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Lab-Like Machine Can Produce an Endless Stream of Wine

Wine dreams are coming true

EPFL / Alain Herzog

A machine capable of creating an endless stream of wine could become a reality thanks to an American researcher and a Swiss research institute, Gizmodo reports. Iowa State University mechanical engineering professor Daniel Attinger and a research team at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne are working to improve the fermentation process, and in doing so, produced a device that can make one milliliter of wine an hour — a tiny amount, but considering the process involved, a novel concept.

The machine can also be used to test fermentation processes using small amounts of liquid and produces results within an hour. The device feeds grape juice and yeast into a main channel, confining the two into a small space and triggering a quick absorption of sugar, according to a release from the EPFL. In practice, the device could help wine makers figure out how to deal with such things as climate change and the emergence of unpredictable crop conditions.

Philippe Renaud, the head of EPFL’s Microsystems Laboratory said people could theoretically use the device to make wine at home, but "the result is currently not as good as normal wine."

In the non-research sector, a company called Coravin has made moves to reimagine wine consumption with a device that allows people to drink from a bottle without uncorking it; though exploding bottles caused sales to shrink, a second version of the product was announced last fall.