‘Bond villain winery’ uses submarine tech to ferment wine

5th February, 2016 by Darren Smith

A high-tech winery in California’s Napa Valley is using a process called sono-densitometry – a technology used in the submarine industry – to control the fermentation of its wines.

Welcome to the Fermentation Dome: data projected onto the wall of the dome show cellar staff exactly what is happening in the tanks (Photo: Palmaz Vineyards)

‘Come, come, Mr Bond, you get just as much fulfilment from fermenting grape juice as I do’: data projected onto the wall of the Bond villain-esque Fermentation Dome at Palmaz Vineyards show cellar staff exactly what is happening in the tanks below (Photo: Palmaz)

Palmaz Vineyards, which predominantly makes Cabernet Sauvignon, has adopted the technology for its ‘Fermentation Intelligence Logic Control System’. The system allows cellar staff to detect aberrations during fermentation before they develop into problems that could spoil the wine, technology journal Wired reported.

The system analyses the fermenting wine at a molecular level, providing the winemaker with information needed to adjust temperatures in different parts of the tank with a high level of precision.

It is based on a submarine-­industry technology known as sono-­densitometry and involves inserting a tuning fork-like probe into each tank, which measures vibrations 10 times every second, yielding a large amount of data about the density of the liquid. From this the winemaker can assess the rate at which fermentation is occurring in different areas of the tank.

Then software then processes the data to reveal temperature variations, which can then be adjusted to ensure a controlled, stable fermentation.

Blofeld's hidden lair in You Only Live Twice looks in comparison with Palmaz Vineyards' Fermentation Dome

Blofeld’s hidden lair in You Only Live Twice might be considered antediluvian compared with Palmaz Vineyards’ Fermentation Dome

The information generated from the system is projected on to the walls of Palmaz’s Fermentation Dome, a reinforced structure build into the rock of Mount George in Napa – which Palmaz claims is the largest underground reinforced structure in the world.

The dome has been likened to a Bond villain-esque underground layer with elements of Minority Report thrown in.

A geotagging system even identifies which winemaker is standing in front of a given tank, so the data the winemaker is working with is projected wherever they are standing.

The 55-acre Palmaz Vineyards estate was bought by Julio and Amalia Palmaz in 1997. It includes a 110,000 sq ft,18 floor-tall, gravity-fed winery built into the rock of Mount George.

Julio Palmaz is a former radiologist who made his fortune inventing the Palmaz-Schatz ‘balloon-expandable’ stent – recognised in Intellectual Property International Magazine as one of “Ten Patents that Changed the World” in the 20th century.

The winery is now run by Julio and Amalia’s son, Christian.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Fine Wine Sales Administrator

Davy's Wine Merchants
London, UK

Business Development Manager - On Trade

FINE+RARE
Central London, GB

Regional Sales Manager

Swallow Associates Ltd
Home Based: North-West England, UK

London Account Manager Role (Full Time)

LITTLE BIRD GIN
Home based with UK travel. , GB

Sales Operations Manager

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Digital Marketing Executive (online content & community manager)

Corney & Barrow Limited
London E1W (near Tower Bridge), UK

Store Manager – Premium Drinks

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
London and the South East, UK

Wine Sales – Northwest England

Gerrard Seel
North West England

Senior On-Trade Sales Manager – English Sparkling Wine Company

COREcruitment
London based with national travel, UK

National Account Manager – RTM – On Trade

COREcruitment
Home based with frequent UK travel

Sales Account Manager - Wine

COREcruitment
London, Devon, Manchester, Liverpool, Farnham, Cambridge, UK

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Beer Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st August 2017

Click to view more

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

Click to view more