From Science Today: “High-Flying Sauvignon”

It had to happen and so it did. In the wake of the hugely successful Cloudy Bay locator, Les Caves de Pyrène, an insignificant company based in Guildford, has teamed up with top top scientists and winery technicians to come up with a technological solution to keep tabs on their New Zealand brands in order to determine precisely where and when they might be selling. They have thus devised a system, christened the “Pinot Pinpointer”, deploying the latest GPS smart technology wherein micro-chips are implanted in the cork (or stelvin lining) before bottling; these chips contain complex digital information and emit a periodic signal which can be uploaded via satellite and downloaded instantly onto a web-site giving literally up-to-the-minute information regarding the sales history and whereabouts of every single bottle of that particular wine in the world.

The transmission signal, incidentally, is only “active” when the cork is pulled. New phone technology means that you can now “Wap-Sauv” to locate and track down a bottle of your favourite Marlborough tipple whilst an inbuilt Sat-Sauv-Nav device will enable you to calculate the quickest route between two bottles. The Pinot Pinpointer is calibrated to differentiate between the thyme signature of Central Otago Pinot Noirs and the oak signature of those from Western Australia, whilst wines from Savigny and Volnay will inevitably result in the invariable registration of a “Beauner”.

Initial teething problems have included certain difficulties tracking Riesling (the signals to the satellite are boosted by the alcoholic content of the wine) and the more ethereal nature of the grape variety has resulted in signal interference from Talk Radio stations and low flying aircraft, meanwhile signal blocking from bone-headed Italian bureaucrats means that information on Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Nebbiolo varietals can only be transmitted on enigmatic frequencies. A spokesman for Les Caves de Pyrène commented: “The Pinot Pinpointer is the ultimate no-brainer for the wine trade”.

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