Auckland 5 November 2018
Wine Grenade, the wine maturation start-up, has appointed Sydney-based business-technology executive Phil Ridley as a non executive director. Currently CIO of Mojo Power, a new type of digital energy retailer whose technology allows customers to make better decisions about their energy use, Phil’s career includes senior roles in emerging technology companies including IoT, in both large business and start-up environments.
Chair Brett O’Riley says “Phil’s technology and commercial skills, and industry networks will assist our international expansion, particularly in Australia, while his experience in wireless internet will accelerate Wine Grenade’s strategy to add value to data captured by our devices during wine maturation.”
Phil’s previous roles include Chief Technologist, Major Accounts for HP Enterprise Services, CIO at Australian Power & Gas, CTO at Ubowireless, a multi-award winning analytics and business efficiency suite, and GM of Technical Operations for Unwired Australia, a challenger 3/4G wireless broadband carrier. He was CTO for seven years at Unwired Australia, part of Seven Network, leading its technology transition to 4G.
Phil says "Wine Grenade's technology is an exciting development for wine producers. Using the power of advanced analytics and precision oxygen level management, wine producers have more control than ever over the quality and flavour of wine that they produce, year after year. Through my involvement in a winery in one of Australia's premium wine producing areas, I recognise that technology such as this has far reaching and positive implications."
A Fellow of Engineers Australia, Phil holds a BE (Hons) Computer Engineering, University of Newcastle, and Graduate Diploma of Management from Deakin University. He is the author of several international patents, and is a recipient of 5 Australian National Engineering Excellence awards including the prestigious Bradfield Award.
Wine Grenade Chief Product Officer Hamish Elmslie talks to Wine & Viticulture Journal.
He was asked to give his thoughts on modern winemaking techniques, and how winemakers can truly replicate barrel maturation at volume inside steel tanks.
See below for an excerpt from the publication.
We are very excited to announce that we have appointed an exclusive North American distributor and established a new executive role in the USA as we ramp up production of our micro-ox and data solution.
The distribution deal with Enartis USA gives Wine Grenade immediate access to a sales network selling a complimentary portfolio of winemaking products, analytical services and winery technology throughout North America. Enartis USA is part Esseco Group, a global manufacturer of wine making and enology products.
José Santos, President and CEO of Enartis USA says: “We found in Wine Grenade the perfect partner to complement our offering in micro-oxygenation and better serve small-to-medium sized wineries. We believe that micro-oxygenation is a key technology in modern winemaking, and adding Wine Grenade to our portfolio of micro-ox systems makes it available for wineries of all sizes in a cost effective way”.
Hamish Elmslie, CEO, says “Enartis USA is a highly respected name in winemaking products and lab services, and has also been a leading supplier of micro-oxygenation systems in North America since 2011. As a partner they will provide the scale, market knowledge and on the ground support we need to reach more customers.”
Wine makers in eight countries are now using the Wine Grenade and to support Enartis USA and other international opportunities, Wine Grenade’s Board has also announced an expanded executive team, effective from June.
Co-founder and current CEO Hamish Elmslie will relocate to California as Chief Product Officer. Hamish, who has led the company as CEO since 2014 after a career in banking, will continue as a Director.
Co-founder and director Jonathan Boswell will take on the role of Managing Director, guiding R&D, production and Australasian sales from the company’s Avondale manufacturing base. Jonathan has a background in law and banking and holds a Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship from the University of Auckland. He was most recently CEO of Auckland firm TGT Legal.
Brett O’Riley, Chair of Wine Grenade, says “As the company expands overseas we are scaling up the team to pursue our growth strategy while retaining vital product knowledge within the business. Creating a new Chief Product Officer role based in the USA, will help collaboration with our new strategic partner Enartis while putting us in striking distance of key markets in Europe.”
In March Wine Grenade received a $438,000 Callaghan Innovation co-funding grant for product development including capturing the benefits of data and IoT in the winery. Last month, in May, the product was recognised with an INNOVATION + QUALITY Award at IQ 2018, the annual Napa Valley forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality.
Jonathan Boswell, co-founder, says “Our product has been tested and endorsed by the US wine making industry and now is the time to invest in that market. I’m looking forward to working alongside Hamish and our team as the company enters full production and commercialisation.”
Wine Grenade’s vision is to provide winemakers with the insights they need to consistently make great wine, year after year. In December 2017 it released customer dashboards, providing real-time data about critical device information such as oxygen release rates, tank and cellar temperatures, tank headspace and membrane pressure levels as well as the battery life, wifi signal strength and amount of oxygen remaining.
About Enartis USA
Beginning as the pioneering Vinquiry Wine Laboratory in the early days of the modern US wine industry, Enartis USA is now a leading supplier of premium winemaking products to the North American Wine Industry and provides high-quality analytical services through its network of laboratories.
The ISO 17025:005 Accreditation of our main laboratory in Windsor, CA verifies the high-quality of analytical services that we provide our clients, which range from basic chemistry testing to most recent analytical technologies such as Real Time Quantitative PCR (PCR Panels), oak aroma compounds analysis and grape and wine phenolics analysis (Phenolic Fingerprint), among many others.
In January of 2009, Vinquiry Wine Labs became part of the multi-national company Esseco Group, which manufactures the Enartis range of premium winemaking products. Being part of the world leading manufacturer of winemaking products has allowed us to incorporate advanced technology and develop tailored solutions for the US wine industry. Enartis USA is a leading supplier of winemaking products, with the capabilities to meet the needs of wineries of all sizes. www.enartis.com.
