Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improving Wine With Satellites

Date:
September 20, 2004
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
The wine harvest has begun in many regions of Europe. Will it be a vintage year, what will quantities be like? Every vineyard owner has their own idea. But specialist engineers and administrations already have a comprehensive view produced using satellite observations.

Birds are not the only ones to eye the juicy grapes. Much higher, satellites keep watch.
Credit: EuroNews

The wine harvest has begun in many regions of Europe. Will it be a vintage year, what will quantities be like? Every vineyard owner has their own idea. But specialist engineers and administrations already have a comprehensive view produced using satellite observations.

Related Articles


For centuries Europe has been one of the world's foremost wine producers. There are a great variety of wines, often produced on small properties with practices handed down from generation to generation. Methods can still be largely empirical, costly and some times inappropriate in a context of strong international competition.

Quality control engineers, like Hilde Chevillot in the South of France, regularly measure the size of leaves, check for the smallest sign of disease, and evaluate the degree of maturity of the grapes.

This terrain-based approach provides valuable information. Entered into computer databases, it allows local analyses. But in 2001 the European Space Agency (ESA) initiated Bacchus, a technology and research pilot programme to increase precision and to obtain an overview. Now managed as a consortium, it is backed by the European Commission and involves companies, research institutes and wine growers' organisations through out Europe.

French agronomist Damien Rolland fully appreciates the imagery and information provided by several satellites, such as Spot-5 and Envisat.

"Within a single Controlled Origin Denomination area, there may be several hundred small plots of vines. The advantage of satellites over aerial reconnaissance is that the information is uniform in nature and provided at regular intervals. We can precisely calculate the acreages involved, detect un-authorised plantations, and obtain many details about the surfaces that are cultivated."

At offices in ESA's European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) establishment in Frascati, a region near Rome well known to wine connoisseurs, Luigi Fusco oversees the Bacchus project.

"Earth observation satellites now have remote sensing instruments operating in a variety of modes, optical, radar, infra-red. The scientific data that can be extracted is considerable. Depending on the satellite's resolution, we can obtain data on precise soil composition, the slopes, exposure to sunlight, and the humidity of agricultural regions. With future satellites we will monitor how vineyards have been cared for during the year."

"In Frascati there are 1800 hectares of vineyards in an area just over 50 km square. But getting statistics and making inventories to control production is certainly not the sole objective. We are helping producers to improve their wine, by identifying better plantation areas, improving irrigation and detecting diseases."

With advanced space technologies now at the service of one of the most ancient beverages, one can indeed raise a glass in honour of Bacchus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Improving Wine With Satellites." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040920065200.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2004, September 20). Improving Wine With Satellites. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040920065200.htm
European Space Agency. "Improving Wine With Satellites." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040920065200.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins