VIVANT is an progressive 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 observe 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 courtroom 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 typical farming that depletes the earth’s soils, creates harmful runoff, and contributes unnecessarily to international warming,” he provides.
The affect of the lockdown on wine tourism
When worldwide journey got here to a digital halt throughout the pandemic, wine tourism was hit exhausting. The financial affect 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, a web based 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 international locations reporting had fewer guests post-pandemic, based on a spring 2021 survey of over 1400 wineries carried out by WineTourism.com in collaboration with Geisenheim College.
One lifebuoy that emerged, nevertheless, 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 shocking that Baum’s subsequent act would construct upon his experience in know-how and push the envelope, making digital wine tastings greater and higher. His lofty objective: constructing a extra sustainable future for the business.
Baum goals to teach the subsequent technology of shoppers concerning the significance of natural wines by permitting them to “journey the world of wine with out leaving house…with out the carbon footprint, price and trouble of bodily journey.”
Every participant in a guided VIVANT wine expertise receives a tasting package (mailed on to their house) with six completely different natural or biodynamic wines packaged in 100ml tubes. Proper-sized for 2 individuals, the kits are designed to permit wine fanatics and even novice customers to construct their tasting expertise and uncover their wine preferences.
The interactive experiences (accessible stay and on-demand) are led by knowledgeable Wine Advisors affording individuals the chance to study a area, its wines and winemakers by way of displays, movies, quizzes and questions.
With stunning images and maps, the platform additionally permits them to journey nearly, 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 extra experiences from the wine areas of Italy and Spain.
If somebody discovers a wine they love, most of which aren’t more likely to be accessible 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 tough for the voices of natural winemakers to be heard,” says Baum. “Massive wine owns the business communications and messaging. Leveraging know-how is the way in which for accountable producers to have an outsized affect on the business and its future.”
The platform is a approach to introduce shoppers to the “good things,” he says, wines they by no means knew existed which are higher for his or her well being and the atmosphere.
Commenting on the expansion of digital wine tastings, normally, Ridoff of WineTourism.com says, “I’m satisfied an increasing number of wineries will understand the potential of this pretty new advertising and income channel.”