The Miracle Machine is the brainchild of two wine industry veterans Kevin Boyer and Philip James. It came about after one too many glasses of wine over dinner, and a casual remark by Philip that 'Jesus made water into wine; with all the technology we have available today why can’t we do the same?' Much laughter followed, but they knew they were onto something when they still thought it was a good idea the following morning.
The question was this: Could you bring a higher level of science to winemaking? Could the industry be modernized by technology just as many other industries have been? Winemaking is still considered by most an art. Secrets are closely guarded. As a result the price of a good bottle is still high. So Kevin and Philip spoke to their friends in Silicon Valley. They explored the possibility of accelerating the winemaking process using a low amount of heat and a computer controlled environment.
They also looked at the precise chemical breakdown of some of the finest wines in the world and realized that just as the scent industry is able to simulate smells, it is possible to replicate the delicate flavors of highly sought-after vintages.
Fast forward 12 months, and many experiments, and the Miracle Machine was born.
Kevin’s passion for wine began early when he would watch his mother market fine wines. He decided to follow in his mother’s footsteps, first as a sommelier and then as a wine buyer for a global chain of more than 100 restaurants. As one of the founders of Boyanci, the acclaimed Napa Valley winery, he is today part of a partnership making and marketing the highest quality wine. He is also President and CEO of Customvine, an industry-leading provider of custom wines.
At the heart of the miracle machine lies the fermentation chamber. Obviously we’re keeping the exact science under wraps, but we can tell you the chamber uses an array of electrical sensors, transducers, heaters and pumps to provide a controlled environment for the primary and, as needed, secondary fermentation stages.
For example, while a digital refractometer measures the sugar content of the liquid during the fermentation process, a custom-designed ceramic air-diffuser pumps filtered air under a regulated micro-oxygenated environment, aerating the wine and thus softening the tannins. Meanwhile an ultrasonic transducer, positioned directly underneath the chamber, resonates effectively speeding up the flavor development of the wine. Each of these components, and others, are connected to an Arduino microcontroller that ensures the Miracle Machine is doing its job of making a fine wine of your creation in just a matter of days.