Many of us have got used to both working and socialising from home during the pandemic and its various lockdowns. Some wine producers have become adept at leading online tastings and giving people virtual tours of their vineyards and cellars, because it helps consumers connect with a wine. It could be a useful skill if technology stays on its current path. This is why WiV is developing a presence in the metaverse.
The pandemic has been terrible for wine producers. Sales to restaurants and other public venues, representing around half of all the wine traded globally, have plummeted. Tourist sales, another major proportion of many vineyards’ balance sheets, have also evaporated in the face of social distancing, lockdowns and border closures.
In the face of the challenges, some vineyards and wine merchants have become adept at offering an online experience to potential customers, leading virtual tastings and tours of cellars and vineyards.
With vaccination programmes in many parts of the world starting to gain pace, the wine trade is hoping for a relatively rapid return to normal. But’s quite possible that we are going to have to adapt to a new normal or even get used to a repetitive yo-yoing in and out of lockdowns if the virus continues to wreak its havoc.
Whichever way the next few years go, there’s a good chance that the online experience gained in 2020 will stand proactive wine specialists in good stead. It could be that online interaction will become a permanent and important fixture of running a successful wine business. This will create a new challenge: how to adapt to an increasingly technological sales process without losing focus on the need to create fine wine.
Introducing the metaverse
Technology is full of buzz-words, the vast majority of which can be safely ignored by virtually everyone that isn’t directly involved with the specific part of whichever industry that’s proudly using the jargon.
From the wine perspective though, the metaverse may be something that is worth learning a bit about. Keeping it simple, the metaverse is a potentially vast three-dimensional online world where people can meet up and interact virtually.
A fascinating article from Wired describes some of how the metaverse could offer new opportunities for online interaction, whether it is getting together to watch the trailer for a new movie, participating in a class or going to a concert.
In some ways, this simply sounds like the next iteration of the kind of virtual realities that have been talked about for 40 years. But the pandemic might become the catalyst of a long-term change in the way that we interact.
One of the biggest struggles of 2020’s online interactions has been the myriad of platforms that are available, getting people comfortable with them and, frankly, ensuring that they know where the mute buttons are. If the metaverse can offer a universal platform that is simple to set up and lets people interact in a relatively natural way, then it could deliver a superb opportunity for wine sellers to promote their wares.
The WiV approach
WiV partners with wine producers, distributors and merchants, using the WiV smart-contract to tokenise entire vintages and make them tradable quickly, transparently and cost-effectively on non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces such as Opensea . We are a hard-core tech company, but our team has a lot of experience in the wine sector, so we keep thinking about ways to create and adapt to new opportunities for wine trade and investment.
As part of this process, we are developing several metaverse projects. When these projects launch, they will enable us to share our knowledge of technology and work with both wine producers and consumers in flexible and innovative ways to help the sector flourish in a new environment.
Too many vineyards find themselves left behind because their skills are focused on producing exceptional wines rather than getting them in front of the right consumers. WiV lets producers to focus on creating superlative wines while we make it simple for them to adapt the constantly evolving sales ecosystem.
When it comes down to it, wine has always been a global market and opportunities can come from very unexpected places. In a few years, the metaverse could become an important part of the wine industry and we are striving to become a trusted partner in the new landscape.
WiV Technology is a blockchain-based unique asset technology designed for wine producers and merchants. With offices in London, Oslo and Singapore, the WiV blockchain technology issues digital tokens to create a secure global asset register and decentralised financial marketplace for fine wine and spirits. For further information, go to www.wiv.io