What happens when wine and technology are paired? An augmented wine-tasting reality, of course.

Carhartt Vineyard, a family-owned and operated business since the early 1950s who pride themselves in selling 100 percent of their wine direct-to-consumer, recently teamed-up with Augmented Island Studios to build "Carhartt Vineyard AR," the first wine augmented reality experience in the Santa Ynez Valley.

With their simple approach to wine that focuses on three priorities: farming, winemaking and guest experience, Chase Carhartt of Carhartt Vineyard, says this new technology serves to expand the guest experience.

“Carhartt Vineyard exists to connect to people and we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to achieve this mission," he said. 

The Vineyard partnered with the California-based augmented reality and virtual reality development company, Augmented Island Studios (www.augmentedislandstudios.com), that specializes in competitively-priced AR and VR technology products, to bring their vision of enhancing the wine tasting room experience to life.

Augmented Island Studios' CEO, Enrique Sánchez-Rivera explained on his website that an idea had "surged" within his company to change the wine tasting room experience and offer an innovative and informative application that could be enjoyed not just inside, but also outside the wine tasting room.

“The wine tasting experience, whether at home or in a tasting room, hasn’t changed in ages, and Carhartt Vineyard AR brings entertainment, interactivity and an additional informational tool to Carhartt Vineyard’s wine club members and fans all across the nation,” he said. 

The 'how to'

When the user launches the Carhartt Vineyard AR app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/carhartt-vineyard-ar/id1405552744?mt=8) which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store, a beautiful flyover scene of Carhartt Vineyard’s stunning 11 Oaks Vineyard graces the screen, according to Sánchez-Rivera.

"The app then instructs you to find a flat surface where you can place the vineyard’s logo and click. Once you click, an ultra-realistic 3-D model bottle of Carhartt’s 2015 Estate Sangiovese appears right in front of you. You then get to explore different “floating” icons around the bottle and learn about the Sangiovese varietal, Carhartt’s 2015 vintage, and the history of the ranch. Try taking the cork off the bottle with your finger and you will be thrilled to see cherries and rose petals coming out in representation of the wine’s tasting notes while the cork hovers right above the bottle. Don’t forget to put the cork back in its place though," Sánchez-Rivera said.

When asked why a small craft operation like Carhartt Vineyard would be interested in developing an augmented reality experience, Carhartt says he has always believed in the value of ground-breaking new technology --especially when it pertains to member interaction.

"I hope users have fun using the app and experiencing AR technology, and most importantly get excited to drink our coveted Estate Sangiovese year after year,” Carhartt added.

You can find Carhartt wines at their tasting room located in Los Olivos. For more information, visit them at http://www.carharttvineyard.com.

This report was compiled by Lisa André. You can reach her at landre@leecentralcoastnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @LAndréSYVNews  

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