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Can smart vineyards make better wine?

11 Nov 2021
Veronika Brazdilova

Veronika Brázdilová

Vodafone Business Director, Czech Republic

When we think about wine, our first thought isn’t technology. Viticulture, or winemaking as it’s more commonly known, is an age-old art involving the harvesting, crushing and pressing of grapes.

As with the rest of the agriculture landscape, it’s an industry that’s facing increasing challenges as climate change and the uncertainty of irrigation continues to affect the production process. However, new advancements in technology is giving vineyards the power to react to these fluctuations.

Using the Internet of Things (IoT), winemakers can receive real-time data analysis and precision recommendations that can help them improve efficiency and produce higher quality wines.

Monitoring in the field

Installing IoT sensors in the vineyard, winemakers can not only monitor temperature remotely, but also the soil condition and other parameters that are key to growing the best wine.

Working with Arte Vini Velké Pavlovice in the Czech Republic, we are helping monitor several different plots. Tracking equipment across the vineyards, as well as precipitation, weather conditions, air and soil moisture and frost.

The data received from the sensors means the business can better manage resources and adapt to the current situation as it happens, only intervening when necessary.

Saving time and money, this also leads to a long-term sustainable economy with respect for the vineyard and its surroundings. For example, Arte Vini Velké Pavlovice can now accurately target plant protection which reduces the use of pesticides.

Quality control

When looking at the wider production activity, IoT can benefit other processes too.

Running on our NB-IoT network, which guarantees coverage in places you wouldn’t normally receive signal, sensors help Arte Vini Velké Pavlovice make sure the conditions are right in the wine cellars. Looking at elements such as temperature, the amount of carbon dioxide and light intensity.

When it comes to wine oxidation, in particular, slight variations can impact the quality of the product. Connecting the wine cellar means managers can correct any variations before any damage is done – retaining product quality and minimising waste.

Minimising waste

In Spain, we are working with Bodegas Emilio Moro using the same technology to minimise the environmental impact of wine production.

The sensors deployed on the ground use our NB-IoT connectivity, running on small, low power solar panels that significantly improve energy consumption. Reducing water and fertiliser consumption in the field, the solution is also increasing the quantity and quality of production.

We caught up with President José Moro, who told us more:

Keeping up with customers

As consumers continue to demand better quality and more ethical focused produce, businesses need to keep pace and prove their sustainability credentials.

Nearly 1 in 3 consumers claimed to have stopped purchasing certain brands or products because they had ethical or sustainability related concerns about them. [1]

Sustainability isn’t just about improving one area of the business. It needs to be baked into every part of the organisation.

Find out more about how we’re helping businesses achieve greater sustainability using IoT.

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