Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
03.17.2008  
 

Retooling the Wine Industry

Wine Executive Program sees wine's technological future

 
by Thomas Ulrich
 
 
Retooling the Wine Industry
James Wolpert
Sacramento, Calif. -- Vintners, growers, bankers, sales managers and wholesalers shared their aspirations for the industry with researchers from the Graduate School of Management and the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis this week.

Dr. James Wolpert, an extension viticulture specialist who has led discussions about the future of the industry at the university's Wine Executive Program since 2000, observed: "The answers remain the same. It's the questions that have changed."

According to Wolpert and colleague Dr. Linda Bisson, the industry's quest for greater market share and higher quality will drive vintners to blend precision viticulture with a comprehensive understanding of grape and wine physiology.

Why precision viticulture?

Precision viticulture, a tool for combining information technology with production experience, maps variability at the vineyard and in the winery to increase efficiency and reduce waste. It rewards vineyard managers and winemakers who comprehend differences in vigor, quality and yield in the fields, and practice farming methods aligned with the individual requirements of their wineries.

Equipment that captures geographical information in the vineyard has shaped Wolpert's vision of the next generation of winemaking.

Tools such as aerial cameras, ground-level monitors and geographical information systems will map the topography, soil composition, and vigor of the vineyard. Mechanical harvesters equipped with global positioning systems (GPSs) and monitors for measuring Brix will help the winemaker determine the quality of the grapes from each section of a vineyard block, and the vineyard manager selectively harvest the fruit.

Every market advantage is driven by technology, Wolpert said near the end of the discussion. Instead of blending grapes from three regions of a vineyard with different irrigation requirements, soil types and plant vigor, for example, precision viticulture will allow vintners to farm and harvest them separately. The data that precision viticulture generates will help industry improve quality, increase efficiency and reduce waste.

Retooling the Wine Industry
Linda Bisson
What customers want

Linda Bisson, a professor of enology at UC Davis, encouraged vintners to tailor their wine to their customers' tastes, during her lecture entitled "The Winery of the Future."

"Corporate goals differ," she explained. "Branding, terroir and reputation motivate your customers. They choose a wine because they are loyal to a brand, prefer a region or admire a winemaker."

Recent research suggests that they choose a label for more reasons than corporate marketers suspect.

While price, package, label, brand, variety and style influence a customer's decision, Bisson--a renowned yeast geneticist, is discovering how 200 genes with 12 variations each define our palates. Bisson's vision for the future of the industry encompasses consumer behavior, flavor enrichment and genomic information. "You can tailor your product to reach your customer by identifying consumer preferences, the effect that a choice has on a customer, and its genetic composition," she said.

Bisson and her team operate a gas chromatograph to identify and understand the biochemistry of flavor compounds. For flavors that don't appear as peaks on the chromatogram, scientists rely on a nose piece attached to the gas chromatograph that evacuates odors as the machine separates and records the sample.

"Once we've identified the flavor compounds, we can manipulate the taste," she said. "We derive flavors from the yeast, not the grapes."

Her team is also exploring how to control hydrogen sulfide and other undesirable odors. They search for the source of the odor, then look for ways to reshape the environment to prevent a microorganism from producing it.

"Knowledge drives the future of winemaking," Bisson concluded. "We need to minimize the environmental impact of the industry, and search for new ways to meet consumer expectations."

"No one size fits all," Wolpert added. "Winemakers and vineyard managers should tailor viticultural and winery practices to deliver outcomes that meet their specific needs."
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 $575 million
5%
$7,743 million
6%
September 2013 $550 million $7,311 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 $163 million
16%
$1,708 million
11%
September 2013 $141 million $1,538 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 166
14%
226
18%
September 2013 145 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 10.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • October 26
     
    Pinot on the River
     
  • November 1-2
     
    A Wine & Food Affair
     
  • November 1-2
     
    Temecula Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting
     
  • November 5
     
    Single Vineyard Night
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Tasting Wine From PD-Resistant Grapes »
 
Congratulations Andy! Lots of grapebreeders and southern growers will be looking through the catalogs. i...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: The 'Sideways' Effect »
 
Thank you for this research that confirms what many thought about the pinot noir effect....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Fine for Volunteer Labor Makes Wineries Wary »
 
This is so incredibly asinine. And my taxes go to help fund these over-reaches? No...
Reader: Philburtonj
 
Article: Paso Winegrowers Back on TTB Track »
 
Unfortunately, they will be named Drought sinkhole #1, #2, #3, etc. Really, 11 different flavor profiles...
Reader: Donn Rutkoff
 
Article: Optimization of limited water resources in irrigated vineyards »
 
Very interesting article! Sap flow monitoring was in the past mostly used for research but...
Reader: Virginie Scoarnec
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Northeast Manager
 Boston, MA
Sales and Marketing
 Hospitality Assistant
 Sonoma, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Retail Wine Mgmt & Ful...
 Baltimore County, MD
Sales and Marketing
 Fine Wine Sales
 Ny, NY
Sales and Marketing
 It/Operations Manager
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 It Assistant
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Shipping & Receiving C...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Consumer Sales Coordin...
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Lead
 Hendersonville, NC
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Bottling Supervisor - ...
 Woodinville, WA
Winemaking and Production
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.