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3 March 2022

Portable device based on biosensors for mapping the risk of grape infection by Botrytis Cinerea in the vineyard

Hotel y viñedo Marqués de Riscal

The early, fast and precise detection of the Botrytis cinerea fungus is necessary for efficient control of the production of grapes and wine.

Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal are collaborating with Tecnalia and working together with the Basque companies Enkoa and The Whiteam Consulting and Romanian partners Epi Sistem, the International Centre of Biodynamics, and the Research and Development Institute for Viticulture and Enology Valea Calugareasca, in the development of a device for detection, mapping and decision-making, capable of offering a precise, quantitative assessment of Botrytis infection in just a matter of minutes. Moreover, it analyses laccase activity in the grapes, must and wine directly in the vineyard and in the winery, also helping the winemaker to make decisions; for example, on applying fungicides, on classification of the grapes and on applying treatments to the wine.

The tool is based on a system of specific, low-cost (bio)sensors. It can be used in situ in the vineyard or in the winery for selecting the grapes and the must throughout the entire winemaking process.

The results are communicated via a web application for processing data and alerting the user.  These will help to improve the companies’ competitiveness; increasing their productivity, reducing loss of raw material (grapes infected by Botrytis), and to make quality wine, as well as  to reduce the environmental impact by significantly reducing the use of fungicides in the vineyards.