Biotech startup says it has nearly perfected making wine in a lab


Ava Winery’s first public taste test didn’t exactly go well. Two reporters on camera at New Scientist compared the biotech startup’s artificial wine with a glass of the Moscato D’Asti that it was based on. They complained that the fake wine had too little color, too little viscosity, and an unpleasant plastic smell.

But that was May, and this is September, and Ava is already bragging about making huge improvements in its product, to the point where it is all but indistinguishable from fermented grape juice, and looking ahead to how it’s going to change the world.

“What we have done since then is leaps and bounds beyond what they were able to taste back in May,” co-founder Alec Lee says. “Now we’re at the point where about 90% of people fail out blind taste test.”

Ava is about to get a lot of new tech, too, after closing a $2.7 million seed round led by Horizon Ventures in August. Lee says this will help them perfect their product and soon.


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