VINNOTEC: cutting-edge technologies for viticulture

The wine world is not immune to the need to modernise its facilities and sectors. In Languedoc-Roussillon, cooperation between public and private research has made it possible to develop innovative tools and services for the various links in the chain in this sector – and the benefits of these innovations will extend beyond the borders of the region.

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Vines at the Pech Rouge vineyard experimental plot, managed by Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique – the National Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA), in Gruissan (France). © A. Gobrecht Vines at the Pech Rouge vineyard experimental plot, managed by Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique – the National Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA), in Gruissan (France). © A. Gobrecht

One of the distinctive features of wine producers in Languedoc-Roussillon is the fact that they get together in winemaking cooperatives more than in other regions. These cooperatives in turn have merged over the last decade or so with the prevalence of restructuring operations, as with the agricultural sector as a whole. In a more and more competitive market, all of this necessitates new tools and new equipment,” explains Alexia Gobrecht, Vinnotec Project Leader at Irstea (formerly Cemagref). “It was a matter of promoting a public-private consortium to bring together research centres, large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to create innovative tools.

Evaluate to innovate

The first stage of the project is to provide producers with tools to allow them to investigate on the ground: in the vineyards (identifying parcels, monitoring grapes) and in wine cellars (identifying harvested grape batches, monitoring and steering of processes, traceability). This will make it possible to evaluate the winegrowing potential of the region but also to gain an appreciation of the significant need for real-time information on the status of the vineyards and the wine. In the second stage, Vinnotec’s people will then prepare ten or so tools and services to allow the health and quality potential of the vineyards to be monitored constantly and support for decision-making to be improved.

From satellites to mobile phones

Œnoview uses satellite images to offer a remote sensing service applied to viticulture. For example, it delivers information before the grape harvests so that each vineyard can be harvested at maturity, winemaking can be adapted to the quality of the grape, typical wine profiles can be obtained, and parcels can be selected and redefined.

Grape maturity can also be evaluated using a light, intelligent portable geolocated sensor, the Spectron™. This spectrometer is linked to modelling software that allows the winegrower to evaluate the average value of a parcel (sugar content, acidity, water content, etc.) and to estimate the best date for the harvest.

In terms of software, Agreo Vine & Wine is the first web application for the viticulture sector. This tool offers real-time monitoring of the vats in the cellar, amongst other features.

These innovations can vary considerably in terms of cost, but they are always highly specialised,” concludes Alexia Gobrecht. “We think they will be of interest to the winegrowing world well beyond our region.


Total investment and EU funding

The project “VINNOTEC – Development of Information and Communication Technologies to meet the new challenges of the wine industry” has a total investment of EUR 3 900 000. The European Regional Development Fund’s contribution is EUR 768 000 for the 2007-2013 programming period.


Draft date

24/02/2014