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Bored Grapes: A virtual world of wine and NFTs

Bored Grapes, a new platform for wine collectors and enthusiasts, is potentially ushering in a new model for selling wine as futures – online.

A winemaker and digital team want you to imagine a virtual world where you are a vineyard owner: growing and harvesting virtual grapes and digitally filling up bottles of wine. Then, you redeem your digital bottle for actual wine – that you can drink – shipped straight to your home. This venture is part of a new project called Bored Grapes.

Oregon-based Nicholas Keeler, the winemaker at Authentique Wine Cellars and co-founder of Bored Grapes, has teamed up with a group of wine and tech experts led by Robert Haleluk. They have developed a wine approach to the world of NFTs (non-fungible tokens), creating an online wine-centered metaverse.

The project has evolved since its launch in October 2022. Keeler and his team are charting a course to initiate the first NFT model that could usher in an advanced new digital futures concept. Or, at the very least, provide an exciting new platform for consumers to buy and collect wine.

Bored Grapes launched its first NFT collection last year, offering 5,555 virtual empty bottles. This issuance process is often called a ‘mint’, where users interact with a smart contract to issue an NFT token.

The Bored Grapes team announced the inaugural ‘drop’ to their 31,000 Twitter followers and 26,000-member Discord community – an online social network. Interested users could then mint their empty NFT bottles for free. All 5,555 bottles were snapped up within half an hour.

‘The process allows us to curate special digital opportunities and unique wines from my network of winemaker friends in the industry’ said Keeler. ‘For instance, I’m planning to work with Chris Peterson at Avennia Winery for a Bordeaux blend offering, and we’re looking at curating wines from Italy, France, and California,’ he added.

The next step is for people to take those empty NFT bottles and redeem them for actual wine that Keeler and his network have produced. Over the Easter weekend, Bored Grapes will drop a new NFT collection to kickstart the next phase of its project. This new collection will allow members to mint 5,555 grape vines.

Users who have purchased grape vines will begin the experience of growing grapes at Bored Grapes’ metaverse vineyard, Vinum Estate. Each grape vine will grow a specific amount of grapes daily (these will vary). They will produce up to 112 grapes per vine at full maturity.

‘Once fully grown, users will be able to harvest their grapes and combine them with the empty bottles to produce a full bottle of wine NFT,’ explained Keeler. ‘Then they can redeem that NFT for an actual physical bottle of wine that I produce,’ he added.

The cost per grapevine is 0.10 Ethereum (ETH). However, users can pay with traditional currency (USD) by credit card. The amount charged will be based on the current value of ETH, which, as of this writing, is $1,872.50. This puts the mint price at: 0.10 ETH or $187.25 per vine.

In many ways, purchasing grape vines on Bored Grapes is akin to paying for wine futures, which is the practice of selling wine before it’s bottled.

Whereas at a physical marketplace like en primeur, where you’d buy wine futures, Bored Grapes is ‘taking an exciting new approach to doing this digitally,’ said Haleluk. ‘Even though these terms – NFT, mint, metaverse – may be complicated, this new technology is exciting. This enables creative teams to build unique experiences around products, brands, and exciting opportunities,’ he added.

‘We’re trying to make this a fun, new experience for buying wine,’ said Keeler.


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