, for instance, an LA Times report on a wine collector charged for attempting to sell $1.3 million in fake French Burgundy.

This problem does not show up just in rare wines. Commercial wine can be counterfeited, too.

"Would you spend $250 for a bottle of wine to find out it's not real," Glamuzina asked.

Probably not.

So, Glamuzina set out to spot the difference between what is real and what is fake and he created the app, Prosurix, so you can, too.

It uses a chip to track booze from bottling to production to retail.

"The chips cannot be overwritten," Glamuzina explained. "They cannot be copied. So that allows for authenticity."

Glamuzina has been working on Prosurix for two years and said you can use the app on about 2,000 brands. Look for the Prosurix tag on the bottle, indicating the chip.

Some of the brands include Chauteu St. Michelle in Washington State all the way to Lockhouse Distillery in Buffalo.

"This is all developed in Buffalo," Glamuzina said. "This is all working with companies in Buffalo. So from that aspect, it is Buffalo based, Buffalo born and it is going to be Buffalo great."

Prosurix can also be used as a marketing tool for producers. They can add a personalized video message that pops up when the bottle is scanned.

Prosurix is launching nationally Tuesday and Wednesday at the U.S. Beverage Trade Show in Washington D.C.

You can download the app for free on Apple and Android phones.

Prosurix, a Solution for Authenticating Wine & Spirits, Set to Launch Nationally

Buffalo, NY – Before you uncork your next bottle of wine or pour your favorite spirit, are you sure the product is what the label says it is? Prosurix is an app designed to help eliminate counterfeit merchandise sales while also educating consumers on the selected product. Prosurix makes its national debut at the U.S. Wine & Beverage Industry Expo February 21-22 in Washington, DC.

The International Chamber of Commerce’s projected value of global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods was $1.77 trillion in 2015. Industry experts and media reports estimate approximately 20% of wine sold globally may be fake.

Founded in June 2015 by Steve Glamuzina, owner of Georgetown Square Wine and Liquor in Williamsville, NY, Prosurix features patented anti-counterfeiting technology designed to help secure products and give customers fast and easy information on the selected wine or spirit at the point of purchase.

“The selling of counterfeit wines and spirits, especially online, has become a big business,” said Glamuzina. “While sometimes spotting fake products can be obvious, for the regular consumer they may think they are just getting a good deal. Prosurix provides a solution to ensure the authenticity of the product and providing specific product details to consumers at the point of sale.”

Using near field communication (NFC) technology, manufacturers can track a bottle from the time of bottling to its retail purchase. A Prosurix tag is attached at the time of bottling and encoded with a unique encrypted ID. The placement of the Prosurix tag is designed to make it impossible for would-be counterfeiters to compromise a legitimate bottle. As the bottle travels from bottling to distribution to retail and ultimately to the consumer, the Prosurix tag is scanned at every entry and exit enabling the product to be tracked in real time both for the manufacturer to ensure authenticity and track inventory.

By downloading the Prosurix app free from either Google Play or the Apple Store, consumers can also scan the bottle to receive more information on the product prior to purchase, including video content and product reviews to enhance the shopping experience. Future additions to the app will include a history of products purchased, food pairing suggestions and more.

Over the past year, Prosurix has been piloted locally at Georgetown Square Wine and Liquor and with Lockhouse Distillery.

“Lockhouse Distillery has been working with Prosurix since almost the beginning, providing feedback on inventory and marketing needs and beta testing the app,” said Cory Muscato, partner and current distillery manager, Lockhouse Distillery. “We find a lot of value in Prosuirx’s direct to consumer marketing as we are able to share details about the product including fun videos and recipes that we normally couldn’t fit on the label. In addition, from an inventory management standpoint, Prosurix generates metrics and data on who is buying and where they are purchasing our products.”

“While Prosurix’s initial launch has been focused on the wine and spirit industry, the technology has the potential to be used in other items that may be subject to counterfeiting,” added Glamunzia.

State Department Issues Mexico Travel Warning About Tainted Alcohol

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/CBS News) – The U.S. State Department is now warning Americans to consume alcohol in moderation while visiting Mexico, and to get medical help if they feel sick while drinking in the country.

This new warning stems from allegations of tainted alcohol being served at some five-star all-inclusive Mexican resorts.

“It’s something we definitely need to look out for while we are there,” said Nathan Waddell who is traveling to Guadalajara, Mexico for the first time.

While there, he and his wife plan to visit Tequila, Mexico, where most of the Tequila in the world is made.

In January, Abbey Conner and her family arrived at Paradiso del Mar for their vacation. It’s one of the 10 Iberostar Hotel & Resort locations in Mexico.

