In a game changing move for the future of fine wine, Oritain’s innovative forensic science provides a guarantee of Pyramid Valley wine’s provenance and origin no matter its age or cellaring history.
New Zealand Success Stories: Pyramid Valley and Oritain team up to provide the world’s first verification of origin and provenance for New Zealand fine wine.
Pyramid Valley, a highly regarded producer of cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in New Zealand’s North Canterbury region, and Oritain, an innovative forensic sciences company headquartered in Dunedin have agreed a ground-breaking new partnership to prove this technology and provide this guarantee. A first in the world of fine wine.
In launching the 2020 Pyramid Valley Botanicals Collection wines, Steve Smith who leads Brian Sheth’s investment in Pyramid Valley, shared the announcement.
“Sanctity of place sits at the heart of Pyramid Valley’s values, with our Botanicals Collection wines speaking with a unique voice from vineyard parcels located just a few metres apart. We were looking for a way to provide two guarantees to our valuable customers. Firstly, that the wines are 100% of the place we say they come from, and secondly, providing verification of their provenance at any time in the life of a wine. Two principles – ultra-transparency being entirely in our hands; and giving confidence that the supply chain has not delivered a fraudulent wine. Our partnership has provided the answers and may provide the fine wine world with a verification system that links the wine to the land absolutely – the “Oritain Fingerprint”. Until now that guarantee has been sadly lacking.”
Commenting on the partnership Oritain CEO, Grant Cochrane said “We are delighted to be partnering with Pyramid Valley to bring together extraordinary fine wine with the integrity that consumers can trust thanks to cutting edge forensic science. Our technology enables us to give the consumer the ability to trace their wine from vine to barrel to bottle. It is an important breakthrough for producers providing a level of traceability like no other. The Oritain Trustmark will become just that – a trusted symbol of origin verification.”
How does it work?
Wherever you are in the world, the geochemistry of the land differs, even in the case of parcels of land that are only a few metres apart. As a grapevine grows, it absorbs a unique ratio of elements depending on the mesoclimate, altitude, precipitation, soil type and growing conditions. Using cutting edge forensic science, Oritain can identify this unique ratio in the soil that is ‘imprinted’ from grapes to the finished wine creating a scientific link that runs through the land, the vine and the wine. This link remains through the life of the wine, never changing. As proof, the Oritain Verification of Origin and Provenance mark is displayed on the wine’s back label in a distinctive QR code providing a direct digital link to the guarantee. The 2020 Pyramid Valley Botanicals Collection wines are the first in the world to wear this mark.
What does this mean for wine?
“For Pyramid Valley, it supports our claim that the wines in our Botanicals Collection are true to source, from earth to barrel to bottle, each having their own unique Oritain Fingerprint even when vineyard parcels are just metres apart,” Smith explains. “It supports the story of the unique terroir of each vineyard parcel sitting within the Waikari farm. We have always been able to taste the difference – today we can prove it. Our proposition of ‘wines that breathe of their place’ is now supported by forensic science.”
The fingerprint can also provide proof at any point of time in the supply chain, that the wine is the genuine article, no changes, no modifications. “If a customer wants to verify for themselves the 2020 Lion’s Tooth in their glass is the authentic product, we offer a unique guarantee. They simply have to keep a sample, contact us, and Oritain can supply the verification.”
Fine wine lovers around the world deserve to know that the wine they have in their glass comes from its claimed origin and that it is the genuine article. The Oritain Verified Proven Origin mark on the label provides that assurance, for the very first time in the history of wine.
“At Pyramid Valley we embrace the concept of making wine hand in hand with nature using modern science, technology and natural wisdom to create some of the world’s most revered cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Steve continues. “While we take our cues from older philosophies, it is marrying these cues with innovation, inquisitive minds, modern technology and science that sets us apart. Whether that is modern regenerative farming building dynamic ecosystems, using sensors and miniature robotic tractors, new stearin wax frost candles, or Oritain fingerprinting, it all ties into the same way of thinking.”
Pyramid Valley and Oritain are delighted to partner on this project and look forward to continuing this collaboration and fine tuning this extraordinary forensic science for the benefit of nature and fine wine lovers.”
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Pyramid Valley was founded in 2000 by Mike and Claudia Weersing after a global search for the perfect clay and limestone soils to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The aim was to make wines that breathe of their place through biodynamic viticulture and sensitive winemaking. In 2017, Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates – co-founded by entrepreneur and conservationist Brian Sheth and Master of Wine Steve Smith – bought the Pyramid Valley property, alongside a second property in Central Otago, now named Manata Estate. Both farms continue to work with the founding biodynamic principles and produce grapes for three distinct collections including the revered Botanicals Collection.
Founded in New Zealand in 2008, Oritain has become a global leader in applying forensic and data science to prove the origin of a product. Oritain’s ground-breaking science can pinpoint the exact area a product or raw material comes from, within metres. And their innovative methodology can be applied to almost any product or raw material, in any environment, in any country, around the globe. Today, the company works with some of the world’s largest brands whilst underpinning their ESG commitments, empowering partner companies to make changes across their supply chain and operate more sustainably. For Oritain Global’s client partners – who range from luxury goods to government organisations to leading food, wine, and fibre brands – the Oritain Trustmark on their products protects their reputation, builds trust, and minimises risk. For consumers, the Oritain Trustmark gives them confidence that when they select a brand, they’re buying the genuine article. Oritain does more than prove origin; it protects reputations.