May 4, 2016
TWO Barossa brothers have transformed the wine industry with their innovative bottle closure.
Simon and Joshua Schmidt have designed a screwcap closure with a small, push-activated compartment within the cap, which can add or remove flavours and reduce preservatives to make it healthier, allowing consumers to tailor their wine to their own tastes.
The pair’s start-up company, Vinnovate, has revolutionised the way wine is enjoyed and can also change the game for other beverages.
“Being able to customise beverages is the next big consumer trend and we believe our innovation can positively impact how people enjoy and consume wine,” Joshua said.
“Our new closure adds a functional element to wine packaging – it means the consumer can tailor their wine to their own personal tastes, whether that’s to reduce the effects of preservatives in wine or to subtly enhance the flavour.
“We believe consumers should have a choice and that’s something that makes our product unique.”
Recently, the pair won first prize in the Brancott Estate Winexplorer Innovation Challenge, defeating around 100 entrants and being the only South Australian finalists.
The Winexplorer Challenge searched for innovations set to impact the global wine industry, by changing the way consumers experience wine, with the winners receiving a $35,000 cash prize.
This follows the acquisition of a UniSA Venture Catalyst grant last year, which allowed them to establish their industry-transforming company, Vinnovate.
“We believe that the Winexplorer Challenge has validated our idea and it now gives us a springboard from which to go forward,” Joshua said.
“There were some great companies involved, so we’re thrilled to be taking an all-South Australian wine innovation to the world.
“While it is still early days, the companies and industry leaders we’ve been speaking to are taking note of the trend towards consumer customisation and they’ve been extremely positive about what we’ve created.”
Australian Master of Wine, Phil Reedman, says the new closure is a breakthrough.
“Wine can be a pretty staid business, but their solution, which gives wine drinkers the option to reduce preservatives in their product, offers a breakthrough innovation,” Mr Reedman said.
Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher says the State Government has been proud to support Vinnovate by providing $100,000 in Micro Finance Fund and Venture Catalyst grants.
“At a time when South Australia’s economy is transitioning from traditional manufacturing to high-tech and high-value manufacturing, companies such as Vinnovate are setting the standard for our innovators and entrepreneurs,” Mr Maher said.