At Sky Acres Winery in Far Hills, New Jersey, fermentation engineer Vijay Singh and his wife, winemaker Meera Singh, craft wine in an unconventional way. The semi-retired couple has patented the GOfermentor, a winemaking system that occupies a small footprint, but has delivered outsized results. The technology replaces labor-intensive fermentation practices with biodegradable plastic bags. Instead of sterilizing stainless steel tanks between each batch, producers simply replace the bags saving time and other resources.
Sky Acres’ most recent releases of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and the Mr. Big red blend all earned silver and bronze medals at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Its 2017 Black River Red, made with New Jersey-grown Maréchal Foch, took home Best in Class. All were made via the GOfermentor.
A 2000-square foot former horse barn holds Sky Acres’ entire winemaking operation. And there’s not a single fermentation tank or barrel to be found.
As a biotech scientist, Vijay created the WAVE Bioreactor, which swapped out traditional stainless steel tanks for plastic bags. The invention became the industry standard. Now, the Singhs hope the GOfermentor achieves similar success in the wine industry.