Wine Grenade has been recognised with an INNOVATION + QUALITY Award during IQ 2018, an annual Napa Valley forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality.
IQ2018 takes place in the off season and it’s a great time for wine makers to take stock of their plans for enhancing their business before harvest takes every moment of their waking day.
Just five products were hand selected by the I+Q Advisory Board and the Wine Business Monthly editorial team. Alongside the Wine Grenade are technologies for quickly mixing fermenting musts, improving filtration, measuring in-tank temperature and forecasting irrigation needs.
According to the judges we were selected for our appeal to small to mid-sized wineries, taking an expensive, large-winery process and making it accessible to all.
As Curtis Phillips, senior technical editor at Wine Business Monthly says, "The Wine Grenade is easy to set up, easy to use, and, when combined with the Wine Grenade dashboard app, it gives the winemaker realtime data wherever he/she has access to the Internet. Wine Grenade truly brings micro-oxygenation within the reach of smaller producers."
Recognition by industry experts at the heart of West Coast wine making proves we are being noticed in the right places and for the right reasons. While micro-ox is an established process, we felt that small and medium size wineries – those producing up to 50,000 cases - were missing out on its potential benefits because of cost.
A big thanks to WineBusiness Monthly for featuring us in the April edition. It's an honor to be recognised as an exciting new innovation in the wine industry.
We've been attending Unified Symposium for four years now. In 2018 we had our own booth and we were overwhelmed with the response to our innovative Wine Maturation solution.
Auckland, 24 January 2018 - Wine Grenade, the wine maturation start-up, has recruited technology executive Brett O’Riley to its Board. The appointment of Brett, who also becomes Chairperson, strengthens Wine Grenade’s commercialization capabilities as the company expands into new wine growing territories and leverages data captured during maturation.
Brett has extensive experience in IT, innovation strategy and international business development. Most recently CEO of Auckland’s economic growth agency ATEED for five years, Brett was previously Deputy Chief Executive, Business Innovation and Investments for the Ministry of Science + Innovation, and founding CEO of the NZICT Group (now called NZ Tech) which represents New Zealand’s leading technology companies. He is an experienced technology company director and has also held senior roles during 14 years with companies within the Telecom group (now Spark) including Southern Cross Cable Network.
Brett’s current governance roles include directorships at drone noise cancellation start-up Dotterel Technologies, New Zealand Film Commission, Baseball NZ and Bowls NZ. Brett also works in an advisory capacity to a number of companies including Innovation Capital. A dedicated advocate for technology in education, Brett is a founding member of the Board of Trustees of Manaiakalani Education Trust.
“In order to exploit IoT opportunities in the global wine industry, we need to bring in additional skills, experience and networks. We are fortunate to have Brett’s contribution and knowledge to accelerate our growth at a time when Wine Grenade is rapidly expanding and raising capital to do so, says Hamish Elmslie, CEO.
Wine Grenade commercializes IP from New Zealand’s Plant & Food Research in a connected device which allows winemakers to cost effectively replicate the traditional oak barrel ageing process by delivering precise amounts of oxygen through a permeable membrane - a process known as micro-oxygenation.
The company is also exploring opportunities to capitalise on the unique location of its sensors inside the wine tanks and has just completed Vodafone Xone, a six-month long accelerator for data and IoT start- ups.
“Wine Grenade is leveraging New Zealand’s strengths in horticulture IP and high-tech manufacturing to target an identifiable high value market opportunity. I’m thrilled to be working alongside Hamish, the other founders, and the existing investor group, to make the most of this opportunity,” says Brett.
Founded in 2014, the company is now selling devices to wine makers in eight countries and is building out its distributor network, appointing its first resellers in Chile and Argentina late last year.
Wine Grenade CEO Hamish Elmslie gives a quick rundown on some recent developments in the lead up to Unified Symposium.
We're very excited to announce that Wine Grenade customers can now visualise what is happening inside their tanks through our web-based dashboards, available on laptop, mobile phone or tablet. These dashboards give winemakers instant access to the data recorded by their micro-oxygenation devices during maturation.
The real time data shows the oxygen release rate, tank and cellar temperature and tank headspace pressure as well as the status of battery and oxygen canister levels. This development represents the first stage in our vision to provide winemakers with the insights they need to make consistently great wine, year after year.
The dashboards are launched as The Wine Grenade expands its presence into eight countries in North and South America, Europe and Australasia, with devices most recently adopted by winemakers in France, Spain, Belgium, Canada and Mexico. The company continues adding to its distributor network, including in South America.
“The dashboard puts the Wine Grenade’s live data into the hands of winemakers on a laptop, mobile device or tablet so they can easily check the status of a device. The dashboards will evolve as more wineries adopt micro-oxygenation and our devices become integral to their winemaking,” says Hamish Elmslie, Wine Grenade CEO and co-founder.
‘Wine Grenades’ allow winemakers to replicate the traditional oak barrel ageing process by delivering precise amounts of oxygen through a permeable membrane - a process known as micro-oxygenation. The Wine Grenade is an Internet of Things (IoT) device which measures data that winemakers use to make decisions.
A great article by Grape Grower and Winemaker on what makes the Wine Grenade so unique and such an exciting product for 21st Century winemakers.
Read "The Bomb for Micro-Oxygenation."
Vodafone has recognised the potential for Wine Grenade to disrupt the wine maturation industry with internet connected devices by offering a place in the 2017 Vodafone Xone program.
Read the full story on the NBR website.
About Wine Grenade
Wine Grenade is wine maturation, redefined. This blog will keep you up to date with our business and provide some thoughtful commentary on the art of winemaking.