"The Grapes of Math"

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"The Grapes of Math"

Postby Victorwine » Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:33 pm

My Brother-in-law sent me an interesting article from the August edition of Fortune Magazine:

The Grapes of Math
Can high-tech tools help make better wines?
Silicon Valley refugees think so.
By Kate Bonamici

“Andy Grove had a saying when I worked at Intel”, says Chuck McMinn, a Silicon Valley veteran who spent 25 years at the chipmaker and a series of startups. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
That statement surely wouldn’t raise eyebrows if the subject was microchips, but it’s nowhere close: McMinn is talking about wine.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/ ... /index.htm


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Re: "The Grapes of Math"

Postby Paul Savage » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:08 am

"Trial and error" improves things without measurements! :wink: I suspect that is the old method, and even the new one. Measurements may give you some information, and then one may make some assumptions based on the measurments.... But it will be the final results that prove or disprove whether the assumptions about the measurements were valid and useful!! :shock:
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Re: "The Grapes of Math"

Postby Victorwine » Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:27 pm

Even with trial and error some qualitative attribute is looked at or examined (measured).

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Re: "The Grapes of Math"

Postby Ian Sutton » Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:00 pm

Hi-tech tools already have a great impact on the industry, starting at the point someones considering a plot of land and gets various soil samples analysed and obtains detailed weather readings. Plenty of other opportunities to use science through the process.

Of course loads of data or control is useless unless you've got got a clue how to use it. I'm sure there are plenty of people who use technology well in support of what they're aiming for, and more than a few who spend a fortune on the technology and then proceed to stuff up the winemaking or wine distribution; or who spend too much on technology, making the wine uncompetitive.

The article makes it sound like revolution, when it's nothing more than a continuation of existing evolution.

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Re: "The Grapes of Math"

Postby Victorwine » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:46 pm

Hi Ian,
You’re absolutely correct collecting data is one thing, and using it is another thing.

The thing that interests me the most is that Vineyard 29 is a “fully wired” vineyard. Instead of relying on data collected for a larger general area, (things like temperature, wind, and rainfall) they are able to collect more precise data for their immediate area with weather stations strategically placed among the vines. The gadget that really caught my attention was the sap-flow sensor which can record actual water use in each vine instead of relying on soil moisture to make irrigation decisions. When one has deep pockets one can do anything.

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