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Pyramid Valley and Oritain have teamed up to provide the world’s first verification of origin and provenance for New Zealand fine wine.

They’re calling it a game changing move for the future of fine wine. Oritain’s innovative forensic science is providing a guarantee of Pyramid Valley wine’s provenance and origin no matter its age or cellaring history.

Pyramid Valley, a highly regarded producer of cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in North Canterbury, and Oritain, the forensic sciences company headquartered in Dunedin have agreed a ground-breaking new partnership to prove this technology and provide this guarantee. Labelling it a first in the world of fine wine.

In launching the 2020 Pyramid Valley Botanicals Collection wines, Steve Smith who leads Brian Sheth’s investment in Pyramid Valley, said “Sanctity of place sits at the heart of Pyramid Valley’s values, with our Botanicals Collection wines speaking with a unique voice from vineyard parcels located just a few metres apart.

“We were looking for a way to provide two guarantees to our valuable customers. Firstly, that the wines are 100 percent of the place we say they come from, and secondly, providing verification of their provenance at any time in the life of a wine.”

He says two principles are at play: “ultra-transparency being entirely in our hands; and giving confidence that the supply chain has not delivered a fraudulent wine”.

“Our partnership has provided the answers and may provide the fine wine world with a verification system that links the wine to the land absolutely – the “Oritain Fingerprint”. Until now that guarantee has been sadly lacking.”

Oritain CEO Grant Cochrane says they are delighted to be partnering with Pyramid Valley – “to bring together extraordinary fine wine with the integrity that consumers can trust thanks to cutting edge forensic science.

“Our technology enables us to give the consumer the ability to trace their wine from vine to barrel to bottle,” says Cochrane. “It is an important breakthrough for producers providing a level of traceability like no other. The Oritain Trustmark will become just that – a trusted symbol of origin verification.”


How does it work?

Wherever you are in the world, the geochemistry of the land differs, even in the case of parcels of land that are only a few metres apart. As a grapevine grows, it absorbs a unique ratio of elements depending on the mesoclimate, altitude, precipitation, soil type and growing conditions. Using cutting edge forensic science, Oritain can identify this unique ratio in the soil that is ‘imprinted’ from grapes to the finished wine, creating a scientific link that runs through the land, the vine and the wine. This link remains through the life of the wine, never changing. As proof, the Oritain Verification of Origin and Provenance mark is displayed on the wine’s back label in a distinctive QR code providing a direct digital link to the guarantee. The 2020 Pyramid Valley Botanicals Collection wines are the first in the world to wear this mark.


What does this mean for wine?

“For Pyramid Valley, it supports our claim that the wines in our Botanicals Collection are true to source, from earth to barrel to bottle, each having their own unique Oritain Fingerprint even when vineyard parcels are just metres apart,” Smith explains. “It supports the story of the unique terroir of each vineyard parcel sitting within the Waikari farm. We have always been able to taste the difference – today we can prove it. Our proposition of ‘wines that breathe of their place’ is now supported by forensic science.”

The fingerprint can also provide proof at any point of time in the supply chain, that the wine is the genuine article, no changes, no modifications. “If a customer wants to verify for themselves the 2020 Lion’s Tooth in their glass is the authentic product, we offer a unique guarantee. They simply have to keep a sample, contact us, and Oritain can supply the verification.”

Fine wine lovers around the world deserve to know that the wine they have in their glass comes from its claimed origin and that it is the genuine article. The Oritain Verified Proven Origin mark on the label provides that assurance, for the very first time in the history of wine, says Smith.

“At Pyramid Valley we embrace the concept of making wine hand in hand with nature using modern science, technology and natural wisdom to create some of the world’s most revered cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir,” Smith continues.

“While we take our cues from older philosophies, it is marrying these cues with innovation, inquisitive minds, modern technology and science that sets us apart. Whether that is modern regenerative farming building dynamic ecosystems, using sensors and miniature robotic tractors, new stearin wax frost candles, or Oritain fingerprinting, it all ties into the same way of thinking.”

Pyramid Valley and Oritain are delighted to partner on this project and look forward to continuing this collaboration and fine tuning this extraordinary forensic science for the benefit of nature and fine wine lovers.”


Watch the partnership video HERE Visit or

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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