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Optical fibre monitoring of Madeira wine estufagem process

Novo, C. ; Bilro, L. ; Ferreira, R. X. ; Alberto, N. ; Antunes, P. ; Nogueira, R.N. ; Pinto, J. L.

Optical fibre monitoring of Madeira wine estufagem process, Proc RIAO/OPTILAS, Porto, Portugal, Vol. Proceedings SPIE, pp. 1 - 5, June, 2013.

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In this work, the study of a particular step of Madeira’s winemaking process called estufagem with a plastic optical fibre sensor is presented. Madeira wine is a type of fortified wine produced in the Madeira island of Portugal. The characteristic aroma and exceptional stability of these wines results from the singular used winemaking method that consists in the estufagem where the wine is heated up to 55ºC for at least 3 months, among other steps. This heating based process can produce significant changes in wine colour, aroma and taste. By measuring the transmitted optical power through the wine in three different cells at three different wavelengths it is possible to monitor wine colour evolution during the estufagem. The plastic optical fibres offer easy non-skilled handling, ruggedness and low cost overcoming the difficulties of the electronic and conventional systems and improving the time of the laboratory offline methods. Results show that it is possible to distinguish the different Madeira wines (from sweet to dry wines) obtained based on different wine grapes as well as the colour evolution during the diverse months of the estufagem.