Tuesday, 16 June 2015

16.6.15 60 Years of Pioneering Research at González Byass

In 1955 Mauricio González Gordon Díez founded CIDIMA, a pioneering centre for quality, research, development, innovation and the environment, with a mission to improve winemaking and the development of new products at González Byass. It was the first such centre in a private company in Spain.

Over its 60 year trajectory the centre has made important advances, such as being the first to use chill filtration to avoid tartrate crystals in wine exported to cooler climes. In 1969 CIDIMA pioneered the use of gas chromatography analysis, and in 1989 they managed to reduce the time chill filtration took from one week to one day. They were the first to invest in tangential filtration which is far more efficient than the traditional filter sheets.

With regard to product development. they developed Kosher Tio Pepe, the only Kosher Sherry available to the Jewish community, the ultra-premium brandy Lepanto Aurum aged over 30 years in ancient butts, a Tintilla de Rota from the firm’s Finca Moncloa, Gin Mom aromatised with red fruits, and Nomad Outland Whisky, a fine Scotch blend further aged in PX butts in Jerez.

José Alberto Casa and Luís Trillo at work (?!) at CIDIMA
CIDIMA has also developed studies in collaboration with academic institutions like the University of Cádiz and the CSIC. Jointly this has produced important research in development and innovation in vinification processes like fermentation, ageing, filtration, identification of substances and stabilisation of wines and brandies.

It all started on 23rd March 1955 as the firm’s Centro de Investigación Enológica (CIE) run by Justo Francisco Casa Lucás and by 1983 it was an essential part of the firm and was renamed Centro de Investigación, Desarrollo y Calidad (CIDeC). Under the direction of Enrique García Maíquez the team was developed along with material resources and research progressed. From 1990-92 the centre was run by Jesús Arnedo Rodriguez.

In 2003, under the direction of José Alberto Casas, it became CIDIMA, continuing the usual research and paying special attention to the conservation of bottled Finos and the ageing of Olorosos. They also looked into the ageing of brandy in butts and distillation. For all this work, González Byass were awarded the Martínez Moreno Research Prize in 2007, a prize normally awarded to academic institutions and rarely to private companies.

There are 11 people in the CIDIMA team and they play a leading role in the firm’s 5+5 Cuidando el Planeta sustainability policy (see bedega website). They are also at the forefront of the prevention of contamination and the conservation of the environment for which they hold the ISO 14001 certificate and constantly monitor the bodega’s carbon footprint.

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