Imagine sitting in a restaurant and ordering a wine that you have helped to create? Two large wineries in the USA have decided to make exactly that possible. They have created a wine with the help of Crowdsourcing. One of these wines is the Crowdsourced Cabernet to be bottled in Washington in 2016 by the winery Columbia Crest as one of the first Crowdsourcing wines.
Since August 2014, the Crowd can watch “their” vineyard and, with the help of the professional winemakers, influence how the grapes are processed over the next few months. How does that work? Every day, various webcams film the vineyard, the grapevines, and even the grapes themselves. You can see the daily pictures live at the http//www.crowdsourcedcabernet.com/ website. Since weather plays a huge role in winemaking, additional information on humidity and temperature is also posted. Straight from their own computer the participants always know exactly under which conditions the grapes for their Cabernet Sauvignon are ripening.
However, it doesn’t stop at just observing the fruit. The hobby winegrowers are integrated into each step of the winemaking procedure. Among other things, they vote on when the vines should be trimmed, watered, and harvested and even which fermenters should be used. Since the interested observers are not all budding professionals in winemaking, the professional winemakers explain the possible effects of each vote, e.g., that more bacteria develop with the fermentation of grapes harvested at night which then again results in a more versatile wine. In the coming days, even the barrel and type of wine bottle will be voted on and then 1000 cases produced. The participants will also vote on whether the wine should age for 12 months or longer.
This is not unique to the USA; a red wine was already created in Germany in 2011 with the support of the Crowd. The participants in the WeinZwoNull project were involved in 20 steps of the creation of a perfect late Burgundy. From the fermentation temperature to the bottling date and bottle stopper, the Crowd winemakers directed the process of the wine at the Deutzerhof winery in the Ahrtal valley. The German winegrowers have already had a taste of their wine; the American wine is still in the making. If you would like to take part in the project you can register under http//www.crowdsourcedcabernet.com/and be one of the first to hold “your” own red wine in your hands. The management of the winery hopes to launch a new Crowdsourcing wine project in 2015.
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