Aveine - The World’s First Connected Wine Aerator
A conversation with Nicolas Naigeon, who talks about Aveine - the world’s first connected wine aerator.
Technology is seeping into all the cracks and curves of the world, and the world of wine is no exception. Technology is slowly climbing the grapevine and finding its way in the wine industry.
The growth of tech-based products that improve your wine experience has taken a giant leap and is only growing day by day.
Aveine is one of the brands that is improving and making the wine drinking experience an impeccable one with its aerator.
In a short chat with IBWSS SF Editor - Anna, Nicolas Naigeon, CEO of Aveine dishes out about how Aveine came to be, where it is, and where he thinks wine and technology is going to be in the next few years.
Could you tell us a little bit about Aveine as a company
Aveine was born 3 years ago, at first, it was just an idea, it became a side project, a few months and three awards later, it became a full-time job!
The company saw the light when I met Matthieu and Miranda. We had very different backgrounds and it made the adventure even more interesting. Each of us had our own way of looking at the project: I’m an engineer so I had a technical and pragmatic vision of what the Aerator should do. Matthieu is a designer so he saw how it should look to best fit the functionalities. Miranda had the vision of the business and how it should benefit the audience… and sell! It goes without saying that it was naturally over a bottle of wine that we came up with an idea for a device that would reinvent wine tasting.
We gathered many wine lovers and a dedicated team to develop the project: now Aveine is 13 full-time employees, 11 in Paris and 2 in Dijon (Burgundy)
[Matthieu & Miranda]
What exactly is Aveine and how does it work?
Aveine is the first connected wine Aerator in the world. It can aerate precisely any wine, in an instant. The device comes with an app.
The use is very simple: uncork the bottle, scan the label, the right level of aeration is set automatically to fit the selected bottle. The wine is aerated while you pour. The only thing left to do is enjoy a perfectly aerated glass of wine!
What was the inspiration behind Aveine?
I come from a family of wine growers in Burgundy. My grandparents always used to say that when it comes to wine, everyone has their own taste and that wine is only about enjoying and sharing. But all my friends would always ask me what they should drink and how they should drink… It made me think about the “little things” that made the wine taste “better”. Four points came out as aspects that really make the difference: the glass, the temperature of the wine, the mood and the aeration. I realized that the aeration was the least considered of the 4, though one of the most relevant and concrete to really enhance the flavors.
How did you get started with the whole process?
In startup time, we can say that it all went very fast. We went from an idea to an industrialized prototype in 2 years.
Money and dedicated people are game changers. On July 2016 we decided to start the project, in September we raised enough money to build the company, then we won an award and enough funds to work on an industrialized prototype. We hired the first employee in February 2017 and moved forward. In 2018, we raised again, launched a crowdfunding campaign and reached 400% of our target, which made us the second most funded crowdfunding wine campaign in the world!
What are some of the challenges you faced while building Aveine?
In France, wine is a treasure: you must not play with wine. Even though the Wine & Tech field was starting to wake things up when we started Aveine, it was (and still is) difficult to mix wine and tech, tradition and modernity and change the rules. In our case, the proof is the tasting:The Smart Wine Aerator is efficient and when people try it, they really taste the difference and measure the interest of our innovation.
What made you think “yes, this is going to work”?
When we showed our first prototype (a small bottle of water cut in half with wires coming out everywhere!) and made a tasting with one of the best young sommeliers in France, and a second tasting with another sommelier and a third… the conclusion was always that it worked! At this time, I knew we had to do something, and if we did it right, it would be a success. When we got the first “I need one” “Where can I get one”, we knew it would work.
What is the future for Aveine?
The future for Aveine is to expand internationally. We already sold more than 4000 aerators in 51 countries; we have 100 Ambassadeurs on 5 continents. The future is also many other projects related to wine, new functionalities, partnerships to develop new devices…
Where do you see Tech and Wine in the future?
Now, if you taste a wine at a restaurant, you can scan the label and find out who made it, what’s the story behind the grapes In the future,it will become a habit to combine the two, exactly as it is in every aspect of our lives. The purpose of our device is to help people get the best of their wine, to learn a bit more about what they drink, where their favorite wines come from, who is behind the production, drinking without “knowledge”, learning while drinking… It follows the path of food and tech, anything related to consumption and tech!