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Can Engineered Produced Wine Compare with Traditional Wine?

Two entrepreneurs have created Ava Winery located in San Francisco. They plan to make a wine using molecular science that they believe can compete with traditionally produced wines made with grapes.

Alec Lee and Mardonn Chua have created Ava Winery to discover a way to produce wine by analyzing the molecular structure of fine wines. The overview of Ava Winery notes, “Ava Winery is creating the world’s first designer wines by analyzing fine vintages on a molecular basis and producing a similar product, molecule by molecule, with no grapes or fermentation required.”

Both entrepreneurs studied biotechnology at the University of British Columbia. In their Vision statement they write that the painting of the Mona Lisa is one-of-a-kind but that replicas of the painting continue to bring enjoyment to others. “We started Ava with the goal of making the great vintages accessible to all. While the Mona Lisa is one of a kind, its replicas would not exist if they did not bring some enjoyment to their owners. In many ways, widespread distribution of the replicas helps reinforce our appreciation for the originals.”

Under Ava Winery’s website FAQ, numerous topics are covered. Vegetarians and vegans will be pleased that all of the ingredients used in making this type of wine are from plants.

Other questions answered include:

  • Is this identical to traditional wine? No but, “Our wines are free of the components that have no effect or a negative effect on wines.”
  • Are the ingredients chemically safe? The wine is created with food grade ingredients.

Currently the Ava Winery wine can be ordered, but shipment is not ready yet. They expect to have only 499 bottles available for sale. This unique wine is expected to be available by the end of the summer. Pre-orders can be completed online.

My Take

While I am intrigued with the idea of creating a wine without grapes, I am curious as to how the aroma and taste will compare with traditional wines. Will the wine lose the romance of wine? What story will a bottle of Ava wine have to offer consumers? I also wonder how the general wine enthusiast and wine lover will react to this wine that is not produced with grapes.


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