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May 30, 2022 View:

Douro appellation plans 20% production cut due to inventory pressure

The 2020 harvesting season did not go well. The first half of the year was not a good one for the Douro appellation due to the New Crown epidemic. Due to the pressure on stocks, the appellation had to implement green pruning at the beginning of the harvest season, reducing yields by 20% and retaining as much as possible the best selected grapes.

Image courtesy of: Penin Guide Spain

This year"s AI4EU project under the Horizon 2020 framework, an innovative research project run by the European Commission, is being carried out by global digital transformation leader Atos at three wineries in the Douro appellation, using artificial intelligence and data analytics to extract meaningful data from images of the vineyards to help winemakers make critical decisions, such as choosing the best time to harvest, determining nutritional parameters of the vines or predicting future planting areas. The project aims to reduce the cost of mid-lifting and improve the quality and yield of the wine.

The project is still in the development phase and has been piloted in three wineries, Martin Berdugo, Prado Rey and Vizcarra, to measure the quality of their harvests. In the trial, information is processed and algorithms are developed based on manual vision, photographs, images collected by drones or satellites and the Smart Rural program that integrates the information into a database, which is then implemented in the three wineries. The program will automatically calculate the fruiting rate of each vine and assess its maturity and optimal harvesting period.