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New device aims to turn water into wine

Published:  06 March, 2014

The founder of struggling flash wine sale site Lot 18 has come up with another radical idea for the wine trade -a machine to turn water into wine within three days.

Enlisting the help of Silicon Valley's finest, Philip James of Lot18 and Kevin Boyer have developed the Miracle Machine, which will turn water into wine within three days. Users decide what style of wine they would like - there are six to choose from including a Burgundy red and steely white, and Napa Chardonnay - then add the ingredients pack plus water, allow their phone's Bluetooth to communicate with the machine, and off it goes.

Miracle MachineMiracle machineThe Miracle Machine, from the founder of Snooth and Lot18, aims to turn water into wine within three days.

The pair explored the possibility of accelerating the winemaking process using a low amount of heat and a computer controlled environment. They also analysed the chemical breakdown of some of the world's most famous wines and realised it was possible to replicate the flavours of top vintages.

They will sell winemaking kits for around $10 alongside the machines, both through their website and via Amazon, which will include yeast and grape concentrate among other ingredients.

James, who is from the UK and lives in New York, chairs Customvine, and founded Lot18 and wine comparison site Snooth. He has a Masters in Chemistry from Oxford University, an MBA from Columbia Business School and is a Society of Wine Educators 'Certified Specialist of Wine'. His business partner Boyer worked first as a sommelier then wine buyer for a global restaurant chain. He is one of the founders of Napa's Boyanci winery and chief executive of Customvine.

The Miracle Machine has a fermentation chamber which "uses an array of electrical sensors, transducers, heaters and pumps to provide a controlled environment for the primary and, as needed, secondary fermentation stages". It also has a thermoelectric heater, a temperature monitor, a mixing motor, a custom microprocessor board to control the process and a Bluetooth antenna.

The pair are seeking funding via crowdsourcing site Kickstarter for the project, but are positioning the machine at around $499.