Five years ago, five students from the Spanish Basque country challenged themselves to revolutionize a sector of the business world and chose the wine sector, considered among the most conservative, by creating a… blue wine.
The discovery made by Imanol, Iñigo, Gorka, Aritz and Taig, which required two years of research and development with the help of chemists, is one of the many innovations that are flourishing in a still very traditional wine world.
Their company, Gik Live!, founded in 2015 and now employing 12 people, sold 30,000 bottles in its first year and nearly 500,000 in 2017. Today it has customers in 21 countries, its biggest market being the United States, and its second… France, a major wine centre.
“We understand that for many people, wine is something you don’t play with. Wine is sacred,” says one of the founders of this start-up, Taig MacCarthy, half-Irish, half-Basque, at the company’s headquarters bar in Portugalete, near Bilbao.
The wine in bloom is made with a lot of white wine and a little red wine and must, this mixture being obtained by pressing the grapes not yet fermented. Then, to obtain an electric blue coloration, anthocyanins are added, blue pigments found in the skin of red grapes, and indigo carmine, a natural blue dye extracted from the indigo tree.
Other producers are now offering a blue wine in Spain. Even blue cava has arrived on the market. As for the young entrepreneurs of Gik Live!, they have decided to innovate again, with wine with tea or a spicy red wine called “Bastarde”. A bottle usually costs 11 to 13 euro online, and the clientele is mainly between 25 and 45 years old.