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Monday, August 1, 2016

Engineered Wines - No Grapes Needed!

Growing wine grapes is tough. Money, weather, regulations, and not enough time can cause problems. Making wine from those grapes requires a thousand decisions to be made correctly. If only it were easier.

Along comes Ava Winery out of San Francisco. Per their website all you have to do is combine acids, amino acids, sugar, certain volatile organics, and ethanol and voilà! You can recreate the best wines ever made.

That's their claim. The founder said his initial inspiration was to recreate the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the Judgment of Paris so everyone could have a chance to sample this historic wine. Currently they're offering the 1992 Dom Perignon Champagne. So rather than paying hundreds of dollars on the open market for one of these Ava Winery will sell you a bottle of their Frankenstein version for fifty bucks.

Their name, Ava, is the abbreviation of American Viticultural Area. I'm not sure what they're trying to tell us with this choice.

It's not known if their product can legally be called wine in many countries. They say they are bringing rare, expensive wines to the masses. I say we need someone to buy it and try it against the real thing to see how close it comes. Eventually we can do that, as the wine is currently for sale, but hasn't actually been made yet. This is what I'd call a "buyer beware" opportunity.