"Winemaking goes cutting edge"
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Road Trip 2017
Winemaking goes cutting edge
This is a fermentation dome.
It looks more like a supervillain's lair.
It's 18 stories underground, built into the side of a mountain, and controlled by a supercomputer named Felix.
But instead of world domination The purpose of this place is to make wine.
We've essentially taken the process of wine making and instead of having it be on all on one floor, like most wineries, we brought it in vertically inside a dome.
So each level is a different moment in the wine making.
Very top is grape sorting.
That drops down a hatch into fermentation.
That's what all of this projection is showing us, the FILC system that my brother created.
And then from there we go down to press, down to tanks, into barrels.
And eventually we'll go down, even further down below us.
Florencia and her brother Christian Palmaz oversee their family's super smart vineyard and winery in California's Napa Valley.
It's so massive it took seven years to excavate and build.
Since the complex was completed in 2007, the team has been building technology into the age old process of wine making.
They built a computer named Hal and replaced it two years ago with a computer named Felix.
Outside, a system a system called Vigor tracks the vineyard's health by analyzing aerial imagery.
We take this little Cessna aircraft with a very specialized multi-spectral camera on it's belly and we fly every Monday and Thursday
So we take pictures of the vineyard and we use certain forms of infrared light which helps us understand how vigorous the plants are.
When harvest season really kicks off in late September, this is where the action is.
Sensors in the tanks measure temperature, sugar and alcohol level.
Wine makers use that data to decide how they want to tweak the wine as it passes through the critical fermentation process.
From the tanks, the wine is barreled and aged and eventually blended and bottled.
This is X block?
I'm so thrilled.
Periodically Florencia and Christian sit down with their wine makers to check on how each wine is progressing.
God, it smells good.
My god, 16 is going to be so much fun to work with.
With Fuetch apps, they pull up data on the wine in their glasses.
This is, that's lower club 6 on 16 16 C.
They can tell me everything, from which parcel of land the grapes are grown on to how much water and sun they got
and of course, a near minute to minute counting of the Felix Assisted Fermentation Process.
<< We are trying to focus in on the details of the craft, because the basics have been tried and tested for hundreds of years.
So, we are working every year on a refinement and at this point, with sophistication of technology and other industries Now that refinement is getting into some smart technology.
Will mixing Smart Tech and wine making result in the perfect blend?
We'll find out next year, when the first vintage produced with the help of Felix is released.
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