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Ingenuity and Technology Making Advances for the Wine Industry


Five wine businesses awarded WINnovation Awards

Whether solving a problem or seizing an opportunity, these five wine industry suppliers used ingenuity and technology to develop innovative products and solutions for vineyards and wineries. They represent the vanguard of product and service innovation that is essential for the advancement and prosperity of the wine industry.

Wine Industry Network’s fifth annual WINnovation Award winners for excellence in wine industry innovation are:

  • Amos Industrie
  • Biome Makers
  • Liberation Distribution
  • Tule Technologies
  • Vivelys USA

Below are short introductions to the specific innovations from the winners that merited their recognition.

Amos Industrie

Amos Industrie, France’s Faupin Group, developed the innovative Tribaie, which literally means Berry Sorter and separates the grapes based on density rather than optics. Scarcity of labor and higher costs have pushed the industry to increase mechanization, and this ingenious approach to grape sorting overcomes some challenges faced by optical sorters.

After destemming, grapes are placed in a sugar or must solution that’s keyed to a density chosen by the winemaker. The grapes that are riper than the solution sink because they have a higher brix, while the grapes that are less ripe float. Rotating rollers catch smashed, crushed or rotting grapes into a third selection. Each selection can then be vinified separately into two or three different wines depending on the winemaker’s preference.

The Tribaie is used at approximately 100 wineries around the world, and this is the second year that it has been successfully used in the United States by L’Aventure and Staglin Family Vineyards.

More: A Qualitative Sort That Looks Deeper Than Grape Skins

Biome Makers

Using sophisticated medical diagnostic technology, WineSeq by Biome Makers identifies the microbiome fingerprint of soil and helps predict the effects that the microbiome has on the quality and sensory properties of wine. This quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the microbial biodiversity of the vineyard further allows for monitoring the sustainability of crops while providing an early diagnosis of disease before any symptoms are showing. WineSec is a precision oenology tool allowing enologists to create more complex and genuine wines based on a better understanding of their Terroir.

Biome Makers, Inc. is a biotech company developing tools to better understand the role of the microbial communities that are present in the soil by combining DNA sequencing and “Intelligent Computing.” The company has a database of more than 2,000 microbial species affecting vine health.

More: First Bio-Map of Wine Regions Enhance Understanding of Unique and Genuine Wines

Liberation Distribution

Liberation Distribution (LibDib) is doing 3-tier distribution entirely differently and is rapidly changing how 3-tier alcohol distribution happens. LibDib is the first licensed distributor to also be a technology company, and their platform provides distribution for all makers regardless of size and without favorable placements, advertising or incentives.

Any maker of specialty wine, craft spirits and microbrews can use the platform to get their products to market easily and in legal compliance. After uploading a license and basic information, the Maker defines product selection, calculates the listed wholesale price, and defines where to distribute—down to the account level. Using the LibDib platform, restaurants, bars, and retailers can purchase a wider variety of products at a lower cost, saving time and money for both makers and retailers.

Since LibDib launched their platform in March 2017, more than 1,500 products have become available on their platform in California and New York, with plans to expand to new markets soon.

More: New Company Rapidly Changing How 3-Tier Alcohol Distribution Happens

Tule Technologies

Tule Technologies’s new FieldStat Water Stress Forecasts gives growers a view into the future status of their vines and leaps into the future of precision agriculture. The forecasts help the grower develop a site-specific understanding of the vine water-relations of each block by showing how the water stress level of the vines are responding to irrigation, rainfall, and evapotranspiration, so that the grower can make more confident irrigation decisions and achieve water stress and grape quality targets in a diverse set of vineyards.

More: Visionaries in Wine Grape Irrigation Forecasting Earn WINnovation Award

Vivelys USA

Vivelys has developed an alternative to hyper-oxygenation and hyper-protection of white and rosé wines, which consists of adding the quantity of oxygen to the must corresponding to its need to eliminate the polyphenols responsible for the subsequent oxidations.

Cilyo by Vively measures the real need of oxygen for each must, white or rosé, by injecting a known amount of oxygen and measuring its consumption thanks to the action of the polyphenol oxidase enzyme. This helps winemakers determine the optimum amount of oxygen to add to the must.

The dosage of oxygen will reduce the amount of phenols before fermentation, preserving aromas and increasing the mid-palate. This technique has several positive impacts including reducing the need of fining agents for must protection and the ability to add stabilized and improved press fractions to blends.

More: Innovative Thinking Yields a Third Way for White-Winemaking 

Wine Industry Award Winners and Reception

The 2017 Individual and Supplier Wine Industry Award winners announced by the North Bay Business Journal can be found here. Join us in honoring all of them all at the awards reception on November 28, 2017 at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa in Santa Rosa.

By Kim Badenfort

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