José Cuevas: Viña Concha y Toro’s Center for Research and Innovation R&D&I Leader

“We must be able to explore, adapt and implement new technological trends”

The industrial civil engineer discussed the work carried out by the CRI in applied research, technology and innovation transfer, and the main challenges facing the future of winemaking.


How has the Center for Research and Innovation addressed the digital transformation in CyT, and how is this transformation driven by the CRI through R&D&I?

We’re driving the digital transformation through projects focused on the development, validation and implementation of digital technologies for the optimization of processes in CyT’s value chain, fundamentally harvest planning and winemaking. Our focus is always placed on consumers and the quality of our products.


Which digital technologies are included in production processes?

The digital technologies that we are implementing include artificial intelligence through the development of predictive models based on machine learning for wine quality management during harvest scheduling, grape reception and fermentation processes; big data through the application of storage tools and processing of significant volumes of chemical, operational and wine sensory analysis data; and IIoT (industrial Internet of Things) through the interconnection of sensors, control systems, fermentation tanks and cloud systems for the application of data analysis and process management platforms.


What have the main advances been in terms of harvest planning and winemaking processes?

We have now implemented pilot IIoT infrastructure and a prototype platform for the management of harvest planning and winemaking processes that will be ready to be scaled up to an industrial level starting in 2020.


What are the main challenges for the CRI in relation to the future of winemaking?

When new developments are required, we generate and implement R&D projects under the framework of our Smart Wine Industry Strategic Program. At the CRI, we collaborate with the Technical Department and its winemaking teams to explore new technologies, and subsequently validate and implement them together with our Technological Innovation Unit. We must be able to explore, adapt and implement new technological trends, particularly those that are associated with Industry 4.0, for the optimization of winemaking processes, with a focus on productivity, quality and sustainability.