By dinner time, Abbey and her 22-year-old brother Austin were reportedly found unconscious in the pool after drinking at the resort bar. Both were taken to the hospital. Abbey died days later.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports dozens of other people also claim to have been sickened by bad alcohol at Mexican resorts, and some of them also blacked out.

According to CBS News, more than 1.4 million gallons of tainted alcohol has been seized in Mexico since 2010. Some of the counterfeit alcohol is said to contain pure industrial ethanol — an ingredient used in many rubbing alcohols.

Iberostar Hotels and Resorts told CBS News they “only purchase sealed bottles that satisfy all standards.”

The state department tells CBS News that people who become sick after drinking in Mexico should immediately contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. The Iberostar hotel chain’s management also said they were deeply saddened by the incident and that the safety and satisfaction of their guests is of the utmost importance.

Feds are losing the war on fake Super Bowl merchandise

 

Chicago Tribuine 

By: Spencer Soper and Scott Soshnick

February 2nd 2017

On Thursday, law enforcement officials will unveil piles of counterfeit jerseys, baseball caps, jackets and other sports merchandise seized in the previous year from online vendors, flea markets and stadium parking lots. Operation Team Player, timed for Super Bowl 51 on Sunday, makes for good TV and is designed to publicize the growing prevalence of fakes.

It's a problem that's getting worse and harder to control.

Last year, the U.S. government seized $1.38 billion in counterfeit goods. More than half of that arrived via express courier and international mail. Why? Because fakes increasingly are being bought online-largely at Amazon.com and EBay - and often shipped direct to Americans' homes in individual packages.

As a result, officials must find counterfeits one-at-a-time in a stream of 250 million individual packages entering the country each year. "Shoppers can buy things online direct from China and everything comes through the mail," says Matthew Bourke, a spokesman for the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, part of the Department of Homeland Security. "It makes enforcement incredibly difficult."

 

Fake Wine Is A Billion Dollar Market And Here Are The Ways To Identify Them

Source: Forbes

Jeannie Cho Lee

February 17th

 

I spent two full days at Wine Fraud's wine authentication training classes in Hong Kong in early February 2017.

I walked in vaguely aware of how serious a problem wine fraud was around the world, but I walked out with a very clear picture of how easy it is to fake wine and why it is so prevalent.

The total value of fake wine according to Maureen Downey, one of the foremost experts on fake wine who was leading the wine authentication classes, is around $3 billion.

The value of just one fraudster, Rudy Kurniawan, currently serving time in jail, is valued at around $550 million. Then, if you add others such as Kahled Rouabah, Enzio and Nicola Lucca and Alex Anikin who were caught and whose wines are also circulating in the market, you can imagine how quickly this number can grow.

Sometimes fake wines are obvious - clearly misspelled wine names, errors on the label and overt inconsistencies in the packaging. Downey says the Asian market is flooded with many types and levels of fakes. For example, brands may be copied with just a slight change to its name; for example Penfolds as 'Penfoids'. It is very similar to the situation that the U.S.A was in in the 2000's when we had little education and lots of disposable income."

Another level of fake wines is the "special bottling" when a legitimate bottle is refilled with a less or cheaper wine. This type is among the easiest to identify according to Downey. She points to the fact that authentic bottles will have older corks, labels and capsules. "Counterfeiters often get things very wrong with their alleged 'refilled' bottles," explains Downy.

Using a jeweler's loupe provided to us during the class, we were able to see how different high quality printed labels are from the cheaper inkjet-printed labels. With a naked eye, it is difficult to see, but with a magnifying glass, it is crystal clear. Other details on the label also give fake wines away - the details and colors on the label, as well as the images and letters are much sharper in authentic labels.

There are now a growing number of anti-fraud technologies being used by top wineries and I ask Downey how reliable these new technologies are and which are the best.

"I do not believe in any single layer solution," says Downey. "Too many of the 'tech solutions' are really nothing more than cosmetic assurances that can and will be counterfeited in the near future. All technology can potentially be hacked or reverse-engineered." She says her team has seen wines being taken out by Coravin, a tool used to take wine out without removing the cork, and refilled with other wines. A handy tool enjoyed by sommeliers is meant to allow small pours without having to open the bottle, thereby preserving it, can also be used to create fake wines!

Prooftag bubble tags, a security seal used on bottles to authenticate wines, are used by top properties such as Chateau Lafite Rothschild. According to Downey however, Prooftag has "proven to fall off over time, and can be peeled off."

So what can you trust? One of the most reliable clues is the label. Downey says, "Look for the type of paper that is used, ink, microprinting, textures, cutouts, and layering of these together have shown the hardest for counterfeiters to recreate." It is an inexpensive way for wine producers to make their labels difficult or impossible to replicate. This has limitation too, though since the bottle can be refilled and the original label kept intact. In this case, the cork and capsule provide clues.

