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HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW THE USE OF COLOR ANALYSIS, ESPECIALLY WITH THE CIELAB METHOD CAN SUPPORT WINEMAKING PRACTISES? AND HOW MANY AND WHICH APPLICaTIONS THE CIELAB CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH USEFUL INFORMATION, WHICH YOU COLUD NOT OBTAIN WITH THE CLASSIC METHOD?
THE COLOR OF THE WINE IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE RELEVANT, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WINERIES THAT PRODUCE WINES IN WHICH COLOR IS A DISTINCTIVE ELEMENT, SUCH AS ROSE WINES.
In 2006 the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) replaced and downgraded the “classic” method based on the measurement of absorbance at three wavelengths with the CIELab method, which has therefore become the reference method (of TYPE 1) for the analysis of the wine color.
BUT WHY THE CIELAB METHOD IS SO IMPORTANT?
Classic method vs. CIELab method
⇒ uses the 3 wavelengths 420-520-620 nm.
It is not the real measure of color but an approximate method to obtain indications of intensity and tone.
Although incomplete, this method has been used, and is still used, as a measure of color both for the simplicity of the method and for the interpretation of the data, and for a technological limitation of the most used tools.
Standard method coefficients:
- Intensity = A420 + A520 + A620
- Tone = A420 / A520
⇒ uses 80 wavelengths between 380 and 780 nm.
It is the representation of color closest to human perception.
Using specific algorithms that simulate the behavior of the human eye, the 80 wavelengths are transformed into three coefficients C, H and L which uniquely and objectively represent the chromatic characteristics of each wine sample.
CIELab method coefficients:
- a = red/green, b = yellow/blue
- Chroma = (a2 + b2)1/2
- Heu = arctan(b/a)
- L = degree of lightness
The advantages of the CIELab method compared to the “standard” one:
• it provides true color analysis using the entire visible spectrum between 380 – 780 nm
• it allows to uniquely and objectively distinguish the chromatic characteristics of the wine
• it is the latest international colorimetry standard (CIE) and is the representation of color closest to the perception of the human eye
• it allows an easy numerical and graphical representation of the color
HOW TO MEASURE CIELAB IN THE CELLAR
To use the CIELab coordinates method in the cellar, as described in the various scientific papers we have proposed, a simple and fast technology is required. More importantly, easy interpretation of the measurements is required.
Smart Analysis was designed with exactly these goals! The software was developed on the specific needs of oenologists and wine producers, in order to provide a practical tool to support the decision-making process during the wine production phases.
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