All posts filed under: Technology

UV Tank Sanitation a Viable Conservation Strategy

A new method for sanitizing stainless steel tanks and barrels using ultraviolet light is finding a receptive audience in California. The BlueMorph technology has been in development for four years and is coming to market at an opportune time. According to founding partner Alex Farren, a biochemist and toxicologist, the method known as Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) uses little or no water, no chemicals and only takes 30 seconds to install. Depending upon size, tanks can be sanitized in less than 30 minutes.

Will Magnetized Yeast Revolutionize Riddling?

New technique promises to speed sparkling wine production. There’s no mistaking a gyro­palette at work, its top-heavy robotic arm twirling a wire pal­ette of bottles like a baton. But you’ll need a scanning elec­tron microscope to see the iron nanoparticles that have the poten­tial to make it obsolete. The early adoption of the robotic gyropalette by Cava producer Cor­doniu in the mid-1970s was a mile­stone that altered the course of the modern sparkling wine indus­try. Mechanized riddling reduced the amount of time required to move spent yeasts cells into the neck of a bottle from two months to a matter of days, all without any adverse effects on the sensory qualities of the wine. The wholesale adoption of mechanization by traditional-meth­od sparkling wine producers and many Champenoise dramatically reduced the production costs and time to market imposed by the labor-intensive technique of hand-riddling bottles. As such, bottle-aged sparkling wine became a viable and affordable alternative to still wine. Almost despite technology, this time-honored method remains very close to its original form. Beyond the gyropalette and …

High Marks for Community Colleges

Pursuing a four-year degree in enology or viticulture has been, for many students, the most direct way to gain entry into the wine industry. But that path isn’t the sole option for individuals making a career transition or those whose primary interest is acquiring the skills necessary for wine production. New certificate programs and two-year “associate of applied science” (AAS) degrees in viticulture and enology (V&E) have sprung up across the country at community colleges and state universities in New York, North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, Michigan and Ohio. Many are the direct result of the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA), a dynamic collaboration among universities and as many as 18 community colleges, state agricultural agencies and industry partners created to bring much-needed training to under-served winegrowing regions. Read full article High Marks for Community Colleges here.

For Natural Cork, Form Follows Function

For wine, as with most consumer goods, packaging is an obsession, and rightly so; its role in the commercial success of a product is undeniable. Packaging is usually the consumer’s first impression of a brand and it contributes greatly to the experience of enjoying wine. We touch a wine bottle repeatedly, often read and record the label in its entirety, gaze at it while we’re drinking and we may even save it for posterity. Considering the time, effort and resources that companies devote to wine packaging, labels seem to get the lion’s share of the attention. But that’s not always the case for products such as the cork which actually come in contact with the wine. “Cork tends to be treated like a commodity,” said Vance Rose, director of sales and marketing at Amorim, “and wineries often buy cork based upon price alone.” Read full article For Natural Cork, Form Follows Function here.

Smart Labels

Wine labels work overtime on brand protection As the prestige sector of the wine industry scrambles to exercise more control over the wine fraud that’s running rampant in Asia’s emerging markets, the remaining 99% of the industry is pondering security measures and looking for clues as to the role digital communication will play in the future of brand marketing. For wineries whose products are destined for evolving and often unregulated overseas markets, the belief that price-point alone will provide protection from the unwanted attention of counterfeiters may be short-lived. In Shenzhen, China, authorities predict that the country will continue to struggle with fraud until consumers are able to identify obvious defects in wine. While gatekeepers and educators will continue to develop their ability, and reports of illness will raise public awareness, the foreseeable future represents a steep learning curve for Chinese consumers and an uphill battle for producers.  As the market for luxury wine (above $15) in Asia grows, the reputation of wines from any protected origin will continue to be at risk. French technology …

The tractor factor: Small vineyard equipment delivers big results for Eastern winegrowers

Winegowers the world over are motivated to plant tightly-spaced vineyards for a variety of reasons but, the driving factors in the Eastern United States are the near-term attainment of quality and the long-term productivity. Just as vineyard architecture is benefiting from laser design technology and GPS tracking, automated vineyard practices continue to advance productivity and quality gains in vineyards of every scale. “It’s something I call the ‘tractor factor.’ Of all the constraints there are in the world of viticulture, the tractor should not be the primary factor when it comes to vineyard architecture,” confirms Lucie Morton, a Virginia-based international viticulture consultant who is well-known for translating the American edition of Pierre Galet’s seminal word, A Practical Ampelography. Complete article here The Tractor Factor

Multi-tasking harvesters boost quality and efficiency

During a research trip to the Languedoc region of southern France, AOC winegrowers there were quick to point out the increased performance of the equipment they are using to grow and harvest their grapes. With the Languedoc being home to 70 % of the organic wines in France, mechanization is down-played by some producers who seek to limit all impacts on their sites, but there is no denying the leaps in quality and efficiency that have been brought to bear through mechanical pre-pruning and harvesting. Complete article here…Multi-tasking Harvesters May June 09