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The grant has been awarded to Patricia Cereceda for a study on influence of the cork in wines and cavas.

Patricia Cereceda Ortega, Master's student in Fermented Beverages at Rovira i Virgili University (URV), has won the 1st ICSuro-AECORK Scholarship, within the framework of which she has carried out the Study on the effect of corks with different diameters and insertion on wine and cava. The awarding of the prize, endowed with 1,400 euros, took place during the opening ceremony of the academic year of the Faculty of Enology, held on Friday 25 November.

The call for this scholarship is part of an agreement signed in February 2016 between the Catalan Institute of Cork (ICSuro), theAssociation of Catalan Sugar Entrepreneurs (AECORK) and the Rovira i Virgili University, through the Faculty of Enology, to promote knowledge about corking wines and cavas with corks. Among other actions, last March the oenology students of the URV carried out a teaching day visiting the entire Catalan cork sector: from the cork oak forest, passing through the manufacture of cork stoppers, and the Institut Català del Suro and its laboratory where a sensory workshop on cork aromas was held. With this agreement, it is also intended to establish three-way relations in terms of training and R+D+i, as well as to give continuity to the completion of studies.

From the research carried out by the student as part of the scholarship, it is concluded that the characteristics of a still wine and a sparkling wine are not affected by the compression force and the degree of insertion of the cork in the moment of bottling and after 3 months in the bottle. This fact opens the door to study the optimization of the dimensions of the cork for quick consumption wines.

The event was chaired by the dean of the Faculty of Enology, Joan Miquel Canals; Albert Hereu, managing director of the Institut Català del Suro, and Joan J. Puig, president of AECORK, and the rector of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) Josep Anton Ferré.

ICSuro is a public-private consortium whose mission is to promote the development of the entire value chain of the Catalan cork sector; AECORK is the association of entrepreneurs, located in Catalonia, which brings together companies that manufacture and/or market cork products that export to the main world wine markets. At the URV, oenologists are trained, teaching the degree in Oenology and the master's degree in Fermented Beverages, among other courses.