Global TV highlights AromaLoc Inc.’s recent nomination for a WINnovation Award in the above video.
Making excellent-tasting wine isn’t easy.
Nine years ago, Dr. Dick Jones of Naramata noticed a lovely smell flowing from a carboy of his fermenting home-grown Pinot Gris. He was excited, but at the same time, alarmed.
Alarmed, because he knew there was bad news among the good — Jones knew these escaping aromas meant the finished wine would contain less of them, resulting in a wine far less aromatic than it could have been.
A retired pulmonary scientist, he set about searching for a way to prevent this from happening, knowing that if he succeeded, the result would be superior wine, since wine quality depends heavily on the aromatics the wine contains.
Eventually Jones came up with a solution, and proceeded to file patents on his invention in North America, Europe, and several other global wine producing areas.
“Those patents proved I was onto something,” says Jones. “I’m neither a business development guy nor a marketer — I knew I’d need help to commercialize my invention.”
So in 2016, he brought on two partners, Paul Gardner, a Skaha-based winery owner and marine engineer, and Penticton resident Walter Meyer, a retired executive from a large European corporation and avid amateur winemaker. Together, they formed a new company — and called it AromaLoc Inc.
Over the subsequent five years, the company’s applied R&D efforts, led by Jones, have further refined his original concept. The results of nearly 50 trials continue to show the same thing — AromaLoc-treated wines have a more pleasant aroma profile — and that is a good thing, for winemakers and consumers alike.
When asked to briefly explain what makes the AromaLoc method so special, Jones replies, “First of all, it’s non-invasive — the liquid wine isn’t manipulated in any way. Secondly, nothing is added to the wine. Thirdly, it’s easy to install and simple to operate. Fourthly, it’s not expensive. And most importantly, it really works!”
While still a small, early-stage company, AromaLoc’s current generation of machines are now deployed at three prestigious German viticultural universities for experimentation, while others are being used in Spain, Italy, California, and Oregon for commercial trials. Still others have been sold to wineries in the USA, Eastern Canada, Germany and Russia. the
Winemaker Richard Charnock & Executive Winemaker Paul Gardner of Pentage Winery are early adopters of the AromaLoc method in BC’s Okanagan Valley.
“It’s kind of ironic — we have commercial wineries, from Texas to Russia, enthusiastically using AromaLoc, all of them saying essentially the same thing, that AromaLoc technology is easy to use, is cost-effective, and best of all, it really works — and so far we only have a single installation here in our own BC backyard,” says the company’s communications director, Randy Morse.
That could soon change.
The company’s development — and the effectiveness of its technology — has not escaped industry notice. AromaLoc has been nominated for a 2021 WINnovation Award. Administered by California’s North Bay Business Journal and the Wine Industry Network, these awards honour companies that have developed ground-breaking products or practices, and have made positive contributions toward the advancement of the North American wine industry. WINnovation winners will be announced in November, with the award ceremony taking place at the North Coast Wine Industry Expo held in Sonoma in early December.
“It’s exciting to see our technology proving our motto right,” concludes Jones. “When we say, ‘Think your wine is good? The AromaLoc method will make it better,’ that’s not just an empty marketing slogan. We mean it. It’s great to see commercial wineries and leading industry organizations agreeing. We’re proud we’re helping cement the Okanagan as a global leader in wine industry innovation.”