In wine speak, terroir (derived from the French word terre, meaning land) refers to a grapevine’s complete environment, taking into consideration the cumulative environmental factors that help a vine flourish or fail—including sunshine, soils and subsoils, and other location-dependent factors such as topography, seasonal temperatures, and annual rainfall. Imagine if winegrowers had the ability to monitor all the various data points involved in their vines’ terroir.

The TracoVino IoT connectivity solution provides winegrowers with decision-enhancing data that can boost business and improve the end product. The solution begins with energy-independent sensors installed within a vineyard to measure temperature, air and soil humidity, and sunlight intensity. The modular system also offers the ability to track additional microclimate parameters such as leaf wetness, soil pH levels, and nutrient levels. Once collected, the data is sent wirelessly to a server. Once in the cloud, the data becomes accessible to winegrowers on their smartphones or tablets.

The ability to deliver data from nature to the cloud where growers and producers can access it is key to maximizing a crop yield. Bernd Möller, CEO of MyOmega Systems, www.myomegasys.com, an IoT (Internet of Things) technology company and one of the providing partners enabling TracoVino, says as sensitive grapes are being cultivated, variations in the weather conditions can greatly affect the yield and quality of the wine. In fact, he says these variations can mean the difference between producing an average wine and producing an outstanding wine.

“It is crucial for winemakers to know which key data are currently prevailing in the vineyard,” Möller says. “Our goal is to help them to steer work on leaves, reduce ‘sun burn,’ and steer sugar production in the grapes through the year.” The IoT solution supports winegrowers in improving the quality of their wines, optimizing workflows, and monitoring vineyards remotely. Möller says winegrowers benefit by receiving alerts, reports, and predictive analytics based on the TracoVino system’s data.

MyOmega Systems specifically contributes its MYNXG IoT platform to the TracoVino solution. This includes a sensor platform, the MYNXG Controller, a service layer, and a transformation layer to enable predictive tools and analytics. Other contributing partners include Intel, www.intel.com, which provides its Intel Atom E3845 SoC (system-on-chip) chipset inside the MYNXG Controller; Ericsson, www.ericsson.com, which offers a cloud-based M2M/IoT platform that handles connectivity management, subscription management, and more; and Telenor Connexion, www.telenorconnexion.com, which provides mobile network connectivity. Together, the companies help winegrowers control, or at least better manage, their vines’ terroir.

“TracoVino can never replace the knowledge and the experience of the winemakers, but (it) helps them to make more accurate decisions,” Möller says. “During peak seasons … the winemaker has to make quick decisions; every minute is precious and a few hours can have an impact on yield quality. TracoVino helps to make winemaking more fact based.” —Bethanie Hestermann

Challenge: Predict and respond to variations in a vineyard’s environment quickly and efficiently.

Risk: Without insight into a vineyard’s current and future microclimate and conditions, a winegrower could miss out on the opportunity to make adjustments in realtime.

Solution: The TracoVino IoT solution supports winemakers with fact-based information sent from sensors installed in the vineyards to a winegrower’s Internet-connected device.

Payoff: Ecofriendly, modular solution streamlines existing processes and provides predictive analytics, ultimately maximizing yield, easing vineyard management, and improving wine quality.