TECNALIA designs an innovative tool for wine quality assessment and improvement

16 November 2020

Early, rapid, accurate detection of the Botrytis cinerea fungus is essential for managing grape and wine production efficiently

TECNALIA is working with the Basque companies Enkoa, The Whiteam Consulting and Bodegas de Marqués de Riscal to develop a tool for detecting, mapping and making decisions capable of providing a precise, quantitative assessment of Botrytis infection in a matter of minutes. The tool also analyses laccase activity in grapes, must and wine directly in the vineyard and winery, and helps winegrowers take decisions on applying fungicides, classifying grapes and applying treatments to wine at harvest time, for example.

The instrument will be based on a system of specific low-cost (bio)sensors. It could be used on site in the vineyard or in the wine cellar to screen grapes and must throughout the winemaking process.

The results will be reported by means of a web application to process data and alert the user, which will make it possible to produce high value-added products. These will contribute to improving the competitiveness of European companies, by increasing their productivity, reducing the loss of raw materials (Botrytis infected grapes) and the amount of poor quality wine, while at the same time lowering the environmental impact by significantly limiting the use of fungicides in the vineyards.