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The Tech Visionary Behind The Vines

Dec 27, 2011
The Tech Visionary Behind The Vines
Our look at how the Apple co-founder influenced the wine industry

steve_jobs_01One man can truly make a difference. There isn’t an industry or facet of society that wasn’t touched by the genius and innovation of the late Steve Jobs.

With the creation of the iPhone and iPad, the co-founder of Apple inspired software developers to create inventive products that would change the way we make, sell, and discover wine.

As the year comes to a close, we look back at the ways in which this visionary, who passed away in October after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, influenced and improved the business of wine.

In the vineyard: Vineyard managers with Etude, Beringer, and others in Treasury Wine Estates’ California portfolio use a mobile version of the vineyard management tool, iCropTrak, to access, record, and communicate critical data via the iPad. The software combines GPS mapping, farm planning, vineyard, weather, and labor use data into one user interface.

In the cellar: From Templeton to Tasmania, wineries have come to depend on TankNet, a Web-based fermentation management system that gives winemakers instant and remote control of everything in their cellars, from the temperature of the fermenting wine to the sugar level of the juice—all with the click of a mouse.

In the restaurant: iPads equipped with apps such as SmartCellar and Uncorked are changing the way diners order wine. Traditional wine lists reveal the name, price, vintage and appellation of a wine. But these electronic lists feature extended descriptions, label images, and recommendations based on food pairings. They are like having a personal sommelier.

In the sales meeting: To pitch potential customers and educate guests at wine festivals, sales managers at Jordan Winery in Sonoma eschew flyers and brochures for a dynamic presentation on the iPad. In fact, each of the winery’s 97 employees is equipped with an iPad to use in their daily duties.

What is your favorite wine app? Share it below.

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