Maureen Downey launches fine wine tracker

18th November, 2016 by Rupert Millar

Wine authenticator Maureen Downey and technology company Everledger have partnered to develop a digital ‘tracker’ and provenance registry for fine wines.

Latour case shotKnown as the ‘Chai Wine Vault’, the system is an effort to more accurately track the provenance of individual cases and even bottles of fine wine.

Everledger’s ‘blockchain’ solution was developed last year for the diamond industry but its core characteristics are applicable to the wine industry as well.

To create a digital profile for each bottle or case of wine, over 90 data points are taken, along with high-resolution photographs and records of ownership and storage. This data is then stored by Everledger and each time the wine is moved between stakeholders in the supply chain the ownership and storage records are updated.

Retailers, wholesalers, auction houses and warehouses can then look up the digital record for wines to see their provenance.

Downey commented: “We’re starting to see the industry waking up to the impact of counterfeits in market but to date there hasn’t been a solution that could adequately verify a wine’s provenance. Wine certified on the Chai Wine Vault has a guarantee of authenticity, ensures buyer confidence, and protects the future value of wine assets for centuries to come.”

Everledger’s founder, Leanne Kemp, added: “Blockchain gives us the ability to preserve the origin and identity of an asset in ways we were never able to before.

“Similar to the diamond supply chain, the wine industry has been fraught with the movement of counterfeits and the threat of fraudulent bottles being traded through trusted sources. We have the potential to apply this technology to solve these problems and ultimately add a layer of transparency and trust to the goods we trade and sell globally.”

A demonstration and explanation of the Chai Wine Vault will be given at 67 Pall Mall in London on 25 November as part of Downey’s anti-fraud seminar.

The system bears some similarity to the LWIN/Standard in Bond Passport solution that has been implemented by Liv-ex, although Chai Wine Vault is about collating a database of authenticated fine wines and Liv-ex’s system is primarily concerned with making trade more instantaneous and efficient.

The SIB Passport allows a case or bottle of wine to be tracked in the supply chain, guarantees its provenance and authenticity and allows it to change hands without being physically moved.

Liv-ex ultimately hopes to completely immobilise the movement of fine wine until it is brought out of a warehouse for consumption.

The system was examined by the drinks business in the September issue of the magazine and can be viewed online, here.

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