Award-winning viticulturist and winemaker Dr Irina Santiago-Brown has designed a new winery management app for smaller wineries called Cellar Chimp.
Cellar Chimp began its life as a small Covid lockdown project.
Ten months of development later, Cellar Chimp is now giving small winemakers the IT resources of big wineries at a fraction of the hassle and expense.
Co-founder Dudley Brown said, “Cellar Chimp levels the playing field for all of us chimps in the winemaking game.”
Irina designed her secure Cellar Chimp app to use smart phone cameras and QR codes to label and store all of a winery’s information.
“QR codes have been around for a long time but it was only during lockdown that we realised how useful they could be in the winery,” she said.
“While tape, markers and five colours of chalk usually work, they don’t have a memory and still need to be recorded somewhere. And, tape falls off and chalk smudges.”
The Chimp remembers everything for you in one place so you don’t have to.
“When we’re in the winery, we’re not sitting at a PC, we’re working,” Irina said.
“A mobile is the only way to work efficiently today.
“Cellar Chimp displays all of your information on any device wherever you are and whenever you need it. Whether you’re in the the vineyard, the road, your office or the winery, you can plan, communicate and follow your team’s work.”
Using a seamless and easy-to-use interface, Cellar Chimp helps your team capture, record and look up everything they need to do their jobs.
Alex Head of Head Wines in Barossa Valley has been using Cellar Chimp as a beta customer.
“As a one-man operation spread out over two home bases, many different vineyards and two wineries, Cellar Chimp allows me to stay in touch with everything that’s happening just by glancing at my phone,” he said.
“I can keep track of ferments and plan the next day’s work for my team from wherever I am so that I can be in the vineyard making sure I get our fruit at the exact right time.
“When I’m in the winery or cellar, all I do is point my phone at a ferment or barrel and everything I want to know comes up automatically. It’s like having a personal assistant who never sleeps!”
The Chimp not only automates your wine data, winery processes, additions, storage vessel information and history, it also communicates between team members from grape receivals to bottling planning.
It remembers everything from grape tonnages and wine volumes, harvest data, to ferment and malo graphs, lab data, barrel and tank inventories, blending decisions, bottling quantities and dry good requirements in one easy-to-use place.
It keeps track of pressing, racking and topping quantities (including spills and the angel’s share), lees and additions. It even tracks and compares your picking dates over the years by variety and/or block.
Dr Irina Santiago-Brown is the author and system designer of the web-based Sustainable Australia Wine Growing (SAW) system, inaugural winner of the Women in Wine Viticulturalist of the Year Award in 2015 and Winemaker at Inkwell and Dub Style Wines in McLaren Vale.