From Burgundy to Napa: The Wine Industry is Getting Technical

November 27, 2015

4:00 pm

When we think of great wine we usually think of rich history, old world vs new world vintages, and a rainbow of flavor. What we don’t think about is drones, lasers, and microchips. But then again, we have come a long way since the wine of Roman settlements in Burgundy and Bordeaux in the first millennium.

Industries are being revolutionized by tech, and wine is no exception. That isn’t a bad thing however, moving away from tradition with tech will actually make wine production more sustainable and the industry safer.

Drones traversing the vineyard

Drones are often associated with war, but they are now revolutionizing our agricultural industries. Further, they’re having a profound impact on vineyards in particular. Drones are being used as an automated irrigation system, making sure that the vines get the right amount of hydration.

It has been estimated by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International that drone use will make up 80 percent of the agricultural market in the next ten years. But this trend isn’t just to make grapes all the sweeter – it is though that they are also going to create a more intelligent and sustainable form of agriculture.

Wine can be improved with lasers

In Britain new 3D laser mapping data is being unveiled  to help find better terroir (the natural environment where wine is produced) for vineyards as England is notoriously tricky for grape growing. This technology will use a combination of light and radars, originally created for flood defense planning, to measure distance using lasers to illuminate and analyse targets.

This tech should help the UK wine industry find better spots for planting grapes that will grow to produce distinctive and delicious wine.

Tech can stamp out future wine scams

As the fine wine valuation specialists The London Wine Cellar have stated, the wine investment industry is rife with scams. Due to the industry’s reputation for leaving investors severely out of pocket, anybody considering fine wine investment is advised to take professional guidance. According to Investment Quorum assessing risk tolerance will be essential and not least because of notorious fine wine fraudsters like Rudy Kurniawan.

Help is on the way

Microchips for fine wine have been specifically created by Selinko to help auction houses and buyers prove that their wine is authentic. Through deactivating when a wine bottle is opened, the chips will reveal whether a wine has been repackaged with a simple scan. This means fraudulent relabelling techniques used by scammers like Kurniawan could eventually become a thing of the past.

It is still unknown how many of his bottles may be in circulation. But with this new anti wine scam technology that can reveal whether a wine bottle has already been opened, fake wines can be detected easily and kept out of the market.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Simon Davies is a London based freelance writer with an interest in startup culture, issues and solutions.

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