VIVANT is an revolutionary wine expertise platform, the brainchild of Michael Baum, a Silicon Valley tech pioneer and serial entrepreneur. Baum was one of many founders of the software program firm Splunk (SPLK) who determined to comply with his ardour and get entangled in a wine enterprise.
A dedication to sustainability
In 2014, this professed wine lover, his spouse, and twin sons grew to become the fifth household to steward Château de Pommard, based in 1726 by a noble within the court docket of Louis XV. This made the Carabello-Baum household the primary American house owners of a wine château in Burgundy.
Constructing on the household’s dedication to biodiversity and environmental regeneration, the vineyard started its conversion to biodynamic viticulture in 2016 with the assistance of winemaker Emmanuel Sala. Inside three years, its Clos Marey-Monge wines have been their first classic to obtain natural certification.
“Solely 3% of world wine manufacturing is natural,” says Baum. “Viticulture is a monoculture reliant on standard farming that depletes the earth’s soils, creates harmful runoff, and contributes unnecessarily to world warming,” he provides.
The influence of the lockdown on wine tourism
When worldwide journey got here to a digital halt throughout the pandemic, wine tourism was hit arduous. The financial influence on many areas (in Europe and elsewhere) the place guests typically couple their journeys to wineries and vineyards with visits to historic and cultural websites was devastating.
“By locking down bodily motion and interplay, the pandemic accelerated a shift to digitalized options for providers and items in lots of industries,” says Niklas Ridoff, CEO of WineTourism.com, an internet reserving platform for tasting and excursions in wine areas across the globe. “Wine tourism was no exception,” he says.
Greater than two-thirds (72%) of the wineries reporting from 42 nations reporting had fewer guests post-pandemic, in accordance with a spring 2021 survey of over 1400 wineries performed by WineTourism.com in collaboration with Geisenheim College.
One lifebuoy that emerged, nonetheless, was the expansion of digital wine experiences. These are usually wine tasting and academic experiences sponsored by a number of winemakers, which normally happen over a video conferencing platform (e.g. Zoom).
The identical survey discovered that about one-third (36%) of the wineries reporting launched on-line tastings due to COVID-19; solely 3% had organized them earlier than the pandemic.
Like wine tourism, on-line wine experiences give visibility to wineries (particularly smaller ones), improve model recognition, introduce their merchandise to new audiences and enhance gross sales.
The launch of a brand new wine expertise platform
It isn’t stunning that Baum’s subsequent act would construct upon his experience in expertise and push the envelope, making digital wine tastings greater and higher. His lofty purpose: constructing a extra sustainable future for the trade.
Baum goals to coach the following era of customers concerning the significance of natural wines by permitting them to “journey the world of wine with out leaving dwelling…with out the carbon footprint, price and trouble of bodily journey.”
Every participant in a guided VIVANT wine expertise receives a tasting equipment (mailed on to their dwelling) with six completely different natural or biodynamic wines packaged in 100ml tubes. Proper-sized for 2 folks, the kits are designed to permit wine fans and even novice customers to construct their tasting expertise and uncover their wine preferences.
The interactive experiences (out there dwell and on-demand) are led by skilled Wine Advisors affording contributors the chance to study a area, its wines and winemakers via shows, movies, quizzes and questions.
With stunning images and maps, the platform additionally permits them to journey just about, taking a deep dive into wineries and provincial villages in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace, Loire, Champagne and Provence whereas they sip their sustainable wines. VIVANT will quickly develop to incorporate further experiences from the wine areas of Italy and Spain.
If somebody discovers a wine they love, most of which aren’t prone to be out there on the cabinets of native wine shops, they’ll order full-size bottles on the VIVANT company website.
Serving to natural winemakers and producers
“It’s troublesome for the voices of natural winemakers to be heard,” says Baum. “Huge wine owns the trade communications and messaging. Leveraging expertise is the best way for accountable producers to have an outsized influence on the trade and its future.”
The platform is a strategy to introduce customers to the “good things,” he says, wines they by no means knew existed which can be higher for his or her well being and the surroundings.
Commenting on the expansion of digital wine tastings, normally, Ridoff of WineTourism.com says, “I’m satisfied increasingly wineries will understand the potential of this pretty new advertising and marketing and income channel.”