From grape to grape

Friday June 5th 2020

From grape to grape

Adegas Moure is a family winery that was born in 1958. Since then and for generations, it has been dedicated to the production of wines, liqueurs and spirits, always seeking the least possible intervention and the maximum respect and protection of the environment. From the winery's principles, the goal to follow is to maintain the authenticity and typicity of the raw material, to achieve the maximum guarantee of quality and origin. To achieve this, it is key to a commitment to precision viticulture, the conservation of the territory and the cultural values of the environment.

After more than three years of experimental work in wineries and vineyards, VITALVER, an R&D project co-financed by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) with FEDER funds from the European Union, successfully concluded. This initiative has investigated the possibilities that earthworms and vermicomposting offer for the circular economy and sustainable viticulture. All this through the development of an integrated cycle that allows the bagasse (both fresh and distilled) generated in the wine industry to be converted in situ into high-quality vermicompost with biostimulant and vine defense properties. 
Adegas Moure, leader in innovation in the D.O. Ribeira Sacra has participated in this initiative as a continuation of its collaboration strategy in scientific research and R + D + i projects. With the impetus provided by the new generation, the winery thus continues its objective of improving both the management of the vineyard (from an environmentally friendly perspective) and the production of wines with a marked personality. 
Throughout the project, more than 10 tons of bagasse were processed by vermicomposting. This process substantially reduced the initial biomass and transformed it into microbiologically active and stabilized vermicompost (a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer), from which the seeds could be easily separated. This separation of the seeds eliminates the residual phytotoxicity associated with the polyphenols in the vermicompost. Furthermore, the seeds can be easily processed to obtain extracts rich in polyphenols, antioxidants and oil rich in healthy fatty acids. 
The effects of the vermicompost on the vines, grapes and wine were studied during several growing seasons in four vineyards of Mencía de Adegas Moure: one old vineyard (with vines over 25 years old), two young vineyards (with vines of 5 years) and a vineyard with recently planted vines. Biofertilization experiments were carried out with solid, liquid vermicompost and foliar spray applications, against control vines, paid according to the standard winery protocols. During the project, samples of soil, leaves and grapes from more than 3,000 vines of Mencia were taken and analyzed. Fertilization with vermicompost and its application in the form of a foliar spray on the aerial parts produced a decrease in diseases caused by phytopathogenic fungi. 
During three consecutive harvests, 1,000 liters of wine were made with grapes from vines paid with vermicompost and 1,000 liters with grapes from the control strains. All of them came from the “A Granxa” plot to be able to compare the wines objectively. The fermentations were spontaneous, that is, carried out by the yeasts typical of the grape skins. In this regard, the “aromatic explosion in the experimental wine fermentation tank” caught the attention, in the words of Adrián Rodríguez Moure, winemaker and component of the new generation of Adegas Moure. 
The evolution of polyphenols and wine aromas was studied using chromatographic techniques coupled to mass spectrometry, analyzing the main markers in samples taken at eight stages of winemaking, from the must to the final wine. The analytical results of the three vintages confirmed the sensory nuances perceived in tasting. 
Evaristo Rodríguez, manager and technical director of Adegas Moure points out that the “differences between the experimental wine and the control wine are remarkable and significant (more than we could have expected). Visually, the experimental wine presents a greater liveliness and youth. On the nose, it presents without reductions, open and expressive. And in the mouth it is deep, persistent and more complex ”. In short, it is a wine with an outstanding personality, also taking into account that it is compared to Abadía da Cova, one of the best Mencia wines from the Ribeira Sacra. 
VITALVER is an R&D project in which together with Adegas Moure, Adegas Terras Gauda (leader of the consortium) and the research teams of Jorge Domínguez, Professor of Zoology at the University of Vigo and Marta Lores, have participated Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Santiago, scientific managers of the project. With a global budget of € 917,448, the VITALVER project is co-financed by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) with ERDF funds from the European Union, through the Multi-regional Operational Program for Smart Growth 2014-2020. 

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