[...] according to the government, it isn’t a winery. The startup, housed in a Dogpatch warehouse, produces synthetic wine: a petri-dish cocktail of ethanol, water, sugar and various chemical compounds, made not in a vineyard but in a lab. “We could make a Cab here that smells like a Moscato d’Asti,” says Alec Lee, a co-founder of Ava, as he takes me through the lab. The lab is divided into two rooms: one for data collection, one for data execution. In the first, samples of “real” wine are put through machines that perform gas and liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to isolate and identify their chemical makeup. At $2.7 million, the lead investor in Ava’s seed round was Horizons Ventures, a Hong Kong venture firm that is also a major funder of Impossible Foods, of plant-based burger fame, and Modern Meadow, which biofabricates leather. Both Impossible Foods and Modern Meadow are proposing solutions to a fairly obvious issue: the ethics of how we use animals. [...] displayed behind a glass case, was Mike Grgich’s famous 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, winner of the Judgment of Paris. [...] they’re tackling Moscato. Synthetic wine would seem at odds with the belief systems of many sommeliers, and ironically, Decolongon had worked at a natural wine bar before joining Ava. “Going into this project I was scared of revealing it to my wine friends,” says Decolongon, who holds a sommelier certification and a level 4 diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Lee talks about creating the ultimate delicious flavor profile — what he calls “digitally optimizing wines.” Is this Moscato, saccharine and untoned, what Americans want to drink? “There’s a snobbery in wine that doesn’t correspond with people’s actual taste,” he says. Ava can use an estimated 10 to 100 times less water than a traditional winery would, for starters, but the larger environmental issue is climate change. [...] Ava makes the case for replicating wines — re-creating and sharing specific, famous bottles like the 1973 Montelena. The goal will never be to make counterfeit wines — not pretending to be the ‘Mona Lisa,’ but printing ‘Mona Lisa’ posters. Eventually, Lee and Chua want to create synthetic versions of other luxury food products that, like wine, are resource-intensive, geographically limited and expensive. With just one wine expert on staff, I wonder if Ava can’t understand that the whole reason why people like me like wine in the first place is because it conveys a sense of place in a nuanced and mysterious way — we love it because we can’t fully understand it.
NYS Entity Status
NYS Filing Date
MAY 28, 2014
NYS DOS ID#
NYS Entity Type
DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
2014 - CONTINENTAL WINE & SPIRITS LLC
AROUND THE WEB
- The Dogpatch winery that is making synthetic wine
By Esther Mobley - Thursday May 4, 2017
- Thumbs Up But Pinkies Down-New Underwood Canned Wine Campaign
Tuesday Aug 29, 2017
Union Wine Company and creative agency Swift are promoting the Oregon-based wine maker's Underwood line of canned wines by capitalizing on the brand's most recognizable asset: its iconic blocklogo.
The new "Inside Every Can" campaign supports established offerings such as Pinot Noir and Rosé with “scenes within scenes” creative imagery. The ads show the canssilhouetted against a backdrop such as a pool and a riverbank. The nine-letter Underwood mark is replaced by a word or phrase that is designed to capture the brand’s “Pinkies Down”mantra and the spirit of summer through messages “Oh Hell Yes,” “The Reward,” and “Happy Hour.”
Another ad for the limited-edition Riesling Radler winecooler transforms the Underwood mark into the phrase “Summer Win.”
The campaign will appear on Union Wine’s website and social channels, including Instagram and Facebook.
Union Wine Company first introduced the Oregon-grown Underwood canned wines in 2014.
- Clueless in East Meadow
By Stitches - Wednesday Aug 9, 2017
The Tool in the Pool is back. Ryan “Blame it on Rio” Lochte successfully returned from his 10-month suspension by winning the 200-meter medley in record time Sunday at the U.S. Open in Long Island. Of greater importance though is that the gas station bathrooms in and around the East Meadow N.Y. area are still...
- Hamptons Property Asks $150 Million
Thursday Jul 13, 2017
The 14-acre beachfront spread on Meadow Lane in Southampton, N.Y., was assembled from four parcels of land and includes several homes.
- The Look: New York City Parks in the Summer: Romance, Games and a Performance for a Dying Tree
By DANIEL ARNOLD, JOANNA NIKAS and EVE LYONS - Saturday Sep 2, 2017
Daniel Arnold spent the last two months photographing parks in all five boroughs. The experience showed him “a very different pulse of the city.”
- Food & Wine Magazine Will Leave New York for Alabama
By STEPHANIE STROM - Friday Jun 23, 2017
The move reflects a changing business in which traditional food magazines, and a Manhattan address, are less important.