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Higher incidences of climate anomalies (such as frosts and heat waves) and increasing water demands, are having an impact on the majority of grape-growing regions globally, leading to early harvests and berry shrivel.

Dr Sigfredo Fuentes is a University of Melbourne senior researcher and international co-ordinator of the Vineyard of the Future Initiative. He is using a ‘multicopter’, nicknamed the ‘viticopter’, developed by mechanical engineering students, and powered by an app, to gather vital information for growers.

“The app will help wine growers determine which vines are starting to become stressed before there are damages that could impact yield and quality of berries,” Dr Fuentes explains.