A project at Adelaide University will help prepare grape growers for the way climate change might affect their vines.
Called the Vineyard of the Future, the one-hectare vineyard at the University’s Waite campus will use sensors to measure vine performance under changing conditions.
Professor Steve Tyerman says the vineyard will be a test bed for technologies for growers.
“We’re talking about using imaging techniques, and special sensors that are on the vines to tell us what they’re actually up to, and how much water they’re using, how much photosynthesis is occurring.
“This could all be transmitted back to a central control point where somebody could be sitting at a computer screen, and checking on different blocks.”
Professor Tyerman sees the impact that the adoption of these technologies might have on the viticulture industry as analogous to what’s going on in the mining sector.
“In the mining industry, there’s enormous trucks carrying ore, and some companies are talking about having remote drivers in an office in Perth,” he said.
“They’re doing that now in the mining industry, and we should be thinking about that in viticulture.”
Professor Tyerman says having all this information will make grape growers better decision makers.
It will also allow them to respond quickly to extreme weather events that may spoil the wine.