Makers story

7 Years With InnoVint | A Winemaker’s Journey

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A Tale of Unwavering Partnership

Matt Hughes’s journey with InnoVint, from its early beginnings to various roles he’s had over the last 7 years, showcases his unwavering commitment to leveraging innovative tools to better his craft.

InnoVint at Six Sigma

Back in 2013, when InnoVint was in its nascent stage, Hughes was a winemaker at Six Sigma Ranch, seeking a tool to simplify his job and bring order to the maze of spreadsheets and papers. “Six Sigma was a small winery, a one-man-band situation,” Hughes said. “Before I used wine management software, I had piles of spreadsheets, papers, and a notebook.”

However, his initial experience with certain wine management software proved less than satisfactory; it was complicated and unaccommodating, forcing Hughes to maintain a notebook for vital data.

His quest eventually led him to Ashley DuBois Leonard, Founder, and CEO of InnoVint. It was then that he decided to take a leap of faith with InnoVint, a decision that paid off immensely.

InnoVint’s cloud function proved invaluable during a crisis at Six Sigma Ranch, allowing Hughes to maintain functionality amid evacuations due to nearby fires.

“We had to evacuate the Ranch three different times during one harvest due to fires nearby. I was able to stay somewhat sane and functional using InnoVint on my laptop,” Hughes said.

This success instilled confidence in Hughes, prompting him to introduce InnoVint at his new workplace, Brassfield Estate.

InnoVint at Brassfield Estate

At Brassfield, Hughes realized the true versatility of InnoVint. The software evolved from being a mere paper-saving tool at Six Sigma to a comprehensive winemaking aid, simplifying tasks like sorting, filtering, tagging lots, and tracking. As his team grew dependent on InnoVint, Hughes could oversee operations with ease and precision.

“When I went to Brassfield, InnoVint was the first request I made because as the new guy, you usually get what you want. So I said I needed $200,000 worth of Oak Barrels and InnoVint.”

Hughes found the costing function particularly the most helpful when he started using it at Brassfield. With his team beginning to rely on InnoVint, Hughes was able to monitor and sort what was happening with ease.

InnoVint at Feliz Creek Cellars

Hughes’s journey then took him to Feliz Creek Cellars, where the lack of InnoVint’s simplicity and functionality became glaringly evident when he tried using another wine management software.

“When I moved to Feliz Creek, I was so used to InnoVint I thought I could just launch this other program and know how to use it. I was working with contractors, installing tanks, powering tanks, and filling them the next day. I thought I would just enter what I could and put the rest on paper, but when the other wine management software launched, it just didn’t work for me,” Hughes said.

Overwhelmed with new responsibilities, Hughes found the alternative software’s user interface difficult to navigate. This led him to revert to notebooks and spreadsheets, revealing a significant gap in the market.

“I abandoned ship on it, and I said back to the notebooks and spreadsheets. It just wasn’t going to work for me. It was more than double the work. So I contacted Ashley, ‘Help!

Longing for the ease of InnoVint, he reached out to Ashley for help. Returning to InnoVint, Hughes found his work at Feliz Creek to be quicker and more streamlined.

Hughes’s relationship with InnoVint is more than just user software; it’s an enduring partnership that has witnessed the highs and lows of the winemaking industry. His profound statement encapsulates this sentiment best: “I am a better winemaker with InnoVint because it allows me to be focused. It allows me to think about the wine, think about the client, and think about my winery.”


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