Ever wonder what is going inside a wine barrel? Creating wines is an art and science. Nuances of all sorts are working to form a vintage and maybe the most critical time is when the juice of the wine grapes is aging. However, what is actually going on and does anybody really know? We just might find out.
A new company called Watgrid from Portugal analyzes the purity of water. They have taken a lot of that same technology and applied it to wine. The product is called Winegrid and its aim is to analyze in real time, maturation and fermentation processes.
Winegrid sensors – made of stainless steel, glass and fiber-optics – are placed inside the dark recesses of a wine barrel and relay information back instantly. By having a constant reading of what is occurring, a winemaker can reduce their costs, while improving the quality of their vino. Usually, samples are taken out almost daily and studied by a lab. That time-consuming practice would be eliminated.
Starts in Bordeaux
The folks at Watgrid have met with barrel makers (cooperages) to get their input and see about integrating the Winegrid system into barrels. In-turn, they’ve contacted wineries, and one has said yes, to this newest technolgogy: Chateau Lynch-Bages. Lynch Bages is in an area of Bordeaux, France, that amongst many well-known vineyard estates in the region is the infamous Chateau Lafite Rothschild.
Known for their excellent terroir, the 220 acre Lynch Bages estate is a famous winery themselves dating back to the mid-1700s. Lynch Bages 2015 vintage will be one of the first to test the Winegrid technology. They will monitor the wine to watch it evolve, measuring fermentation, color, temperature, along with sugar and alcohol levels. By the way, Lynch Bages is updating their facilities with the help of famous architect IM Pei’s sons.
The equipment will also be used in larger vats as well, since the wine is originally placed in steel vats before moving over to oak wine barrels. We shall soon hear about what goes on in the dark mysterious interiors of a wine barrel. And maybe learn more than anyone ever knew? Who knew wine barrels could be so interesting. 😉
Daryle W. Hier