The start of April saw the launch of Coravin’s latest wine pouring tech, featuring a clamp that automatically grips the top of a bottle, ensuring that the device is “hard to make better” according to its founder.
Now applied to Coravin’s just-unveiled Models Three, Five, and Six, the new design development has been given the patented name SmartClamps, and means that the wine access system has done away with the former manual bottle clamps.
Coravin works by releasing wine from a bottle via a needle, doing away with the need to pull the cork. As the wine is removed, argon gas is inserted into the bottle, preventing the wine from premature oxidation. First introduced to the market in the US six years ago, it is now a globally distributed device, with a top-of-the-range fully automated Model 11.
Speaking to the drinks business ahead of the most recent refinement of the product at Vinexpo Paris in February, Coravin founder and CEO, Greg Lambrecht, said that the latest set of models were the “best” his company had created, explaining that the automated clamps made the wine pouring system “easier to use, which means less training”.
He also said that “It would be hard to make it [Coravin’s Model 3] better than this easily, so we are getting to the limit in what we can do.”
According to Lambrecht, with the previous Coravin design, Models One and Two, the fact that the tool had to be manually clamped on to the bottle before the needle was inserted into the cork, and that the clamps should remain in place while the needle is removed, did cause problems for some users.
“We found that people were taking off the clamps before removing the needle, so they were breaking needles,” he said.
Coravin had in fact already manufactured a version with clamps that automatically attached to the top of a bottle, but such technology came with its Model 11, that, because it is fully digitised – for instance, it also pours the wine for you – has a much higher price tag of almost US$1,000, which is five times the price of the new Model Three.
“The cost of the technology in Model 11 is really in the digital, and we thought, what if we can take some of its features to the rest of the range, such as the fact there’s no interaction with the clamp,” recorded Lambrecht.
Now, with the latest non-digital Coravin models, it’s a case of “push down, pour, pull off” said Greg, stressing the ease of use with his newly-refined set of devices.
He added, “Our aim was always to be faster, easier, and more fun than opening a bottle, and we are more close to that now.”
With the number of Coravins now produced increasing, Lambrecht also said that the latest models were able to retail for a similar price as the old ones, despite the new technology, and additional items – Models Three, Five, and Six come with an extra argon capsule and screwcap accessories as standard.
Model Three has a starting retail price in the UK of £199.
To see how the new models work, watch the video from Coravin below.