Twisted and Tilted Thinking

The Wine Studio is a funky winery in Marlborough, built in 2017 as the home winery for Two Rivers, plus a custom crush facility for a handful of select wine brands.

Fresh home from one of his many overseas trips, Two Rivers’ Commercial Director Jason Yank was kind enough to show me around.

There was a lot to be impressed by. One thing in particular that caught my attention was the layout of their tanks, especially the location of the valves. Instead of locating the valves on the very outside of the row of tanks, a simple twist of the tank gives winemakers and cellar hands more space to work and fewer protrusions to navigate in the walkway between tanks.

A very simple idea, and one which Jason admits he adopted after seeing it elsewhere – but with some nice benefits for access, ease of use, and safety.

I was reminded of this by the enthusiastic admiration heaped on Mazda designers by an AA mechanic who was helping me out with a dead car battery last weekend. He pointed out the tilt engineered into the bolt plates that secures the electrical leads to the battery terminals. Instead of fiddling with a nut on a vertical plate, negotiating space to fit the spanner or socket, the tilt makes it so much easier to get onto the nut, and the angle then gives you more space to work as you turn the tool. A larger turning arc for the spanner. No skinned knuckles. Genius.

Whether it’s a twist of a tank or a tilt of a bolt plate, it’s worth taking a step back to think about things from the user’s perspective, and considering “is there a better way?”

By the way, if you like a good Sauvignon Blanc you can’t go wrong with Two Rivers. Two thumbs up. Myself, I’ll be enjoying some of their Rose this summer. If it’s even half as good as it looks on their Instagram I’ll be stoked.

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