Who’s Ready for Wine Made in Lab, Not a Vineyard?

For centuries, alchemists dreamed of turning base metal into gold. Now three California chemists have managed the task — sort of. Josh Decolongon, Alec Lee, and Mardonn Chua, founders of Ava Winery in San Francisco, have not located the mythical philosopher’s stone, but the three have uncovered a method for essentially turning water to wine.

Their product, “grapeless” wine, is an outgrowth of the molecular gastronomy movement. As they explain on their website, their quest began with isolating the specific molecules that when combined yield the tastes, aromas, and colors of wine. They then reverse-engineered the product using synthetic ingredients.

The process allows them to make a more sustainable wine and affords them the ability, moreover, to control every aspect of its flavor. No more risk of poor vintages years, either, when the wine comes out of a test tube.

The million-dollar question, of course, is how it tastes. You will have wait for an answer, but we’ll keep you apprised.