miércoles, 17 de febrero de 2010

High precision viticulture


All the wine making techniques are universal so the only thing that we can claim as our own are the grapes and whatever unique flavours and aromas we can pull out of the ground and that’s what precision farming is all about.

Precision farming it has to do with exactitude pointing out small areas of the vineyard, working the vines individually to bring the best that we can. Precision farming takes to action all the high equipment that you can imagine: GPS mapping systems, infrared satellite photography, computer programs, traceability, yes all those fun toys.

We have a GPS antenna inside a hat that goes back to the GPS unit that we wear on a bag pack and that goes to a PDA telling us where we are, then we mark the spot, then we dig the soil to see the roots and how they are and how they are developing, then we take soil samples for chemical analysis. We take a close look at root distribution, how far the roots can go. Is not good or bad the dip they can go but to know how to manage it.

This equipment is great to find grapes that ripen and grow uniformly or evenly and grapes that ripen in different times, in that way you don’t end picking grapes that are green, unripe or overripe and you can get exactly what you want for each type of wine.

Then we put all the data in a software computer application that links together all the data collaborating the viticulture and wine making processes to be able to manage that vintage the best way possible. Optimization and statistical data, optimized operations, all leads to a greater efficiency.

Getting the grapes right is the first challenge and then don't making any mistakes along the way that can spoil the wine.

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