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The Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA) has appointed digital marketing platform Cellr as its new technology partner for the 2021 Barossa Wine Auction, to deliver digital verification of provenance on all wines in the auction via near-field communication (NFC). Cellr will also provide winemakers with a brand protection platform and connected packaging solution beyond the auction.

Held every two years in April since 1985 as a highlight event of the Barossa Vintage Festival, the Barossa Wine Auction features both online and dynamic live auctions.

According to the BGWA, the partnership puts the “South Australian wine industry in the spotlight as pioneers in winegrowing and world leaders from a technology adoption perspective”.

“Barossa has a long and distinguished history of innovation. Partnering with Cellr assures the successful Barossa Wine Auction bidders of the provenance of their wine investments,” says James March, BGWA chief executive.

In 2015, the Barossa wine community embarked on an exciting evolution of this event, partnering with Langton’s Fine Wine Auction House – a move that expanded Barossa’s offer to wine collector’s worldwide.

With Cellr now involved, the 2021 event delivers digital verification of provenance on all wines in the auction via a unique and digitally interactive experience using near-field communication (NFC).

Powered by Cellr’s customer engagement platform, buyers can tap their smartphone on the Barossa Seal of Provenance to verify their wine has been sourced directly from the winery’s museum collections and immerse themselves in the latest brand experience.

Cellr will also provide participating winemakers with their brand protection platform and connected packaging solution beyond the auction.

“Building and maintaining brand integrity goes beyond authentication, it is also about creating a direct line of communication that connects wineries with their consumers,” Chris Braine, Cellr founder and CEO, tells PKN.

“We built a connected packaging solution for the beverage industry. And through working with BGWA, we have come up with a provenance seal for certification, through a near-field communication-based label, which goes onto each product that is in the auction lots.

“It is all about two things – the verification of provenance and delivering a deeper level of consumer engagement. And the brands themselves who are part of the auction will have access to the platform for about a year after the auction officially ends.”

Part of the net proceeds support the local community via the BGWA Well-Being Fund and the Barossa Vintage Festival.

“We are fans of the actual auction itself, which has been going since 1965, so the fact that we have been selected as the tech partner for such an iconic event, we are very proud of that,” Braine explains.

“For us, it is always nice to get involved and give back through charities that we are involved with, and this year’s charity supports mental health, which is really important given how tumultuous 2020 had been for everyone.”

The Barossa Wine Auction will occur in April 2021 at live events in Barossa, Sydney and online.

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