When you imagine the process of creating wine in your mind, you probably think of toga-wearing ancient Greeks grinding grapes beneath their toes (or maybe a certain viral video featuring an unfortunate newscaster if you’re of a younger generation). But the reality is that viticulture has advanced just as far as any other kind of farming, and some of the things they’re doing with technology now might blow you away. Join us as we take a short look at all the new ways grape cultivation has entered the 21st century.

Precision Viticulture

One of the major hurdles viticulturists run into is the sudden change of things like climate and soil health, which can majorly throw off their projections for a healthy harvest. Precision viticulture aims to change all that through the use of implements like drone surveillance of fields and devices which measure the microclimates of a given area. This approach aims to give farmers the best data possible, making it an increasingly valuable form of smart viticulture as time goes by.

Advanced Irrigation

Harvesters used to be forced to rely on an abundance of waterflow in their surroundings to be able to make good harvests, but this is no longer a major concern, thanks to major leaps in irrigation technology. While viticulture is always best practiced in areas with temperate climates, new irrigation methods can help make the most of these environments now that planners can implement these systems down to the angle of installation and the specific type of water treatment needed. With good irrigation, even a mediocre crop can turn its prospects for sales and nutrition around quickly.

Hands holding blue grapes towards camera

Biodynamic Viticulture

While it may be a bit of a mouthful, biodynamic viticulture simply describes a system of how to best implement pest control and crop yields without an overreliance on things like pesticides and growth hormones. A blind taste test showed that biodynamic wine won out over traditionally grown stock among enthusiasts 8 times out of 10, so this growing method isn’t just environmentally responsible, but gets great results from the product itself, too. Since our company makes sustainability one of our founding principles, we’re very excited to see how biodynamic viticulture evolves over the coming years.

Software and Apps

Precision methods of farming might be one thing, but they won’t be of much use if they don’t come in a user-friendly package that lets everyone from agriculture students to older technophobes make the most of these new advances. Software like eVineyard has been filling the gap by condensing a lot of new technology into one management app that makes keeping track of and utilizing your smart viticulture tools that much easier. Looking at ways to make the latest advances as easy to use as possible is one of the best ways to make sure viticulture stays accessible in the 21st century.

Where’s It All Headed?

Even though the Coronavirus outbreak has dealt a hammer blow to many industries, food and drink is one area that there will always be a market for no matter how bad the economy gets. The market for these new viticultural technologies is projected to grow by almost 10% between 2017 and 2022, and that means harvesters who won’t adapt might have a harder time competing in the viticulture space with young guns who make the most of this new technology.

If you’re a farmer who’s attached to your traditional methods, remember that your goal of bringing your customers fantastic grape and wine products won’t change even if the technology you use to meet those goals ends up fluctuating a bit. These practices are here to stay, and while they might take a little bit of getting used to we feel confident in our claim that biodynamic and precision viticulture will be just as good for your output as it will be for the environment.

Rows of grape plants in a vineyard

Look to the Future with Fruit Growers Supply Co.

If you need a reliable partner with whom to meet the world of smart viticulture head on, Fruit Growers Supply Co. is the trusted friend you’re looking for. We’ve been helping California farmers of all stripes meet their quotas and feed their communities since 1907, and our commitment to sustainable and earth-friendly methods means we’re helping them give back to the earth as well. Viticulture will always be a big part of what makes our home state so great, and FGS Co. intends to help you keep it that way.

If you’d like to see firsthand how Fruit Growers Supply Co. can help your operation deliver high quality crops in equally as high quantity, send us a message and find out how we can help. And if you have questions or comments about any of the viticulture technology you’ve read about here, leave a comment below. Join the Fruit Growers Supply Co. family today and see what’s made us the best that California has to offer for a century and counting.

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