An international winemaking company is harnessing our pooches superpower to make sure customers receive the best vintages.
By Published on 30 May 2019
Every morning in Chile’s Casablanca Valley, two Labrador Retrievers named Zamba and Mamba start nosing around wooden staves that will be used to make wine barrels.
The furry detectives are using their incredible sniffing powers to identify any harmful chemical compounds in the wood that could contaminate the flavour of the wine stored inside barrels.
A funky smell
If they smell something they don't like, the dogs give their handlers a signal. They then receive a treat for all their hard work.
Michael Peters is the resident winemaker and sales manager for TN Cooper's winemakers. He said:
"They’re more accurate and effective than modern technology.”
Zamba and Mamba have over 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses. To put that into context, us measly humans only have around 6milllion. It means their sense of smell is up to 100,000 times more sensitive than ours. It's also far more accurate than the latest technology coming out of the worlds best university.
As well as nosing out potentially harmful chemicals, the hardworking duo can also identify small bugs and parasites that can do just as much damage.
Spotting these potential risks means a quicker and much cheaper fix.
In December 2018, Napa’s Opus One winery sued a French barrel supplier for more than $470,000 after ten contaminated barrels damaged 590 gallons of its $325-a-bottle cabernet!
A new group of pups are being trained up, and wine yards all over the world are looking at introducing the initiative.
So the next time you enjoy a nice glass of vino, remember to raise a toast to our furry, four-legged friends.