French vintners are turning to outer space to outwit foreign rivals, with new satellite technology giving an overview of vineyards’ physical characteristics and potential.
The satellite images, produced by French wine consultancy body ICV and geo-information provider Infoterra, give growers information on water stress and grape composition, allowing better management of the vinification.
The technology, called Oenoview, is a combination of aerial photographs and satellite imagery in the near-infrared, which provides growers and buyers with a complete picture of the vines’ vigor and the plot’s “terroir” before the harvest.
Oenoview is based on an existing service for agriculture, but because of the smaller size of the vineyard plots, a higher resolution was needed, Infoterra Innovation Manager Herve Poilve said.
“It allows the growers to visualize the observed variability of the vine at the level of the vineyard,” Bruno Tisseyre, a lecturer at the Institute for Agronomic Research, told Reuters Life.
Grapevines can be affected by a number of factors, including soil water levels and mineral deficiencies.