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2019 Grape-Picking Special

Posted on September 18, 2019

Just as grape-harvesting is in full swing, the most spectacular innovations are required in France's vineyards. A significant majority of them are now using increasingly sophisticated machines to harvest grapes, or even robots for weeding, soil tillage, controlled spraying, etc.

France is Europe's second largest wine producer and the world’s second largest importer of wine-growing* equipment, and is an excellent showcase for innovation across the sector – be it precision wine-making, robotics or equipment that combines digital technologies with digital sensors. The aim is increasingly high performance, while safeguarding the environment and improving working conditions.

Mechanical grape-harvesting increases speed, reduces labour costs and now brings about improvements in quality! Indeed, grape-harvesting machines are able to sort with the same levels of precision as manual sorters – integrated sorting systems are capable of excluding damaged and/or dried grapes (Gregoire, Pellenc, etc.). They can also be fitted with systems for automatically adjusting rod shaker aperture depending on vegetation vigour (Grégoire’s AutopincH) or automatically guiding the harvesting machines, both day and night (Grégoire’s EASY pilot).

Robots are gradually carving out a place for themselves on farms, providing useful solutions to labour problems and the arduous nature of the work. They also help significantly reduce the use of phytosanitary products: they can remove weeds using mechanical means and spray in a more accurate, targeted manner (Vitibot’s Bakus, Naïo Technologies’ TED).

All of these technological advances for wine-growing will be presented at SITEVI (26 to 28 November 2019, Montpellier Exhibition Centre), the world's largest exhibition for the vine-wine, olive and fruit & vegetable sectors. Some of the innovations referenced above won awards at the 2017 SITEVI and are now widely available. At each edition, the SITEVI Innovation Awards highlight the sector's most important innovations, selected by a panel made up of the best specialists from France and across the world.
The winners will be revealed at the press conference on 24 September in Montpellier

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