Italy’s winemaking traditions take a hi-tech twist
Telecom Italia is working elbow to elbow with Italy’s wine producers with an innovative system that improves wine quality while keeping production costs down.
Developed by Telecom Italia in partnership with Deca and Pirelli Labs, the system monitors environmental data throughout the winemaking cycle via a number of measuring stations equipped with high-tech sensors dotted around the vineyard. These measuring stations gather multiple data streams about the surrounding environment, including weather and soil conditions, humidity, wind, etc. This information is passed on for processing by an artificial intelligence system, which provides exhaustive information to farmers and oenologists working at the vineyard regarding advisable plant protection chemical use (most suitable type, quantity and dosage). Several CRA (Italian Agricultural Research and Experimentation Council) farm research institutes have contributed to data processing.
The whole system makes it possible to predict infestations and therefore rationalize and reduce pesticide and plant protection product use. This results in significant benefits in terms of environmental impact, enhanced wine taste and time and cost reductions. Until now, farmers have had to rely on statistical mathematical models to make predictions of this kind. Not only did these models fail to give precise results, they were expensive and resulted in excessive pesticide use through regular applications, whether or not they were actually necessary.
The new system is being presented at the 40th Vinitaly Wine & Spirits Expo (April 6-10 in Verona), at the Conti Bossi Fedrigotti stand – the first winery to use the technology on its vineyards.
Milan, April 7, 2006