Space data are set to become an added ingredient in future European wines. ESA is contributing Earth Observation data and expertise to a European Commission-backed project called Bacchus.
The aim is to chart the continents vineyards in unprecedented detail, and provide vine growers with information tools to improve production management and guarantee grape quality.
From Bordeaux to Frascati, there is good reason why wines are always known for their home region. As any connoisseur will explain, a grapes distinctive flavour is derived from localised characteristics such as soil type, microclimate, altitude and the slope of the ground. So wine-growing regions (and sub-regions within them) are legally demarcated as an assurance of quality – known as Controlled Origin Denominations (Appellation dOrigine in France, Denominazione dOrigine Controllata in Italy).
Europe is the most important wine producer in the world, and the Common Market Organisation for Wine (CMO) requires all wine-producing EU states to keep a register of vine production. However there is no standardised way of doing this: it is variously – and painstakingly – done by a combination of fieldwork, vine producer interviews and photo-interpretation of aerial photography.
Luigi Fusco | alfa
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