Tech Startup Helps Wineries

As seen in Wine Industry adviser

Jacob Manning, Winely’s CEO carries the ready for installation hardware that will monitor ferments in real time for the 2020 vintage.

A New Zealand tech company is set to disrupt the wine industry globally. Winely, a startup working out of Otago and Marlborough is the world’s first precision wine technology company. Winely launched in 2018 has made tracks locally and in Australia providing technology to help winemakers track their wine ferments using smart sensors. “The big push for our technology was the labour shortages doing this monotonous and unsafe task. Our goal is to help the winemakers get more data and remove the need to do manual wine sampling.” CEO and founder Jacob Manning explains. Since the completion of their technology in 2018 and first harvest February this year, Winely has received a large number of local and overseas requests for their technology.

"The big push for our technology was the labour shortages doing this monotonous and unsafe task. Our goal is to help the winemakers get more data and remove the need to do manual wine sampling." - Jacob Manning (CEO)

Winely has interest from wineries across New Zealand, Barossa, South Australia and California. “These regions are experiencing a shortage in labour and increased pressure around improving health and safety practices.” Abbe Hyde, Winelys CTO reports, “The Northern Hemisphere vintage is just under way and we’re receiving inbound requests from wineries where only half their team has turned up to work.”

“These regions are experiencing a shortage in labour and increased pressure around improving health and safety practices.” - Abbe Hyde (CTO)

“We are in discussions with strategic customers and we will be fitting out their sites in 2020 and 2021. These customers have hundreds of wineries globally.” Jacob says. Winely’s team will begin installing units soon for 2020 harvest and already have interest for further fitouts in 2021.

Abbe Hyde, Winely’s CTO in one of their customers sites.

“The payback period that our customers are projecting is incredibly short” said Manning, “because our product can do tests in seconds that currently take hours, to be done manually.”

After receiving numerous international and local awards and investment interest, Winely is now building a bigger team to help develop future emerging wine industry technologies. “We’re excited about what our technology can bring to the wine industry, we’re already planning new sensors to monitor additional ferment attributes based on customer requests” explains Hyde, “we anticipate winemakers to be able to make faster and more accurate decisions on ferment interventions from the real-time data Winely provides”.


Introducing Winelys' new Chairperson

Wine technology company Winely appoints new Chair following fundraising and continued market demand.

Winely has appointed a new Chairperson following a successful funding round and continued market support for their technology that provides wineries with real-time data on wine fermentation.

CEO Jacob Manning is pleased to welcome Nigel Bamford to the Winely team, quoting his manufacturing expertise and founder experience as timely and critical to Winely’s expansion. ‘It’s rare to find an entrepreneur whos done the full founder journey. We are privileged to not only have a founder as a Chairman but also an expert in process engineering and scaling hardware technologies.” 

Nigel is the founder of Escea which is based out of Dunedin and employees over 150 staff. Escea operates globally and has offices in Australia.

Nigel Bamford is an active investor in the Dunedin ecosystem and startup mentor. Nigel has been heavy involvement in early-stage startups. He is on the board of startup Dunedin and the Chairperson for BISON group.

Want to join our team? Email hr@winely.co.nz to chat!


Let's Visit Marlborough!

Beautiful view from on top of some 250,000 L tanks.

The wine metropolis
Marlborough wine region was a super exciting visit for Winely, speaking to the wine technology community leaders.

The need for improved health and safety practices

A beautiful view of the north island of New Zealand but a deadly problem! Falling from this height is lethal and sampling from these 250,000 L tanks needs to be done 24/7! Wind, rain, cyclones ... and during an earthquake! It's awesome to see that our technology makes the need to climb these enormous tanks redundant. Next year our winemakers get to relax inside the lab looking at live data of the happening inside the tank, rather than climb these massive giants.

Our Marlborough visit: Indevin, one of the leading wine technology winemakers in New Zealand.

"It has been said that there is no wine anywhere in the world that tastes like the wine of Marlborough – the balance of extraordinary purity and intensity of flavours set around impressive aroma, distinctive fruit characteristics and appealing balanced acidity is superb. These are stylish, exciting wines that surprise and delight." - From Wine Marlborough

Learning - learning - learning!

