The Loh Down On Science

Water into Wine

Who can turn water into wine? French scientists, that's who!
 
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, sharing the latest in scientific miracles. 

Meet viticulturists Thibaut Scholasch and Sébastien Payen. These vineyard-ologists help wineries control water flow to grapevines.  Because if winemakers could learn when water is flowing—and how much water is flowing—they could make better grapes and use less water.

Scholasch and Payen's system?  Starts with third grade science: think of vines simply as pipes that carry water.  

On the vine, the duo fastens a tiny heater flanked by temperature sensors. The scientists measure the temperature at the first sensor, then apply heat. Then, because any water in the vine also heats up, the temperature at the second sensor (plus a few calculations) shows how much water is flowing past. Additional sensors reveal how much water is evaporating from the leaves. All the data is uploaded to a website where the vineyard owner can check it.

Making the future of eco-friendly viticulture look very rosé.

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena, California. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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