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.

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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. 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:
from the past week

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