Press Release: NAPA, Calif. – In a wine industry first, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is rolling out a new mobile vineyard management tool in the U.S. that revolutionizes the company’s ability to create quality wines while controlling costs in its vineyards.
Working with ScanControl, Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., TWE has developed iCropTrak, an app version of the CropTrak vineyard management software that enables vineyard managers to instantly access, record and communicate critical vineyard data via the iPad. This “one-stop” software combines GPS mapping, farm planning, vineyard, weather and labor use data into one intuitive user interface. The innovation was piloted last year and was just implemented across all of the company’s California vineyards in time for the harvest underway.
“As a fully mobile business intelligence tool, iCropTrak makes it possible for our vineyard managers to spend more time where they need to be – in the vineyards,” says Dr. Rachel Ashley, director, technical viticulture & grower relations, Treasury Wine Estates, which farms over 6,200 acres of vineyards in California and purchases grapes from more than 250 growers. “Having mobile access to our viticultural data on the iPad’s large screen format greatly enhances our managers’ planning and decision making capabilities in the field and overall productivity and efficiency. It’s a real advancement to TWE’s smart farming approach.”
iCropTrak’s GPS-enabled technology will enable vineyard managers to stand in any of TWE’s 850 owned vineyard blocks and open a visual map of the block on the iPad along with documents outlining the farm plan, the activities performed in that block to-date, activities still planned and how the budget is/will be impacted. Managers can also perform field assessments, make real-time decisions about vineyard practices, check the weather, schedule a block for harvest, create harvest work orders and email the winery about grape delivery.
iCropTrak is the first viticultural database app to be released into the Apple iTunes Store. "This provides much greater mobility with or without network connection using forms and reports that run on the iPad, an essential capability for tools that are used where network coverage may be variable,” says Robin Wood, founder and president of ScanControl, Inc. “All of the work that vineyard managers, specialists and supervisors used to do when they returned to the office to ‘download the day’ can now be done on the spot and synchronized with a central storage system when it is convenient.”
The iCropTrak concept was tested during the 2010 harvest and underwent further development in time for roll out to the vineyard, viticulture and grower relations teams across Treasury Wine Estates in California. The project was designed to improve upon existing technology, utilizing the iPad vs. hand-held devices or PDAs because of its larger screen, built in GPS and better storage capability. iCropTrak’s precision enhances TWE’s selective farming capabilities by enabling managers to track and record vineyard activity down to the individual vine.
“Having these records at our fingertips not only helps us to manage our vineyards, labor and budgets more efficiently today, but because we can track precisely what we’re doing in each vineyard block and what the outcome is, iCropTrak will help us to make more informed, quality-oriented farming decisions in the future,” says Dr. Ashley.
About Treasury Wine Estates
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is a unique global wine company with a leading international portfolio of new world wines. From the establishment of Australia’s Penfolds in the mid-1840s to the 1876 founding of Beringer Vineyards, a winemaking legacy has been created. The TWE portfolio includes iconic brands such as Beringer, Chateau St. Jean, Lindemans, Wolf Blass, Penfolds, Rosemount, Wynns Coonawarrra Estate, Stags’ Leap Winery, Matua Valley, Etude, Castello di Gabbiano, Australia’s Seppelt, Coldstream Hills, and Devil’s Lair.
With over 11,000 hectares of vineyards, sales totaling over 33 million cases of wine annually, and revenues of about AU$1.8 billion, TWE employs over 4,000 winemakers, viticulturists, sales, distribution and support staff across 12 countries. For more information, please visit www.tweglobal.com.
ScanControl, Inc. is a mobile software development company located in Pleasanton, CA. The company provides solutions for field data collection in agricultural and land management operations. The company’s software products incorporate innovative use of geographic data visualization (GIS) and database technology. The iCropTrak software is the latest product to be released.