Is it possible to measure the quality of a vineyard? Of course, the difficulty is real as the healthy, concentrated and at the right degree of ripeness grape derives from a complex balance between the factors, some of which cannot be controlled, such as weather patterns, others cannot be modified (or minimally) such as the soil and others that can be managed correctly through calibrated agronomic choices and practices, correct and performed at the right time.
L ‘ Friuli agronomist John Bigot , after years of studies and observations, he has developed and patented a method of assessment , science and innovation, the quality potential of a vineyard, taking into account the viticultural factors that have a direct influence on the quality of the wine : production, foliage, relationship between leaves and production, health of the grapes, type of bunch, water stress, vigor, biodiversity and microorganisms, age of the vineyard. Giovanni Bigot previewed the Index in a meeting held at the Cigognola Castle in the Oltrepò Pavese.
Objective of the Index
The main objective of the Bigot Index is to give wine growers an objective method for the synthetic evaluation of the quality potential of a vineyard , taking into consideration precisely the 9 most important and individually recognized agronomic parameters internationally recognized as quality factors.
The determination of the Index also aims to bring consumers closer to understanding (allclassnote) the importance that the vineyard has in determining the quality of a wine, giving it an evaluation obtained from objective observations and simple to understand.
This method also intends to put the vineyard back in the center (bringing concrete attention to the factors that determine quality) and to promote the surveys and assessments made by people, considering the observation of man at the basis of any deduction that leads to an action .
It is a method of evaluating vineyards based on objective observations and is a concrete combination of ease of observation and value obtained from the measured information.
It is as synthetic as possible and contains all the main elements. The measures to be able to calculate it are all simple and fast (maximum 60 minutes per season per vineyard), no special equipment or tools are needed, at most a field scale and the 4grapes application to record data (created just to make a intelligent monitoring of the vineyard).
The weight of the various factors and their evaluation were determined by the twenty years of experience of systematic observations in the vineyards combined with the results of international wine research. The Index indicates the best way to go to reach the maximum rating, as the parameters still to be improved will be evident.
Measurements can be made by anyone who visits the vineyard with care (and passion), as they are precise, but also easy to perform. The final value of the Index is expressed in cents.
The Bigot Index is a corporate self-assessment tool : it serves to set a level / result in order to improve in the following years (“If I set myself goals to achieve, I can consolidate the results obtained and improve them”).
It allows to obtain a classification of the vineyards .
It is essential to organize the harvest choice , for the planning and organization of the grape reception.
It directly connects the wine with the vineyard and therefore it is important in the evaluation of the wines that is done in the cellar together with the oenologist, an excellent time to redefine the cultivation operations for the following year.
It is fundamental in determining the economic value of the vineyard , since high index values indicate a greater value and potential of the vineyard and therefore also of its price.
The parameters used
The originality of the Bigot Index lies precisely in the type of parameters considered and in their combination :
- aspects related to the quality of the grapes, the productivity of the single plant, the health of the bunches and the environmental aspects in which the plant and the bunches developed and interacted and which directly affect the quality of the final wine were taken into consideration
- each of these is recognized on a scientific level as related to quality
- they have been united and correlated with each other to obtain a unique value.
The choice of these parameters is based on the simultaneous presence of three factors: 1) the knowledge of the results described by the international viticultural research, 2) the method in the quality observations in the vineyard, 3) the critical evaluation of the wines shared with the company staff.
What the Index is based on
Number of observations : over the past twenty years, more than 80,000 observations have been carried out in the vineyard, all georeferenced and archived on a database through the 4grapes app, most of them accompanied by photos, in more than 250 companies and over more than 2000 vineyards, in Italy and abroad; In addition, about 1000 results of wine evaluations made together with the owner or oenologist of the company and traced back to a single and distinct vineyard were used.
Calculation algorithm : each factor was assigned a score parameterised with the quality of the grapes and the wine, taking as a starting point the data from the main international scientific research and combined with the results of its experience; from the analysis of all the results for each parameter the polynomial equation was obtained which best represents this correlation between the field measurement and the score.
Statistical analysis : the factors used in the calculation of the index do not contribute in the same way (weight) in determining the final score, therefore in order to give the relative weight of each parameter (t ratio) a statistical analysis was made using the regression multiple, the results of the evaluations of about a thousand vineyards and respective wines were used, the analysis determined the percentage weight of each of the factors as a contribution to the final result of the index. It was thus possible to define, as was to be expected, that each factor contributes with a different weight to the final value of the index: some parameters “weigh” 30% others have intermediate weights and finally some 5%.
How to do data collection in the vineyard: the 4grapes App
The ideal tool for data collection and recording is the 4Grapes App . The application, easy to use, allows you to have the phytopathological, phenological and productive situation under control at all times, wherever you are thanks to the use of innovative solutions, functions based on European standards and an optimized monitoring protocol for each area .
It has been designed for all the people involved in the wine supply chain: owner, manager of vineyards, vine worker, university researcher, agronomist consultant, winemaker … And for those who are not yet able to recognize the symptoms of vine diseases, in the 4 grapes app it is completely integrated neural network / artificial intelligence for image recognition.