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by Curtis Phillips | October 10, 2012 | 1:25 PM

I dislike the very idea of issuing patents for naturally occuring organisms, but I lost that argument decades ago. If institutions like the CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas) weren't patenting their work, someone else would be. What makes the following press release noteworthy is that Terras Gauda believes that obtaining the license for these patented organisms is a viable business strategy.


The Original Press Release follows:



TERRAS GAUDA Wineries has licensed its third patent obtained by the CSIC and scientists from the prestigious Italian institute Centro di Ricerca Per L´Enologia de Asti as the result of progress made in an R&D project to enhance the personality and boost the singularity of its wines, making it the only winery in Spain to have been granted three patents.

TERRAS GAUDA has once again played a pioneering role by selecting and isolating a microorganism specific to Caíño Blanco, which has been genetically certified through DNA testing to ensure the production of unique wines. The winery’s technical department will use the microorganism to carry out partial malolactic fermentation, which will allow them to naturally control this process and aid in reducing acidity, enhancing the smoothness of the wine and intensifying its flavor without sacrificing the unique character of the variety or altering the end result.

The ecotypical lactic microorganism was isolated from Caíño Blanco grapes at TERRAS GAUDA Wineries and the selection and genetic testing were carried out at the Italian center after a year of research to ensure that it perfectly served its purpose in malolactic fermentation. The genetic characterization of the patented grape will enable it to be grown and used exclusively by the winery to produce its LA MAR wine (Caíño Blanco), a unique and clearly distinctive wine.

The technical director of TERRAS GAUDA Wineries, Emilio Rodríguez Canas, has worked alongside the scientists Alfonso V. Carrascosa and Adolfo J. Martínez from the CIAL Food Sciences Research Institute, the CSIC Joint Operations Center and the Autonomous University of Madrid, as well as researchers from the Centro di Ricerca per L´Enologia de Asti (Italy), led by Dr. Emilia Moruno, Italy’s representative at the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

The licensing of the patent means a significant step forward in the project to recover the Caíño Blanco grape, which had practically disappeared, as it is the least productive of the native varieties. The O Rosal Winery produces 95% of the Caíño planted in the D.O. Rías Baixas: over 25 hectares, which it uses to create LA MAR, the only wine on the market made from this variety. 6,700 bottles were marketed from the first vintage and 20,000 from the second.

Since it was founded in 1989, TERRAS GAUDA has become a firmly established leader in research and development. It stresses the importance of collaboration between the world of Science and Business to achieve advances in the area of R&D that apply scientific knowledge to business projects, such as the one sponsored by the winery.

In addition, the president of TERRAS GAUDA Wineries, José Mª Fonseca Moretón, and the vice-president of the CSIC Organization in charge of Institutional Relations, José Ramón Urquijo Goitia, have signed an agreement to carry out the first “Scientific culture project” to plan joint activities aimed at promoting scientific cultivation in Oenology and Viticulture and to boost interest in knowledge.

TERRAS GAUDA Wineries and the CSIC will join efforts to define and organize the development of audiovisual materials and displays that introduce a scientific vision of wine from an educational perspective. They will address both historical and practical aspects of viticulture and oenological science through display panels that will form part of the tours at TERRAS GAUDA, promoting what could be considered the first scientific-technical guided tour of a winery. The production of an informational video about the contribution made by Science to Oenology and Viticulture will complement the material and potentially lead to the addition of a museum at the winery, the first at O Rosal, contributing to the promotion of wine tourism in the region.


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