Wine & Travel during #Lockdown: AR tech brings Victoria Falls to life

by | May 8, 2020 | News

Faced with an unprecedented travel ban due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local wine brand Mosi Wines and Gin, together with Vollherbst Labels’ augmented reality smartphone app LABELinmotion, are inviting wine lovers to ‘virtually’ travel to one of the world’s most visited natural sites, the Victoria Falls.

Mosi is the inspiring wine and gin brand by top local sommelier and winemaker, Joseph Dhafana. Mosi, an abbreviation to Mosi-oa-Tunya, is the Kololo name for the Victoria Falls translating as ‘the smoke that thunders’. This World Heritage Site is beautifully depicted as a line drawing on Mosi’s labels, the very same labels which now turns into colourful waterfall animations with the use of the LABELinmotion smartphone app. 

Launched via Joseph’s social media pages, this award-winning sommelier said: “Life is so unpredictable. Who would’ve thought when I started working with LABELinmotion for the augmented reality labels for Mosi that the world would be in lockdown months down the line? No traveling. Currently both my homeland, Zimbabwe, and my adopted land, South Africa, are experiencing lockdown – and no travel is allowed. It is sad as I believe that Mosi-oa-tunya (the Victoria Falls) is the most magnificent it has been in years. While we can’t see this incredible natural wonder at the moment, we can travel there with clever technology.”

Joseph then continues to invite people to download the LABELinmotion app on the Apple or Google Play store, in order to ‘unlock’ this living label.

Zimbabwean-born Joseph has captivated the public with his life story of adversity and ultimate victory over hardship: he entered the country as a refugee nearly ten years ago and worked as a gardener and barman before becoming one of South Africa’s best known and respected sommeliers. So respected in fact, that Joseph was awarded the prestigious 2019 Eat Out Wine Service Award for his contribution to wine service in the country.

Joseph recalls having his first sip of wine at age 29, a seminal moment which has since dictated his journey. Eager to learn even more about the product, Joseph explored winemaking in 2014 guided by top Swartland producers Chris Mullineux, Eben Sadie and Roger Clayton. In 2020, Dhafana’s Mosi wine brand is firmly established with a Syrah, Chenin Blanc and Merlot in bottle. Last year, Dhafana also introduced a gin made from botanicals foraged by his mother in Zimbabwe.

Matthias Vollherbst, managing owner of Vollherbst Labels and LABELinmotion, says he was inspired by Joseph and his captivating wine and gin labels, and he was eager to add a storytelling element to Mosi. “I was immediately struck by the authentic correlation between Joseph’s life story and his wine labels. The strong link, and the fact that the labels are beautifully designed line drawings of one of Africa’s most famous landmarks, introduced such an opportunity to add an augmented reality layer to an already uplifting brand.”

Matthias says his company worked closely with Joseph to ensure the AR experience as a whole reflected this winemaker’s personality. “Users will therefore hear Joseph’s voice when activating the AR experience as he guides them through an introduction of the Mosi brand, which has been animated into a thunderous Victoria Waterfall experience, complete with birdsong one can expect to hear when viewing this iconic wonder.”

“In a time when we are all isolated, technology has provided us with the opportunity to stay engaged. It is wonderful that we can also evoke the energy of traveling to remote destinations like the Victoria Falls during this unprecedented time,” Matthias added.

“I hope when the travel ban is lifted people would’ve been inspired by Mosi’s AR-enabled wine labels to travel to my home country,” says Joseph.

Mosi Wines and Gin can be purchased at Norman Goodfellows Fine Wine and Spirit Merchants. To experience the Mosi Wines’ AR feature, download the LABELinmotion application, follow the instructions, hover your smartphone over the label and enjoy the heartbeat of Africa.

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