The European Union is currently the world’s largest producer of wine, and its production is the main economic activity in many areas of southern Europe. The VitiGEOSS European project is developing an innovative vineyard management platform that provides forecasts, estimations and recommendations for wine makers to help boost vineyards’ sustainability and adaptation to climate change.
Based on open-access satellite imagery and derived products and climate data from the European Copernicus Programme, together with other sources of data like drone and fixed camera images or in-field and machinery data, VitiGEOSS is developing intelligent services delivering weather and climate predictions, recommendations for crop and disease management, and tools for the management of business operations and sustainability of the vineyard.
Funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 program, the VitiGEOSS project builds on existing solutions like FieldLook and VISCA, creating a one-stop-shop for the viticulture sector. The VitiGEOSS application will offer a common user-friendly visualisation tool with increased resolution and reliability of information from different sources addressed to support specific wine-business operations.
To this end, "we will advance agronomic prescription by developing an ecosystem of services for the vineyard sector to support farmers and producers, optimise sustainable vine cultivation via decision support systems on weather and climate forecasting, phenology, disease and business operations, and by extension, making the most of open European data and resources" explains Rosa Araujo, VitiGEOSS Project Coordinator and Project Manager at Eurecat Technology Center.
The innovation promoted by VitiGEOSS aims to respond to the future challenges of the wine industry, intensifying production in a sustainable way and, at the same time, mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing negative environmental externalities and promoting local economic growth.
“We are validating the potential of Earth Observation services and Artificial Intelligence to promote a better management and planning of fields and vineyards, as well as the optimisation of innovative agricultural practices”, states Araujo. “The use of open resources such as Earth observation services can improve the efficiency of vineyards thanks to accurate mapping, novel production indicators, image and time series processing and an accurate and improved forecast” she adds.
The VitiGEOSS services developed will be tested, calibrated and validated in demo sites of three major wine producers in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
The VitiGEOSS consortium is made up of 9 partners from Spain, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands, including three research and technology organisations (Eurecat Technology Center, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Fundazione Links), a university (the University of Naples Federico II), an SME (ELEAF), a consultancy firm (PwC) and three wineries (Familia Torres, Symington and Mastroberardino).