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Technology in the Vineyard

Food and Beverages | Monday, March 21, 2022

Wineries can use drones to identify which plants require additional water, reducing water waste. Additionally, technology enables these regions, subject to unpredictable weather patterns and temperatures, to determine the optimal time to harvest grapes for the best wine.

FREMONT, CA: Wine awakens the senses, providing people with pleasure beyond its humble origins. It is not overtly technological. Indeed, the wine industry has been slow to embrace technology. However, with threats such as fraud and climate change, embracing technology should be prioritized.

Thousands of choices are made in producing a bottle of wine, from the appearance, smell, and taste to the way it ages. Utilizing technology improves these decisions and results in increased profits.

Planting and growing a grapevine for fine wine appears to be a straightforward process. However, people know from Burgundy's monks that cultivating grapes for fine wine is more complicated.Vineyard managers employ various technological tools to optimize crops, control costs, and monitor environmental impacts. They can increase efficiency, reduce disease, and maintain quality through more precise viticulture. The optimal time to incorporate advanced technology is during vineyard planting. Then, tracing the grape's origin and quality from grape to bottle becomes trivial. Owners employ sophisticated tools to identify prime vineyard land with the ideal climate and select the best vines for the site. In the vineyard, sensors connected to the Internet of Things collect data such as climate patterns, exposure to the sun, rainfall, pH, nitrogen concentrations, soil conditions, humidity, and direction or speed of the wind. By combining this data with historical data, growers can make immediate decisions, adjust, and identify long-term trends.

Irrigation, frost protection, drought, and fire are all critical concerns. GPS maps illustrate the patterns of soil drainage to assist growers in managing water resources. Drone data assists in identifying potential problem areas in the vineyard. Crop yield estimation, a complex process, becomes more precise with the right tools. Robust data enables informed decisions about fruit dropping, ripening, and harvest. Infrared light is used to determine the optimal time and order of harvesting.

Managers can make more informed decisions about fertilizers and pesticides application and timing when they have data. Improved diagnosis speeds up the process of organic and biodynamic farming. A novel approach to pest and mildew control employs bursts of hot air rather than chemicals to control insects and disease. Growers used advanced technology to determine which vines were tainted by smoke from wildfires. Another technological advancement converts grape pomace to biofuels. Pomace is the residue of pressed skins and seeds.

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