My mom used to say that if she keeps something long enough, it will come back into fashion. And as with many other things, she had it absolutely spot-on.
But the current trend towards authenticity is more than a fashion come-back.
Innovation is at the order of the day and technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Many of the traditional ways in which we use to do things are disappearing in front of our eyes. E-commerce is replacing weekends at the mall, IBM Watson online legal advice is replacing lawyers and IBM Watson Health will diagnose cancer more accurately than human nurses.
There are innovative ways of doing business. Uber is only a software tool, but without owning any cars, they are the biggest taxi operator in the world. Airbnb does not own any property, but is the biggest hotel business in the world.
Smart phones play an important part in the global village and are putting real-time information at the fingertips of almost everyone in the world. Imagine what this can do for education?!
And of course, there is 3D-printing. In 10 years the price of a 3D printer decreased from about $18,000 to $400 and became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes and at the end of 2017 new smart phones will supposedly have 3D scanning possibilities. Imagine scanning your feet and printing your perfect shoe!
And self-drive cars? We should see the first fully automated ones in 2018. Soon a Wifi enabled car will deliver you safely to work and rather than waiting in a parking garage, will be off transporting other souls, who will be preparing for meetings and answering emails en route. No more parking areas, no more driver’s licenses or car insurance… More than a million people die each year in car accidents – one accident every 100,000 km, but with autonomous driving that should drop to one accident in 10 million km. All indications are that self-drive cars will save lives. And with those odds, who will be taking out insurance?
All of this is a reality – and soon!
But it is exactly because of the new reality that people are yearning for some authenticity. Some familiarity, something real. The trend is clear from the exceptional performance of craft beer and fashion trends such as retro sneakers. Tourism trends also indicate a preference for authentic experiences, for example to “eat like the locals“.
What does this juxtaposition between technology and tradition hold for wine?
Hopefully we will stay true to winemaking traditions and hand-crafted quality, but perhaps we can employ 3D printing when it comes to design, sell our wine globally and easily via the online platforms and with self-drive cards making drinking and driving a thing of the past, have full tasting rooms and the opportunity to share our wines worry-free!