Guardtime plans the world's largest ever blockchain wine provenance trial in Australia following wine platform roadshow.

The trial will drive the development of a commercial product for the wine industry out of
Australia. Guardtime, the world leader in enterprise blockchain deployment, plans to  continue the development of its wine services platform in partnership with Australian winemaker Jeff Grosset and grapegrower David Travers. The partners have spent the past week in Australia demonstrating the platform, Guardtime Vino, to industry participants, regulators and government officials, including South Australian Premier Steven Marshall in Adelaide.

Guardtime Vino, supports management, authentication and provenance services for wine,
with additional services, including accounting, direct customer engagement, distribution and
regulatory services portals planned for future release. The major trial would be conducted
exclusively in the Clare Valley, Australia’s third oldest wine growing region, and involve the
participation and input of around a dozen wine companies, including some of Australia’s most famous brands, and other parties from government, supporting industries, and the research

Mr Grosset said:
"The Australian wine community has been a world leader in innovation, from using satellites and remote sensing to identify individual vineyard blocks, grape varieties and disease, to the adoption of a reliable wine bottle closure. It makes perfect sense to me, that we should lead in the assurance of wine authenticity using blockchain. Our aim is to conduct this Clare Valley trial and then to commercialise with partners in China and other major markets.”
“Our platform is already able to ensure the provenance of the grapes, the authenticity of the winemaking and the integrity of the final bottle. We provide consumers assurance over the end to end provenance of the wine chain delivered directly via their mobile phone. The cutting edge combination of blockchain event management, automation and physical authentication methods is already turning heads,” Mr Grosset continued.

Wine authentication is particularly important for Australian export markets such as China. In
2017, an infamous Forbes article noted that in China up to half of all wine priced over US$35 a bottle was counterfeit. More recently, the Drinks Business reported that in November 2018 police in China seized more than 50,000 bottles of fake wine bottled as Australia’s Penfolds and China’s Changyu in a crackdown in central Henan province near Beijing. The total value of wines involved in this case is reported to exceed RMB 100 million (US$14.4 million).

David Shorthouse, GM of Guardtime's Supply Chain  business unit  said:
“It's a fantastic use case for our supply chain services platform. We see the wine industry facing the same challenges that most global supply chains face today. With extended chains of suppliers upstream and fragmented distribution networks downstream, the challenge is how does a brand owner ensure the quality and compliance of its product right across its supply chain? And how can it communicate those values to end consumers and regulators.”
“Guardtime’s technology is unique in the blockchain industry. Our experience is that we have the only one that actually works at the scale and with the performance needed for enterprise use cases. We see real value in providing a blockchain platform for supply chains that allows new services to be quickly developed by industry participants. For instance, it could be automation of transactions between arm's length counterparties, development of optimal business analysis and decision making using AI, or incorporating smart devices into their track and trace operations. This can be done with the comfort that data integrity and product authentication is ensured by the blockchain.”

Mr Travers says beyond the trial, he sees the platform eventually supporting a complete range of services to the wine industry; an end to end management of the entire production process. “We have designed a trial with all sectors joining: growers, wineries, distributors, regulators, service providers, wholesalers and the research community. This will help us to understand what we should build in there.”