ArcInsight Research

Vinification is the process of turning grapes into wine. Wine production is directly linked to vinification monitoring by measuring certain critical parameters. On account of high Capex (a spectrometer for wine applications can go up to €150k) and high Opex (requires highly qualified operating personnel), buying testing equipment is not an option for most winemakers. Therefore, the most common methods used by wine producers for vinification monitoring are sampling and offline testing which also still involve enormous costs to the wine producers.

Winegrid® is a real time and remote monitoring platform that will allow winemakers to have an eye inside the wine vat. Winegrid is a smart solution based on a network of innovative sensors placed in a container (barrel, tank, press) during the vinification process of wine. It is capable of providing, for the first time ever, real-time analysis and control the 5 crucial vinification parameters – level, colour, turbidity, density and temperature. The system sends information directly to a specially built online platform. It is in effect an IoT platform for wine production.

The origins of Winegrid began as a research project in Porto (Portugal) with an objective to increase predictability of the wine ageing process and to develop instruments, which make it possible to significantly improve the ability to monitor, in real time, the evolution and quality of Port White wine, but also to act on crucial parameters in this ageing process. The monitoring solution involves sensors capable of acquiring parameters considered essential for the ageing process (turbidity, colour, pH, dissolved O2). The acquired data was used for the creation of predictive models, in conjunction with a detailed chemical and sensory wine analysis. The newly developed technology included, in the same device, an actuator element, which acts over two determinant parameters in the ageing process of Port wine: dissolved oxygen and temperature. This element can operate either in a supervised mode and / or be part of a monitoring and automatic actuation network. A final version of this technology shall allow monitoring of the ageing process of Port White wine, while simultaneously acting, in real time, on critical variables, with the ultimate goal of optimizing this process, and allowing the achievement of a consistent quality of the final product.

The unprecedented benefits Winegrid has delivered for European winemakers can be summarized in the following points.

Remote Monitoring: Monitor in real-time, anytime anywhere. User-friendly and remote access to all the sensoring units in your winery on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Greater operational efficiency: It is no longer necessary to carry out manual sampling to monitor fermentation. This frees up time for other tasks, based on better management of human resources and organization of the time allocated to several winery operations, which are essential for the proper functioning of the fermentation.

Preservation of Wine Quality: The ability to act proactively, enabled by the WINEGRID system’s predictive information, allows for early intervention in the event of a slowdown in fermentation and, thus, the prevention of the occurrence of any defects in the wine produced, avoiding the reduction in quality and consequent devaluation of the brand and the final product.

Process safety and traceability:   Automatic alerts detect and warn when fermentation is over, but customizing alerts allow users to be notified when a certain density, temperature, or level threshold is reached.

Reduction of waste in the winery:   Manual sampling, in most cases, not only results in the loss of significant amounts of liters of wine per day but also the loss of large amounts of water used to clean tools and faucets.

Highly scalable solution: The WINEGRID system is modular with frequent updates and new features. The sensors connect to the Cloud WINEGRID service, which is fully scalable to thousands of sensors and users.