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Startups Bolster Australian Wine Supply Sector

By Friday 7 July 2017August 23rd, 2018No Comments
Aerotech UAV

A 70 percent increase in nominations for the prestigious 2017 Wine Industry IMPACT Awards reflects a vibrant and positive outlook for the sector, with a sharp increase in the involvement of startup enterprises.

Introduced by Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) in 2016, the awards celebrate business excellence and innovation in improving the competitiveness and capability of the nation’s grape and wine industry.

WISA executive officer Matthew Moate says the awards showcase proven and practical concepts, technologies, services and solutions in one of the nation’s most dynamic sectors.

“Judged by industry experts, the awards are based on nominations across categories including grapegrowing, winemaking, engineering, packaging, distribution and logistics, marketing and communications and tourism,” Matt says.

“This year we are excited to introduce a Startup category recognising entrepreneurial and newly emerging ventures or micro businesses that have developed outstanding products, processes or services.

“The Startup Award category reflects the visionary and progressive nature of the grape and wine industry that supports 45,000 jobs, $12.2 billion in output, and $5.5 billion in value-add to the Australian economy.

“The IMPACT Awards significantly raise the profile of nominees and winners. The awards presentation – to be held at the Adelaide Town Hall on Thursday 19 October – is being hailed as the new ‘go to’ annual event for the grape and wine industry.

“The 70 percent rise in nominations for the 2017 awards has been driven in part by the encouraging and engaging response from those in the start-up sector and that is a very exciting trend.”

Following is an overview of each Start Up nominee:

Aerotech UAV (Startup/Grapegrowing)
The company has developed specialist skills in drone sourced imagery and data tailored to the viticulture sector. Grid pattern imagery is gathered from unmanned aerial vehicles at various times of the growth cycle from budburst to flowering, onset of ripening, pre and post harvest. An innovative process allows the data to be uploaded and easily interpreted to provide indicators of crop health, disease detection, irrigation and nutrient management and yield prediction while assisting in harvest planning. Drone operation allows cost efficient, closer and more precise imagery with a unique and user-friendly platform for growers and vineyard managers to interpret and act on the data.

Aerotech UAV

Aerotech UAV

Maxi Cut (Startup/Grapegrowing)
Angus Murray and Charles Rosback presented the MaxiCut Vineshears concept in 2015 as a treatment for trunk diseases and dieback in vineyards. MaxiCut Vineshears are hydraulic shears that enable cuts through cordons and cordon wires to achieve accurate and efficient removal of infected or dead timber from a vine. It allows precision cuts with clean-faced surfaces for wound fungicide application. The final design was released in June 2017 with overwhelming support and encouragement from owners and managers from trial locations.

MaxiCut Vineshears

MaxiCut Vineshears

Cohelix (Startup/Grapegrowing)
During seasonal peaks the number of employees and contractors in the wine industry increases significantly. This can present challenges in maintaining records to track hours worked, wages and leave entitlements.  Cohelix has developed an on-line, cloud-based platform for managing employees and contractors.  It provides accuracy and transparency in good employment practices while reducing administration complexity and costs.

McLaren Vintners/The Sparkke Change Beverage Company (Startup/Winemaking)
McLaren Vintners, an established winery, and the start-up enterprise, The Sparkke Change Beverage Company, have partnered in new product development of alcoholic beverages that challenge existing paradigms from concept to market. McLaren Vintners contributed the infrastructure for production and technical support while Sparkke was able to focus on producing a premium product, building brand awareness and increasing competitive advantage in the marketplace. The supply chain collaboration ensures quality production while freeing the brand owner to build and develop new markets. Sparkke’s business values are based on social equity and inclusion, key priorities that are expressed in product design and in all aspects of management, brand messaging and communication.

Ailytic (Startup/Packaging)
Founded in June 2016, Ailytic is an Adelaide-based software company dedicated to helping manufacturers increase production efficiency and reduce costs. It partners with wine producers supporting operational systems and delivers patented analytical decision platforms and advanced modelling software for wine production enabled by artificial intelligence optimisation.

Altvin (Startup/Packaging)
Altvin Pty Ltd is a South Australian software company that has created an innovative cloud platform solution for specifying and managing bottling and dry goods in wineries.  Essentially, the Altvin platform is a combined ‘real time’ bottle design studio and automated knowledge centre to streamline and reduce production costs and increase sales through visually agile promotional tools. Products can be quickly analysed for cost comparisons with real time feedback from customers or colleagues anywhere in the world. The Altvin system is available to all Australian-based wineries and contract bottlers. 

Parcel Nest (Startup/Distribution and Logistics)
Parcel Nest is an Australian-designed and manufactured solution for the growing challenges posed by growth of the home delivered parcel market. It was conceived from the frustration of coming home to “Sorry We Missed You” courier cards at front doors instead of the delightful surprise of paid-for cartons of wine. The Parcel Nest solution is a simple, economical and attractive means to ensure boxes of wine can be left at your front door safe and sound even when you are not around. Constructed from beautiful Australian jarrah and capable of securing three to five cartons of wine at a time, Parcel Nests solve a raft of problems for all participants in the home delivered wine supply chain.

Fiera Group (Startup/Engineering)
Black mold is a significant and persistent issue for wineries. Processes to combat this problem have focused on cleaning rather than prevention. This results in excessive labour, water and energy costs, let alone wider environmental impacts, with repetition required to maintain a clean winery environment. The Fiera Group designed an effective emulsion called MS (Mold Stop) 727 and conducted rigorous proof of concept trials. It has shown that with the application of the MS 727 coating, winery assets can be protected from recurring mold for far longer than achieved through traditional cleaning maintenance programs.

Lateral Vision/Chapel Hill Wines (Startup/Marketing and Communications)
Founded in 2014 by brother and sister duo, Laura and Alex Tolson, Lateral Vision is a dynamic digital imaging business with a strong focus on innovation and unique experiences for consumers. It has created CloudTour, a custom-built virtual tour platform specifically for marketing brick and mortar businesses. Lateral Vision partnered with Chapel Hill Wines to develop an interactive aerial 360-degree winery and vineyard virtual tour. The online tour takes consumer engagement to another level by allowing anyone to ‘visit’ the cellar door, vineyard and function centre from anywhere in the world.

Monogramme (Startup/Marketing and Communications)
Jean-David Camus is an entrepreneur and international marketing consultant who has worked in the wine and spirits industry for 20 years. His company Monogramme this year launched WineData, a complete multimedia tool kit for managing and sharing information.  Applications range from dynamic product fact sheets to distinctive branding, customised web pages, social media profiling and quality image and video management to maximise file sharing efficiency, productivity, consumer awareness and sales.

Wine Travel Bag (Startup/Tourism)
Wine Travel Bag is a family-owned and operated business providing a premium, stress free solution to travelling with wine. It produces sturdy bags to protect wine and luggage with custom engineered absorbent material. The founders are avid wine drinkers and travellers. They wanted others to safely and securely take their favourite wines to travel destinations and, in turn, enjoy the option of returning home with specially selected bottles properly contained in the quality travel bags.

Matthew Moate said there were outstanding nominations in all categories for the 2017 Wine Industry IMPACT Awards.

“We confidently expect about 400 industry participants at the awards presentation dinner to celebrate the achievements of leaders across the full spectrum of the wine industry supply chain,” he says.

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