Posted by Teri Sun

Just north of Silicon Valley and just south of Napa, Fruition Sciences is using real-time sensors to monitor the hydration levels of grape vines. Farmers in dryer climates like California are quickly adopting this technology to create perfectly hydrated grapes and save thousands of gallons of water per year.

Having worked with high-tech clients for over 8 years, I normally revel at the thought of new innovations like this. And having lived in California for over 5 years, you’d think that I’d have a hard time hiding my excitement over a tool that allows farmers to produce better wine at a lower cost. But, instead, I was uneasy about this new innovation.

Enjoying a good glass of wine is an emotional experience.

Take for example a bottle I like to splurge on from time to time:

“With a twist of strawberry and raspberry nuances, the vibrant '10 Pinot Noir simply dances on the palate”

Its words acknowledge the art form behind wine making – the delicate balance of uncontrollable environmental factors. More importantly, this description connects me emotionally to the wine. After a long day of work, sinking into the couch with a glass of this wine in my hand is priceless.

But, imagine if Fruition Sciences takes off. If the art of wine making suddenly falls into the hands of Silicon Valley executives hooked on high-tech buzzwords:

“Efficiently optimized to increase taste buds’ productivity, the ’20 TGTBT is an affordably priced, industry-leading wine”

No matter how good the above bottle of wine tastes, the complete lack of emotion in the description would prevent me from enjoying it in same way as my favorite Pinot Noir.

It’s all too common for high-tech companies to focus their marketing communications on product features. And it’s my daily ambition to push the brands that I work with to, instead, find the human connection. If the wineries embracing this technology are smart, they’ll reap all the benefits of being able to produce higher quality wines at a lower cost while hanging onto the story and emotion that make a good bottle of wine so satisfying.


Topics: Technology, B2Me