A wine producer in Argentina is selling their entire 2018 vintage as a wine-backed crypto asset and has said it will open its books to become an ‘open source’ winery.

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Argentina winery creates its own cryptocurrency for 2018 vintage.

Costaflores Organic Vineyard in Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, has said it will make every detail of the wine’s production visible to the consumer as part of its OpenVino project, which started 6th May.

The full 2018 production is being released through a token sale that went live on 6th May – whereby each token represents one bottle of wine and is sold at cost price.

Following pressing, the cost price and total quantity of the 2018 vintage was calculated at 16,348 bottles at £3.55 per bottle after tax, all visible on the published accounting ledger.

Costaflores was started by US expat and IT engineer Mike Barrow in 2003.

‘We’ll expose all of our practices in the vineyard, winery and even our accounting to the world,’ said Barrow, who is collecting data from sensors in the vineyard (above and below ground) and winery, and will upload all the data, work logs and complete financial books on to a blockchain.

Blockchain technology is increasingly being recognised for its transparency benefits and some wine fraud detection companies, such as Chai Wine Vault, are also using it for this purpose.

Almost half of the bottles – a Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend – have been sold already, mostly to first-time crypto buyers.

From July 2018, token-holders will be able to trade their tokens on the open exchange at their own will, or exchange them for the wine bottles in 2021.

A wine-backed crypto asset

There are several wineries and wine retail sites, notably in the US and Argentina, which accept cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, for wine purchase.

However, Costaflores is unique because it is creating its own cryptocurrency – its own digital coin or token – for its wine.

‘Creating a wine-backed cryptoasset is not about driving the price up to absurd levels,’ Barrow told Decanter.com.

‘It’s about qualifying value and honesty in wine.’

OpenVino is being used as a study case by digital transformation experts at the University of Surrey and other international academia.