The best way to keep ahead of fraudsters is to be wary of fake wines: Know when wine region (appellation) laws came into effect, be aware of bottle type, color and size used in different eras and markets, know the years of when new technology like laser printing and different standard bottles became widely used, keep up to date on anti-fraud technology including micro-writing and holograms used by top wineries and understand the materials used in different time periods for packaging wine. Also invest in some inexpensive gadgets like the handy jeweler's loupe, which is now permanently in my bag.

When an empty bottle is worth $300

When an Empty Wine Bottle Is Worth $300

 

One man's trash is another's counterfeit gold.

 

Source: Bloomberg

by Kate Krader

January 19, 2017

 

It's a big time for fakes. Fake news. Fake art. Fake handbags. Fake sushi in L.A.

 

And increasingly the focus is turning to the reality of fake wines. A few years back, a report in a French newspaper, Sud Ouest, estimated that 20 percent of wines might be fake. That's a huge number; experts doubt it's that high, but it still indicates a growing concern. The problem is biggest in China, because of it's exploding wine market, which is projected to be a $69.3 billion business by 2019, an 81 percent increase over four years.

 

In 2016, Italian authorities seized 9,000 bottles of fake Moët Chandon. Discovered in a shed in Padua in northern Italy, the faux Champagne-actually sparkling table wine-had a retail value of $375,000. There was also a cache of 40,000 fake Moët labels, worth close to $2 million. The Italian police are becoming expert at spotting fake wines. Two years earlier, they seized 30,000 bottles of counterfeit Brunello and Chianti Classico in a raid in central Italy.

 

But the most notable cases of counterfeit wine involve extremely high-end bottles, and the man behind the priciest swindles is getting increased media attention these days. In 2014, Rudy Kurniawan was sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling victims, among them the businessman Bill Koch, more than $20 million in fake wine. (Koch now fights fake wine directly.) Insiders describe a kitchen that he turned into a fake wine factory, filling up bottles that he'd drunk at restaurants; he had the empties sent back to him, he said for trophies. Among the tip-offs: Collectors reported that bottles they had previously seen only once or twice in their lives-a '59 Romanée-Conti, for example-flooding the market.

 

Wine writer Mark Oldman, whose most recent book is How to Drink Like a Billionaire, has been studying the phenomenon. Oldman is obsessed with the intersection between wine and crime (he purchased prestige bottles from Bernie Madoff's asset auction and opened them on the anniversary of his arrest). Oldman has turned his criminal-seeking attention to Kurniawan: "I went to his sentencing hearing, just for fun," said Oldman. "In the 'insider' glossary in my book, I include the term 'Rudy wine,' because it's part of the conversation. Even before his fraud was uncovered, he was known as 'Dr. Conti.'"

 

Last fall, a detailed documentary was released about Kurniawan exploits called Sour Grapes; it's now available on Netflix, and Koch has appeared in Q&As following screenings. Later this year, the USA Network is scheduled to air a series called Connoisseur that details the exploits of a man who sells fake wine to wealthy collectors.

 

Although it might make for good drama, wineries are taking increased steps to fight the problem directly.

 

Following tastings for the press of vintages of Romanée-Conti, an employee will put an X through the label of any open bottles so no one can try to reuse them. In Australia, some top producers, such as Penfolds, smash bottles after tastings.

 

The prestigious Château Palmer does two things to combat fraud. Since 2009, it has embossed the bottom of each bottle with the name "Château Palmer." And along with other top wineries, such as Lafite-Rothschild and Ornellaia from Italy, it has begun using something called a Bubble Tag. This sticker-like strip is affixed over both the foil covering the cork and and the glass of the bottle with a unique, random pattern of bubbles, as well as an alphanumeric code and a QR code, which act as a unique fingerprint for each bottle. When you scan the code, you'll get verification.

 

Some of the empty bottles on Oldman's drying rack are worth $1,000 to counterfeiters.Photographer: Brandon Murphy/Bloomberg

And for collectors, websites such as WineFraud.com are educating consumers on how to spot and avoid fakes.

 

Oldman, for his part, has a devoted space in his apartment called the Felony Room that includes a bottle-drying rack festooned with empties from such prestige producers as Jayer and La Tâche (he has 30 empties of '96 La Tâche alone). He estimates that he has about 90 empty bottles that are worthwhile to the criminally minded-at a conservative estimate, they're worth $300 each, for a black market value of $27,000. Counterfeiters beware: Dropcam cameras and motion sensors keep them safe, for anyone who might be tempted.

 

 

 

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