1275 Fine Wine Collections

Gravitywell are excited to have collaborated with 1275, an innovative fine wine investment startup who are making a typically esoteric industry more accessible. For the first time ever, wine investors can scan a chip on a bottle with their phone and discover the full history of the wine, from the vineyard onwards. Users have access to every relevant detail such as location, temperature, humidity and value.

A team with decades of experience within fine wine, 1275 have long been passionate about modernising an industry which is still largely analog and relies on archaic tools like spreadsheets to manage portfolios. This dated approach can ultimately compromise the authenticity and preservation of collections, with no guarantee that the wine hasn’t been tampered with after leaving the estate. 

In partnering with our multidisciplinary team, 1275 have been able to realise their artistic vision by developing a solution to this problem. The result is 1275 SA - a technology-driven, end-to-end solution fit for a new era of wine collectors.

Discovery Phase

We kicked off with a series of workshops with the aim of building a set of clickable prototypes as a way to test ideas, discover unknowns and make sure all stakeholders were on the same page. This helped us clarify how to solve some of the biggest challenges, specifically around the process of how to digitise large collections of wine.

To help combat counterfeiting, we used NFC tagging with a third party authentication service to guarantee the provenance of wine. Simply tapping a bottle of 1275 wine with a smartphone opens the wine in our app, verifies that the bottle exists and reassures the user that the wine is exactly what it’s labelled as. With another click, collectors can view historic location, temperature and humidity data, accounting for conditions since the bottle left the estate.

Wine is an analog product with a lot of character. One of the main dangers of digitising a product like wine is that you lose the spirit of the real thing. In lieu of wine collectors rummaging around in their dusty wine cellars, we needed to create an app which would preserve the character of the wine whilst providing an unrivalled experience by pulling in live market price, sensor and rating data.

Whilst data is essential to prove the provenance, conditions and value of the wine, we also needed to remind our users that their collection is something to enjoy.

This contrast between the almost surgical, data-led aspect of storage and the more emotional side of wine discovery resulted in an interface which allowed users to explore as much or little as they wanted from the app. We built an intuitive UI which presented that objective data alongside more subjective information about fine wines like tasting notes and recommended peak drinking windows provided by leading reviewers to prompt users to discover something new about their collection, maybe even order some for home to enjoy.

This is all wrapped up in a beautiful, easy-to-use native application for users to view their collections. 

Apps

The app is what sets 1275 apart from the competition. It allows investors to explore their wine collections from the palm of their hands. We wanted users to feel connected to their collection, and install confidence that it’s safe and secure by allowing them real-time access to storage and transport conditions. We used subtle loading animations to emphasise the data was live, and allowed users to peruse their wines within meaningful contexts; Wine type, Region, Vintage, Value and Drinking window.

1275 stands by absolute transparency, and so clients can check in on the growth of their investment through live market data.

Technology

To build the backend system capable of holding and processing so much data about wines, sensor measurements and price points, we chose a serverless stack utilising AWS Lambda and RDS Aurora as the database. This meant we could scale the backend with ease, and the client would only pay for what they used (unlike a “traditional” always-on server). The backend serves a REST-ful API, and handles logic based on events triggered by receiving sensor readings and NFC authentication. The app is built using React Native to take advantage of several aspects of the device hardware like NFC scanning and using the camera for scanning QR codes.

To learn more about how Gravitywell can help with the design and development of your software platform, or to discuss Digital Transformation, get in touch.