Vinsight Winery Management Software

August 2005
Vinsight has been developed by Simon Lampen, experienced winemaker and software developer from his Auckland based wine and technology company.

The programme specialises in management for small to medium wineries, and has installations in about 20% of the active companies in the NZ industry.

Traditionally, wine industry records have been kept on paper and with a fragmented database. While there may be many reasons why wineries do not install such software, often the smaller companies are the ones which need it the most. As a lot of new and smart money flows into development of boutique wineries, the investors may know a lot about viticulture but lack experience in wine making, performance management, cost control and investigation of alternatives in processing.

Since the wine mislabelling and adulteration scares of the late 1990s (mostly overseas) the demand for quality control, quality assurance and traceback schemes has grown. Vinsight lays out the full trail from grape receival to bottling and makes it easy for companies to comply with the code of record-keeping practice.

To be competitive and successful, smaller to medium sized wineries will need to analyse their business performance to make better decisions in the future.

The starting price of the vineyard module is $2000, followed by $800 yearly subscription, the winery module is $6000 followed by $2000 yearly subscription and Simon provides regular updates and full after-sales care.

The software does three things for the user:

1. Planning operations and even writing worksheets for people to use when doing winery and vineyard operations

2. Recording what has happened (often as simple as marking that the previously written operation is complete)

3. Reporting and answering production and business-related questions. How much does block x cost us to run this year? How many labour hours did we spend doing something by hand and should we buy a machine to do it?

Vinsight keeps and reports vineyard maturity data, winemaking operations history, wine compositions for label integrity, lab analysis, stock records, ordering, invoicing and despatch (makes excise returns very easy) and more is planned.

Vinsight records all fruit parcels coming into the winery and all the treatments, additions, operations and analyses that relate to the wine made. The use of Vinsight is designed to result in more time making wine and less time keeping records about it.

There is a graphical representation of the tanks and winery that gives a quick reference to information on tank contents. Wine composition and breakdown gives exact information on which blocks and batches make up the blend with which additives. From the quality point of view owners and operators are able to easily see the history of how an award winning wine was made or look at different winemaking treatments in a trial.

Vinsight allows tracking of maturity data on many vineyards and blocks within vineyards and stores information on blocks such as varieties and clones. Vinsight then follows the fruit off these blocks into the winery allowing winemakers to identify which blocks end up in which finished wines.

The separate vineyard module contains features such as crop prediction, weather data, soil analyses and vineyard operations all incorporated into the information database.

The software provides a competitive advantage by making available good and timely management information. Simon says, The time economies of using the Vinsight software as a part of the way you get the job done, rather than a post operative recording tool, is important because if the information is collected as you work, then much of the management information is generated as a 'free' side effect of getting things done.

Benefit highlights:

Quality assurance record of all winery activities and production.

Schedule of use of chemicals, for food safety requirements.

Production cost records for different batches of fruit, block of vines etc., followed by the wine outcome, profitability etc.

Standardised place and format for records for future owners, managers and workers.

Year-to-year recipe of what was done for future reference.