We're becoming more familiar with best practices in winemaking. In particular exciting to learn how diverse wine practices are in such an intensely compact high performing region.

Whats next?

For the 2020 Southern Hemisphere harvest we are looking to work closely with 3-4 winemakers. We have the capacity to fit out 1,000 tanks to automate the wine sampling.

Want to be one of them? Email info@winely.co.nz to chat!


It’s harvest time, it's harvest time!

"You know what time it is when it's harvest time!" (Sung to the tune of Flight of the Conchords: Business Time)

As we come into harvest time for the majority of our southern hemisphere customers we figured we are well overdue for an update on our progress.

What is Winely: for those who don’t know, let’s break this down. Winely was founded in 2017 with a mission making wine scientifically better. But before you wince, we DEFINITELY don’t claim to know more about winemaking than you! Our aim is to help make winemaking easier and more pleasurable for you through automation and analysis of winemaking data … ok well now it sounds boring!

Let’s try again … we see tracking data as critical to ensuring an amazing wine, but we don’t want winemakers to be burdened by this task and we don’t want tracking data to take away from the element of instinct involved in winemaking. We’ve set about developing a product that automates data collection and analysis so winemakers have more time to spend perfecting the wine.

We have had the pleasure of working with some absolutely fantastic winemakers in 2018 and we’re so excited to see the first iteration of our product up and running in VinPro’s tanks in just 2 short weeks!

Product details

After extensive conversations with winemakers from NZ and Aus we settled on a first iteration of a hardware product to automate measurements of pH and Brix in the wine tanks. This is coupled with a software solution, allowing winemakers to check wine attributes in real time, in the office and out of it.

We should note - this is not the finished product! But it works and with VinPro using it this coming harvest we will have proof points around accuracy and time saving.

After VinPro we are looking to fit out more customers - if you’re interested in having your tanks fitted out or trialing a few tanks then please reach out. Our calendar is filling up fast so the sooner the better! Email jacob.manning@winely.co.nz to express interest.

Winely 2019

This year we’re excited to keep working with our winemakers on the data they need to make winemaking easier. This includes;

  1. Iterating on our hardware to enable more data attributes to be collected.
  2. Iterating on our hardware to allow for data tracking from the tanks through to barrels.
  3. Building out our software, an elegant dashboard to enable winemakers to make the best possible decisions with their data.
  4. A reconnaissance mission to the States to check out their wine technology and see where we fit into this amazing world of wine technology.

Happy Harvest winemakers of NZ and Aus! Go well and we look forward to meeting more of you this year!

Abbe and Jake - cofounders Winely


Startup to rid the world of bad wine.

Winely was founded in 2017 while the co-founders Jacob Manning and Abbe Hyde spent time working with SproutX agtech accelerator teams in Melbourne, Australia.

The co-founders had worked together before on various projects but this time the project was in Jacob Manning's domain. Having exited an agtech startup in 2013 for a bit of cash, which paid for him to do two more degrees in science which strengthen his knowledge in the agtech space. “I boot strapped that startup from a local New Plymouth startup to Australasia wide. The soil science really interested me.” In 2011 after leaving KPMG as an accountant to work full time on Wholesale soil solutions Ltd he realised he need more knowledge and proceeded to study biotechnology at Otago University.

Science solutions to technical problems always interested Jacob and this lead him to founding Winely with Abbe Hyde.

Why am I doing this?

"I’m doing it because the science of winemaking is super interesting and complex! The metabolic pathways that are influenced by yeast and bacteria resulting in a funky drink! Hell yeah the biochemistry is awesome! That's what got me interested in this startup." -         Jacob Manning

Abbe Hyde background was slightly different. Having completely a Masters in disruptive innovation she went on to found a high tech startup in the events industry. She led the team to raise over $150,000 and work with over 100 different events and event planners to help eliminate issues with low attendance to events.

Why am I doing this?

I'm passionate about helping real people with big pain points. Talking to over 100 winemakers about the way they manage data to create beautiful wine gets me excited about the future of the industry. Especially from a disruptive innovation standpoint (my Masters research) - working with people that are keen to try new technologies and incorporate different practices into a very traditional industry seeming is a great space to be. Plus ... I love wine.