International winemaking expert visits CRI

As part of a two-day visit, renowned UC Davis professor, David Block (PhD), participated in an intense program of activities at the CRI. The visit took place under the framework of the consulting that he is providing for the Research Line T, conducted jointly by the CRI and UC Davis Chile, in order to review the project’s progress, methodology and action plan, as well as to resolve queries and define strategies for the development a product prototype by the end of this year.

During the first day, the CRI’s team presented the Center’s objectives and current projects, and gave the professor a guided tour of the facilities, before concluding the day with an activity led by the academic. Block conducted a seminar, with the participation of the Concha y Toro’s Technical Management, which focused on bioprocess engineering applied to winemaking, as well as the design, modeling, simulation and optimization of fermentation processes, in particular the evolution of tannins and anthocyanins and their interaction during maceration and alcoholic fermentation. Specifically, the seminar enabled attendees to gain insight into the phenomenon of phenolic extraction in winemaking, which is the subject of the aforementioned project.

The second and final day of the visit focused on meetings and workshops with members of UC Davis Chile, the CRI team and the head winemaker of Lourdes Winery, Héctor Urzúa.

The discussions stimulated a debate on the conclusions and scope of the seminar led by professor Block, as well as addressing the projections, intersections, focal points and preliminary methodologies of his consulting work. The workshops were also directly related to the Research Line T. The first one was led by CRI researcher José Cuevas, who presented the project proposal, progress and projections. The second workshop addressed the same topics from the perspective of UC Davis Chile.

The visit concluded with intense analysis of the presentations and definition of the methodology to be used, as well as addressing some aspects of the consulting work to be conducted by Dr. Block and generating a work schedule. Additionally, queries regarding technical feasibility were resolved, and strategies were defined for the development of a prototype.