ABOUT THE PROJECT
i-GRAPE aims at developing a new generation of analytical methods for stand-alone, on-the-field control of the grape maturation phase and vine hydric stress, based on highly integrated photonics components and modules (wafer and wafer/package level micro-spectrometers). In a highly competitive market, to achieve high quality wines, measuring and monitoring vine hydric stress, and the grape ripening process with simple, rapid and cost-effective techniques will allow the winemaker to control irrigation in the latest steps of grape maturation, and plan the harvest at the optimum time therefore optimizing wine quality at the end of the wine value chain.
The i-GRAPE approach will comply, through the development of innovative integrated photonics components and modules, with the needs of a low cost, reliable, sensitive, stable and high throughput analysis that interconnected with communications and signal processing electronics, can bring the process control of grape maturation into the hands of the winemaker.
The long term i-GRAPE vision is to bring the ‘lab” to the vine, and the parameters pertaining to vine and grape control to the home base station in the farm, without human intervention and it can only be achieved by developing smarter and modular systems that allow for future integration of cost effective multi-mode sensors.
The i-GRAPE consortium is composed of a balanced team of complementary EU organisations including industrial partners, research centres and universities, all of them with strong experience in the field of micro- and nano-electronic technologies. The consortium comprises 6 partners from 3 southern European major wine producing countries.
i-GRAPE will be part of a precision/smart agriculture movement, pioneering fully automated grape maturation and vine hydric stress monitoring at a large scale in an unattended fashion. The use of a novel optical based sensing technology will result in a better product (the grape and its corresponding wine), which is combined with a reduced labour effort from the farmer.
The European Union is a leading producer of wine. It accounts for 45% of wine-growing areas, 65% of production, 57% of global consumption and 70% of exports in global terms. EU also holds the three major global producing countries (Spain, France and Italy).
i-GRAPE | Taking the ‘lab” to the vine
The introduction of new optical technologies to support vineyard management allows the efficiency and quality of production to be improved with simultaneously reduction of the environmental footprint with obvious cost gains.
Grape growth, maturation & harvesting
When to harvest?
- Not to soon and not too late
- Harvest time is determine by sugar, acid content, pH, color, and flavor
- Intensive wet chemistry analysis
Maturation & Water Stress Monitoring
- Based on multiple wet chemistry assays;
- Destructive process;
- Time consuming;
- Labour intensive;
- Weekly monitoring;
Water Stress Monitoring
- Scholander chamber;
- Manual test;
- Time consuming;
- Gas handling;
- Monitoring during the night (4:00 – 6:00 am).
Current monitoring strategies are non-scalable and unsuitable for providing real-time information about maturation and water stress to the wine industry. Accurate control of grape ripening can increase up to 25% the final price of the product.
i-Grape: The Concept
Development of a fully integrated, low-cost, stand alone optical device for monitoring grape maturation and vine water stress
- Multiband Vis-NIR Sensing (Reflectance and Fluorescence);
- Monolithically integrated Optics;
- IoT Sensor Network;
- Optical filters;
MEET OUR PARTNERS
The i-GRAPE consortium is composed of a balanced team of complementary EU organisations including industrial partners, research centres and universities, all of them with strong experience in the field of micro- and nano-electronic technologies. The consortium comprises 6 partners from 3 southern European major wine producing countries. The i-GRAPE consortium includes 1 SME manufacturer of electronic equipment responsible for the i-GRAPE´s exploitation strategy, 1 Large Corporation to act as an end user case-study; 2 research centres and 2 universities and is strongly driven by industry and industrial aspects.