Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Use Geographic Information Systems to Quantify Impact of Place on French Wine

19.02.2010
Using geography, a Kansas State University professor and his colleague are working to back up what wine-lovers already know to be true.

That is, the difference that soil, weather and location make in the taste of a vintage. The French refer to it as "terroir," and the researchers' goal is to scientifically identify and map terroir categories that will benefit the producers who make wines and the connoisseurs who enjoy drinking them.

Shawn Hutchinson, a K-State associate professor of geography on sabbatical in France, is working with Michael Gay, a professor at the University of Toulouse-Ecole d'Ingenieurs de Purpan. They are using geographic information systems -- known as GIS -- to quantify the impact of place on the quality of grapes and the wine that is produced.

"Few wine enthusiasts would confuse a wine originating from Bordeaux with one from the Languedoc region of France, even though they might have been produced from the same species of grapes," Hutchinson said. "While the traditional wine making processes employed in those areas certainly contribute to differences, of equal importance is where and how the grapes were grown, including differences in weather, soils and topographical orientation."

Hutchinson said it is widely known that how and where grapes are grown and enological practices have significant impact on wine quality. However, he said few have established a quantitative link between place and quality.

To establish this link, Hutchinson and Gay are looking at the following data from the study area in southwest France: elevation, topographic slope, surface curvature, hours of sunlight and solar radiation during the growing season, and the topographic wetness index, which measures how moist soils may become during a precipitation event.

Then, the researchers are classifying the data to map where the data are similar. In their preliminary results, Hutchinson and Gay have found 10 distinct terroir classes in the Saint Mont region of southwestern France. Next, they will determine whether the vineyards in these terroir classes produce grapes -- and ultimately wine -- of differing quality. They will measure quality based on chemical analyses performed after the 2008 harvest, looking at elements like acidity and alcohol content.

"What we want to do is provide a scientifically valid but market-oriented name to each of the 10 terroir classes, assuming, as our early statistical analyses show, that they are directly correlated to wine quality," Hutchinson said. "Many wine enthusiasts, but especially the French, are very interested in knowing how and where their foods have been grown. The ability of a wine cooperative to include a terroir class in the label information will be well received by French consumers, as it helps meet this informational need."

Shawn Hutchinson | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.state.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale
18.01.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

nachricht Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation
18.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Algorithmen und Wissenschaftliches Rechnen SCAI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>