SANTUS™ Andante founder Terence Tan sheds light on building a wine tech startup

“Make sure enough research and thought goes into it so you can convince investors to part with their money.” -Terence Tan, founder and CEO of Vino Fontaine

Singapore: The Andante is a smart wine dispenser designed and developed by SANTUS™. The Andante is a third-generation smart wine dispenser owned by Vino Fontaine, a Singapore-based wine tech startup founded in 2016 by CEO and Founder Terence Tan. It uses patented oxygen absorption technology for wine preservation to keep the wine fresh after uncorking for up to 14 days.

An avid wine enthusiast but a lightweight, Terence usually manages to drink only a glass or 2 before his Asian flush kicks in. Seeing how quickly an opened bottle of wine oxidises and deteriorates, he decided to develop a product that would preserve the taste and freshness of the wine while also serving as a focal point of conversation in any space it occupied. “The Andante is designed to ensure that you can savour. Every. Sip.”

SANTUS™ Andante in numbers 

Starting capital at…S$1m.

Three years…it took Vino Fontaine to create the Andante, from ideation to launch.

Three generations of the Andante before the team is happy with the final product. 

Top-selling city for Andante are China and Singapore.

Fun fact…the name Andante has Italian and Latin origins, meaning moderately slow tempo typically in musical pieces. 

Tell us more about how you got your start, what inspired you to start Vino Fontaine in 2016?

As a venture capitalist for over 20+ years, I’m inspired. I have often backed entrepreneurs trying to build a better mousetrap, solving problems they see, or creating new products and services along the way.  

As for myself, I’ve always enjoyed a glass of wine every now and then, but being a lightweight, I can’t really open a bottle as I would have to force myself to finish it before it turns bad which is usually in 3-4 days. I often waited it out till the weekend when I would invite friends over to help me drink, but having my drink when I wanted it wasn’t something convenient.  

It wasn’t precisely a do or die situation for sure, but it was a lifestyle choice, so I did some research and found that while there are commercial solutions available for wine preservation and dispensing, the consumer versions were missing. That was when I took the plunge.

In your own words, can you share the concept of the Andante and how it fits into modern home appliances?

SANTUS™ Andante’s role is that of a smart wine dispenser, where you can open a bottle of wine, leave it in the machine, and because we preserve that bottle for up to 14 days, you can press a button and dispense a glass whenever you feel like drinking.  

The wine is chilled according to the temperature you set, and we will even remind you through alerts on your phone how long the wine is in the Andante so you can keep track of time. Most importantly as well, we’ve placed design and quality very high on our list, so, it will look amazing in your home or office and is sure to be a conversation starter.

The Andante may not be suitable for anybody, unlike, the coffee machine, fruit juicer, tea pot etc. 

“Our goal is to educate and hope that for households who have these lifestyle needs  that they will consider taking the Andante out for a spin.”

What is the one thing that people may not know about SANTUS™ Andante? 

About 60% of our customers buy the Andante for their own use while a good 40% buy it because it makes a great gift.

The Andante is a smart wine dispenser designed and developed by SANTUS™
Seven years on, can you tell us more about the product development process and challenges?

The current Andante is our 3rd generation. As a perfectionist, I wanted to ensure I would introduce a product out there that I would be proud to use myself.  With the challenges of the pandemic as part of these 6 years, one of the challenges went to fine-tuning the product as well as software and hardware, and another went into marketing and educating the market about who we are and what we do. 

What would you tell budding entrepreneurs looking to start their own wine tech startup?

I wouldn’t specifically focus on wine tech startup, but as a general rule for anyone venturing into any startup is to make sure enough research and thought goes into it so you can convince investors to part with their money.  

What is your overview of the wine tech industry, and how will it progress over the next few years?

As for Vino Fontaine, the wine market is a mature market. There are also 560 million in the world, mostly in East Asia who lack the enzyme to break down alcohol, resulting in lightweights like me (it’s nice to know that I’m not alone).  

Also, due to poor preservation methods (for example, people cork and put unfinished bottles of wine in the refrigerator to drink later) almost 6 million bottles of wine are wasted and poured down the drain each year in the UK alone.  

Thus what the Andante is trying to achieve is also indirectly helping to reduce waste, but that’s not our main goal for now, and hope that with enough education, we might get there.

What are you looking forward to in the year ahead? 

Next year is a big year for us as we look forward to expanding in more retail in Singapore, China and Japan.

We expect partnerships with some major brands in the property, hospitality and automotive industries with whom we are in discussions with at the moment, and will have more interesting products out later next year. Watch this space! 


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For limited time only until 31st December 2022…the SANTUS Andante Uno Pro will retail at S$1,288.00 and the promotion comes with:

  • Complimentary one (1) bottle of 2017 Barolo (worth S$128.00) OR
  • Complimentary Andante accessory pack of 2 (worth S$88.00)
  • Complimentary delivery (Singapore islandwide)
  • One (1) year international warranty
  • Additional 15% discount off selected wines

The Andante by SANTUS™ is available to purchase here.

Available in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan and the United States of America

Paired with an app, the Andante gives you the convenience to receive updates on the wine life and also, control the temperature settings for either red or white wines with the desired temperature from 10 – 18oC.


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