It is quite rare to find the words “blockchain” and “wine” in the same sentence. However, has changed with the introduction of blockchain-based innovations into winery ecosystems.
The benefits may not look like much at an initial glance, but they have proven to help change an industry that has pretty much remained the same after centuries.
Blockchain-based winery ecosystem Crurated, last month successfully raised over $3 million from notable investors.
This is proof of the concept that blockchain winery ecosystems have long-term value and can provide solutions to age-old problems that have trailed the industry.
We reached out to Alfonso de Gaetano who is the founder at Crurated for insight into this unique web3 niche.
It was worth the time and effort and further provides evidence that the web3 gospel will change humanity in many more ways than one!
Alfonso de Gaetano, Founder at Crurated
Please can you tell us about your membership ecosystem?
Our members are successful and passionate human beings.
They love to enrich their lives with the highest forms of art and craftsmanship.
Customer service and more specifically reliability and clarity of communication are critical to building a trusted relationship with them. Our Producer partners are perfectionists, innovative, and disciplined.
They understand sacrifice and how to go the extra mile to create something that is rare and unique.
They master the creation of some of the most exclusive wines offered globally that can please all our senses, sometimes many of them at the same time creating delight and happiness for end users.
At Crurated, we aim to become the bridge between passionate wine lovers and some of the best winemakers in the world.
How do blockchains and NFTs interface with your membership ecosystem?
All bottles come directly from Producers in the best possible condition.
There is a big difference in the quality and experience of a wine bottle that has moved many times and a bottle that has never moved from the producer cellar and goes directly to the end client.
We use NFTs and blockchain to certify authenticity and enable traceability of each single bottle from the moment it leaves the producer cellar to the moment it reaches the customer’s private cellar.
Why did you choose the wine sector for your business vertical?
I am a passionate wine lover as well.
I felt technology could solve the frustrations I had in accessing some of the best wines in the world, storing them in the best possible conditions, and bringing transparency around provenance.
What are the various components of your ecosystem?
While we invest a lot in technology to bring innovation to the world of wines, we also love organizing great wine dinners and events where clients meet with like minded people and meet producers to better understand their philosophy behind their wine making style and processes.
So in addition to Clients, Winemakers and Crurated, the broader ecosystem includes Chefs as well as the best restaurants and hotels in the world.
Please can you tell us about the different kinds of membership available?
We have four membership types. Find details here crurated.com
Explorer is free and still provides the ability to buy some of the great wines from our Producers being offered every week.
Connoisseur is Euro 360 per year
Collector is Euro 1800 per year
Ambassador is Euro 6000 per year and enables clients to access the full range of wines, receive exclusive Private Sales and have priority in accessing our Wine Dinners with Producers in addition to unlimited free storage in our bonded warehouse for everything purchased on Crurated.
What are the benefits of the deployment of blockchain technology and NFTs to winery ecosystems?
As a wine lover and collector, one of the main frustrations I had was buying wines at.auction and many times the quality was well below my expectations.
You didn’t know who to blame.
Maybe the bottle moved too much?
We want to bring clarity and transparency with bottles provenance and movements through our blockchain solution.
Who are the producers you’re working with at the moment?
Some of the world-class winemakers on the platform since we launched or coming soon on Crurated include: Louis Roderer Cristal, Meo Camuzet, Arnoux-Lachaux, Sylvain Cathiard, Vincent Dancer, De Montille, Chateau Angelus, Larmandier-Bernier, Pascal Agrapart, Pierre Péters, Bérêche & Fils, Vilmart & Cie, Geoffroy, Robert Groffier, Fourrier, Denis Mortet, Dujac, Chateau Pavie, Ceretto, Massolino, Casanova di Neri, Biondi Santi, Il Marroneto, Montevertine Pergole Torte, Elio Altare, Borgogno, and Poggio di Sotto.
What are the criteria for selecting the best wines to be a part of your platform?
Our group of wine experts selects the best possible winemakers for the platform and is a combination of well known producers and rising stars.
We have a motto: “Never offer a bottle on the platform that we won’t drink and enjoy ourselves!”
Please can you tell us about your efforts in Ukraine?
We conducted “The All Heart Auction” of rare wines March 14-20, partnering with more than 50 winemakers who contributed a pre-auction inventory value of $100,000.
Lots included bottles from Biondi Santi, Cristal, Dujac, Giacomo Conterno, Salon among others. The proceeds ($134,000) were distributed to UNHCR for Ukraine relief.
What are the benefits of interactions within the Crurated community?
Ability to meet very interesting, like-minded members to learn about wines, producers, and the readiness of bottles.
How does blockchain technology enable improved storage of wine products?
Blockchain helps bring transparency on every single bottle stored with us.
NFTs make it easy to demonstrate to anyone that each bottle came directly from the Producers, in case they decide to sell the bottle while still stored in our warehouse.
How global is your reach at the moment?
We are Global, we ship to Private Clients in all key markets.
What was the premise behind creating Crurated?
Our aim at Crurated is “Fostering Happiness” Nurturing people’s passion is key to supporting their happiness.
In the Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin says “A passion gives you a reason to keep learning and to work toward mastery. It can often give you a reason to travel, and therefore to have the new experiences so key to happiness. It gives you something in common with other people, and so fosters social bonds. It gives you purpose”.
At Crurated, we want to be the place where wine lovers can Connect, Collect and Celebrate.
Please, can you tell us about your warehouse management system?
It was built in house built to create a full integration between the Crurated platform, the warehouse management system and our blockchain infrastructure.
There was no ready-to-go solution as we are the first company to do this at scale.
How did you discover blockchain technology?
I spent the past 11 years at Google.
At Google you are exposed to the latest and best in class technologies that have been used to transform the world. The key rule is not to use technology for the sake of using technology.
It has to create value.
In our case Blockchain creates value because traceability is a key issue given that wine gets worse every time it travels from one place to another. And we only work directly with Producers.
It wouldn’t be useful if we were buying bottles already available in the market where previous owners and movements of the bottle are not clear and transparent.
Congratulations on your recent fundraising event! What’s next for Crurated?
Continue to invest in building a best in class management team and further build out blockchain and NFT technology within the company platform.
We will be launching very interesting and innovative products in the coming 12 months.
Please, can you tell us about the investors behind the latest funding round?
Investors include wine experts, entrepreneurs and private wine collectors.
Are there any other ways you want to deploy technologies that will change the wine industry?
We have a very interesting product roadmap for the next 12 months, we cannot disclose at this stage but keep an eye on Crurated.
First one will be launched in June.
What are your plans for the rest of the year going forward? Care to tell us about them?
As a Founder, I want to make sure we continue to build and grow our management team.
We want to use the funds to accelerate the pace of innovation and realize our vision.
At the same time continue to organize great clients-producers events in many of the cities where we have clients.