Streamlining production management
The PRECIDIF project is aimed at better controlling the process of producing white Vinho Verde in high volumes using the delayed fermentation system pioneered by Sogrape in Portugal. This system consists of fermenting the musts outside of the harvest time, i.e. over the course of the year. The project will result in new forecasting models for producing different aromas and flavours, a key part of conceiving the style of each commercial wine brand. As a result, Sogrape hopes to drive innovation, streamline the winemaking process, optimise resources and curb losses and errors, thereby making the company more profitable on the whole by finding new market opportunities and contributing towards the sustainability of Portuguese wines.
This research studies the composition of a representative sample of white wines based on a sensory analysis and chemical characterisation to build predictive models. At the same time, a new technology has been deployed to automatically control delayed fermentation, with innovative sensors which provide ground-breaking precision, a wireless telemetry and alarm network, as well as big data warehousing for subsequent processing and interpretation. In addition to working with unprecedented accuracy, this technology keeps winemakers in constant touch with what is happening in each fermenting vat through a simple Internet consultation, and alerts them via SMS of any problems found. The project, which has characterised around 3 million litres of must and 2 million litres of wine, was done in cooperation with the University of Aveiro in analysing and interpreting their compositions. Now that it has been done on an industrial scale under actual winemaking conditions, this project is of great interest to Sogrape and an important contribution to the wine industry, since its results can be easily applied to other wine producing units.
Project co-funded by COMPETE 2020, Portugal 2020 and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund under agreement no. 24214.