Brancott Estate uncorks innovation with their winexplorer challenge

winexplorer-logo-fixedBrancott Estate were innovators when 40 years ago they planted the first Sauvignon Blanc vines in Marlborough NZ, helping to create a whole new wine style that is recognised the world over. So it’s fitting that together with Bluechilli they launched winexplorer – an innovation challenge that gives entrepreneurs, inventors and wine lovers the opportunity to revolutionise the way wine is enjoyed. The winner will receive a $35,000 cash prize to help them develop and commercialise their transformational idea.

The challenge itself closed on 6th of March and five finalists have been chosen. It attracted interest from over 100 innovators from across Australia and New Zealand. The submissions varied in their development stages, from early concepts through to prototypes and beyond. Applicants ranged from wine enthusiasts to experienced entrepreneurs and wine industry professionals with  wine education, selection, storage and packaging being addressed.

The finalists will be pitching their ideas and inventions to a panel of judges in mid-April with the results being announced 22nd of April. There is also a people’s choice vote, now open, where the public get to pick their favourite entries and this accounts towards 15% of the finalists’ total score.

So what are the five new wine ideas?

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BYO Vine Guide by Ross Maher and Amy Luscombe: designed specifically for wine tourism, this online platform allows people to create personalised cellar door tours based on visitor ratings and specific experiences. Visitors to wine regions benefit from easily identifying and planning cellar door experiences that match their particular preferences.

Sipple by Jamie Metcalfe and Matt Rose: a wirelessly integrated bottle stopper that not only keeps wine fresh, but also connects to an app that ensures wine is consumed while still at its peak. You never have to wonder when the bottle was opened or waste wine again.

Vinnovate by Joshua and Simon Schmidt: a screwcap which can be activated manually to deliver complementary flavours or aromas to wine, enhancing the flavour of wine to your personal taste or to match a specific dish.

Wineminder by Tim MacTaggart and team: temperature sensors, a mobile app and insights into wine aging combine to create a cellar management system that uses actual storage conditions to determine peak drinking windows for wine, removing guess work from when wine is best drunk and ensuring cellared wine is enjoyed at its optimum maturity.

Your Own Wine Adventure by Scott Williamson and Nick Wyatt: an online, self-directed wine tasting adventure that allows people to choose new wines to explore from the comfort of your home. Wines are home delivered, along with detailed, entertaining information about the wines, making it easy and fun to increase wine knowledge.

We here at The Wine Wankers love our wine so anything that is going to enhance our experience and joy is a winner as far as we’re concerned! And if it helps turn us into bigger wine wankers then all the better. Make sure to check out the five finalists and don’t forget to vote!

Good luck to all the finalists.

Author: Conrad

Disclosure: The Wine Wankers are working in partnership with Brancott Estate to help let the social media world know about the winexplorer challenge.



  1. The Sipple idea sounds like the most beneficial for small-scale consumers of wine (especially ones such as myself who married a non-wine-drinker), but Wineminder sounds better for those with an actual cellar to keep track of – it would be fantastic to know the ideal time to drink a particular bottle and I could see a lot of high-end restaurants buying into that as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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