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After successful careers building and marketing technology that transformed multiple industries, proprietors Kia Behnia and Tracy Borman set out to re-imagine the wine industry.

“Why can’t we be proud of 21st-century design and all the technology that is now available to us to help us reduce our waste and improve the wine experience?” Behnia said.

Together, Behnia and Borman created Neotempo, a wine estate and label that aims to push the boundaries of the traditional wine industry, from the bottle they use to the end product they produce, with a dramatically reduced end-to-end carbon footprint between it all. The name Neotempo is a nod to “new times” and a “change of tempo” for the wine industry.

 

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NEOTEMPO was founded by Kia Behnia and Tracy Borman with their inaugural release in 2021. However, the story begins much earlier than this. Kia and Tracy were biking along the Silverado Trail in 1996 when one of their tires went flat. Needing to fix it, they stopped and noticed a nearby property featuring a 1950s era cottage perched on top of a picturesque knoll, a number of older oak trees and surrounding vineyards.

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Innovations in wine

The husband-and-wife team of Kia Behnia and Tracy Borman from Neotempo Wines poured their 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon from their new lightweight glass bottle on Saturday night. The Cab is “on the younger side, but it’s drinking really well,” Behnia said. It was made from the organic vineyard they planted a dozen years ago.

After the 2017 wildland fires, Behnia said he and his wife “became much more active in figuring out the best ways we can help do our best against climate change.” They focused on the glass bottle since he said it is the No. 1 contributor to the carbon footprint of a winery. That footprint includes shipping the glass bottle from manufacturing to the winery, to the distributor and finally to the consumer. The heavier the bottle, the more it costs in diesel fuel to ship and the more space it takes up.

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Coming from a long career in technology, Kia Behnia, Founder of Neotempo Wines was galvanized by the 2017 Napa fires to create a more sustainable path.  This started in the vineyard, where he’s utilizing technology and leveraging real-time data to improve quality and decrease cost.  Kia maps opportunities he sees in weeding, irrigation, mildew prevention, & automated crop evaluation as part of the foundation of a new “Smart Farm.”  Beyond the vineyard, Kia has redesigned what sustainable packaging means for wine for Neotempo to address the most significant shortfalls of the industry today.  

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