November 24, 2008 Two years ago we wrote quite bullishly about the impending launch from a Silicon Valley start-up producing US$4500 domestic devices for artisan winemaking and we’re pleased to report that WinePod has since won countless awards, and is now set to spawn a more affordable, entry–level personal winery – the Garagiste. The US$2000 Garagiste presses and ferments wine in a self–contained unit and makes four cases of world-class wine per fermentation – personally, we’d still go for the much smarter upmarket model because it is so clever and connects to your computer for micro fermentation monitoring and management.
Sadly, neither the WinePod or the Garagiste involves bare-footed maidens squishing the grapes, but if you’re a wine buff, you’ll really appreciate the science of making a fine wine. For those who are not so certain they’ll be able to master the science and art of a vigneron, step-by-step instructions are available through the WineCoach instructional software that comes with the Garagiste and a worldwide social network of WinePod winemakers to connect with. There’s also advice from professional winemakers, online support and access to premium grapes including cabernet sauvignon from Rancho Sarco and Napa River Ranch in Napa Valley; pinot noir and chardonnay from Sangiacomo Vineyard in Sonoma Valley and syrah from Annadel Vineyard in Sonoma Valley.