“The importance of wine goes beyond its pure market value—it empowers the whole economy,” says Fazekas. “It is therefore imperative that the wine is of excellent and authentic origin for domestic and overseas customers. In order to implement the program, the Ministry will enter into a strategic agreement with Diagnosticum where they will provide the technical background needed to draw the map of origin of Hungarian wines, creating a database based on an internationally authentic mathematical model. In return for submitting their samples, Hungarian wineries will be given a year’s free access to provide their wines for analytical studies, which has not been available to them until now. We see great potential in the innovative work that Diagnosticum are undertaking, which will unquestionably make the self-identification of Hungarian wine possible.”
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The wine analysis certificate gives both foreign and Hungarian traders a greater guarantee for the origin and quality of the wines, significantly improving the market position of Hungarian wines and strengthen consumer confidence. The “fingerprint” of the individual wines are visualized and verified in the database, and the technology used demonstrates the chemical characteristics of the wine, as well as information on the soil in which the grapes were grown. Consumers are increasingly wary of wine fraud, so validating authenticity will increase consumer trust on a global basis.
“NMR is the most reactive high-resolution spectrum technology, which is uniquely placed for generating unique wine identifiers (fingerprints),” says Ferenc Péterfy, PhD, chairman of Diagnosticum. “The NMR spectrum can be used to identify the wine’s region, vintage, and variety, using a database based on authentic patterns. This is incredibly valuable to us and is the driving force of the Hungarian wine authentication and identification program.”
Diagnosticum and the Ministry are in direct contact with Italian and French wine laboratories, which have been using NMR technologies for wine screening for some time. As part of the wine map of origin project, Diagnosticum has open access to these NMR facilities and the countries are able to discuss the latest advances in techniques.
“The same sample can be measured in different countries, but with NMR we should all get the same results,” says Péter Szaszák,who is project director of the program at Diagnosticum and is leading the partnership with the Ministry to develop the Hungarian wine map of origin and the international database. “We can directly ask other countries’ wine laboratories how they are using these new technologies and what their workflow is. We’re still learning, and we still have a lot of questions which, with the help of other countries, we will gain more answers to.”
Wine fraud and forgery is an industry-wide global issue, where significant investments are being made to bring new sophisticated solutions to market to improve authentication and identification methods. Mathematical modeling of wine analyses to create the wine map of origin is a work-in-progress, where professionals must be trained to interpret the data output from NMR screens. It is thought that in the next two years, a robust mathematical model will be available to wine producers, and the turnaround time for analysis and reporting will be cut in half. The advances in NMR technology could mean that countries not using this technique will be left behind.
Dr. Mangelschots is president of Bruker Corp.’s BioSpin’s Applied, Industrial & Clinical division. Reach her at email@example.com.
Map of Origin FAQs
What is the wine map of origin? The Hungarian wine map of origin will show the place of origin of each individual wine sample, as well as the wine composition. The Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture will help provide the technical background necessary to compose the map.