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Food and Beverages | Tuesday, February 08, 2022
With advancements in machine learning technology, winemakers can now photograph grape leaves and process them through an algorithm that properly predicts the plant's variety and stress level
FREMONT, CA: From the earliest monks who observed grapevine cycles and adjusted their operations accordingly, science and creativity has always been at the heart of winemaking through innovative fining and storage techniques. Here are some current inventions propelling the winemaking industry—and its appreciation–forward.
Threats to vineyards: Vineyard issues have always been a source of concern for winemakers - the devastating phylloxera blight in the nineteenth century is one such example. Now, with climate change posing a rising hazard, winemakers must address a slew of additional issues, and technology is stepping in to assist in mitigating these threats. For example, a vineyard in Oregon has developed a 'UV robot' to combat the plague of potentially destructive powdery mildew, while winemakers in Burgundy are combating violent storms with high-tech systems that release silver iodine particles into the environment to act as a hail screen.
Recognize aging: Aging is a critical component of the production of good wine, and several research studies are being conducted around the world—and even outside of it–to aid winemakers in their understanding of the process. Recently, a dozen cylinders of Bordeaux's Petrus and 320 vine canes were returned from space, where it was discovered that a trip into orbit had 'energized' the vines, allowing them to grow more quickly. Meanwhile, the wine was said to have a more developed flavor. On the ground, several wineries are experimenting with underwater age, with some winemakers claiming that seven months of underwater aging may simulate "up to seven years" of cellar maturing.
Extremely rapid cooling: While serving wine at the correct temperature is critical for a superior tasting experience; not everyone has the time (or willingness) to wait for a bottle to chill in the refrigerator. For instance, Juno is a device that utilizes reverse microwave technology' to chill white and red wine to sommelier-recommended levels quickly. Additionally, it can chill beer, coffee, and soft beverages.