I found Christian Oggenfuss, founder and fearless leader of the Academy, staring at a corner of our larger classroom one afternoon, several weeks ago. The corner was empty, but he didn’t notice because his gaze seemed fixated on some point in the future. “What are you looking at?” I asked.
“The home of our WineEmotion machine,” he said.
“You mean, we’re getting one?” I pressed.
“Absolutely,” he said. Awesome.
The machines arrived at the beginning of May and within hours we were sipping on perfectly dispensed one-ounce pours of Chambertin-Clos de Bèze (breaking in the WineEmotion machine with a Grand Cru Burgundy seemed to make sense). “What’s cool about this,” Christian boasted to a small group of teachers, “is that we can use these machines in a myriad ways–from classroom pours, to private event tastings and best of all, we can have wines available for tasting and study groups.”
And that’s exactly how we’ve been using them. Ricardo Gossi, considered the “founding father” of the modern day automated wine dispensing system, is the creator of WineEmotion, a complete system that not only preserves and serves wine but displays bottles beautifully.
Ricardo pioneered some major changes in the WineEmotion machine as well, setting it apart from other wine dispensers. Namely, mechanical buttons replace touchscreens and pneumatic pistons replace electronic motors, largely because as Ken Fournier, Marketing Manager for WineEmotion points out, “In a restaurant setting, the less electronics the better. The high use and moisture are bad for electronics.”
At the Napa Valley Wine Academy, we have the “Cinque” model, which accommodates five bottles and three different pour settings–a sleek design with LED lighting and room temperature or refrigerated options makes this a great addition to our classroom environment.
We’ve seen these dispensers in retail outlets and wine bars, as well as in restaurants for by-the-glass programs. The technology and preservation system allows beverage directors to curate unique offerings from every-day wines to older vintages, while argon gas technology preserves the wines freshness for up to 30 days. Check out what some of the pros are saying, or come by the Academy and try it out for yourself.
“Wineemotion is the best way to preserve wine and serve it at the correct temperature in a restaurant.” – Rajat Parr, Partner/Proprietor, Sandhi and Domaine de la Côte
“I can think of no better system to help us provide the best wines to our students no matter what the class size. Wineemotion is the best way for us to offer limitless options to our students when it comes to trying wines.” – Christian Oggenfuss, DWS, FWS, IWP and Founder, Napa Valley Wine Academy
“The system is working fantastically! I really like the ability to view the system in real-time, make changes from my desktop, and check access etc… Good stuff. In fact, I believe we will be look at adding a couple more of the WineEmotion systems to our soon to be opened lobby bar. Quite impressive how fresh and sound it is keeping our wines. So far I am very pleased!” – Tommy Thompson, Sommelier, Tulalip Resort Casino
If you’re really ambitious though, you could just try making one yourself, similar to what Heron, a Greek mathematician invented in BC times.