Terroir 2004 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Characterization of vine performance using remote sensing tools

Characterization of vine performance using remote sensing tools


Today, a variety of remote sensing tools are used to characterise plant performance. However, the vine is rarely studied, as a major crop specificity is canopy discontinuity. Registered images of the vineyard are anisotropic, therefore difficult to analyse.
All current plant performance evaluation technologies pick up and record the energy of emitted or reflected electromagnetic radiation, and analyse information for later interpretation. Most importantly, they allow the expression of information in terms of spacial location. Application of these technologies in the vineyard differ considerably according to the tools used.
The different radiations recorded provide a wide range of information. The spectral behaviour of plant reflectance in the visible field (380 to 700 nm) is linked only to pigment composition. In this field, plants produce a low reflectance (around 15%) with a peak of 550 nm, mainly due to chlorophyll a and b pigments.
These pigments do not interfere with spectral response in the near-infrared field (750 to 1300 nm). The internal structure of leaf cells induces variations of the reflectance value. Estimating the health of the vine plant can be carried out utilising the near-infrared reflectance value. It is therefore possible to define different leaf indicators such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Thermal infrared radiation values indicate the energetic and hydrous status of the plant. Measures of thermal infrared radiation can be taken on the ground, close to the plant, by means of a thermal infrared gun or by airborne shooting. From these, it is then possible to construct a water stress index. These data can then be exploited to analyse vineyard intraparcel heterogeneity. Data require the use of high resolution remote sensing tools (pixel representing a ground distance inferior to 20 cm).
Hyper-spectral bands, already used in cereal fields could reveal a spectral signature of diseases such as esca or eutypa before leaf symptoms are visible.
Whatever the captor, information quality depends on picture resolution. Today, the main difficulty in working on the vine comes from the anisotropic aspect of photographs. Above all, the researcher must be able to automatically distinguish vine rows. This is possible for vines growing on flat ground without grass but difficult for sloping vineyards with inter-row grass. The main risk lies in uniformly interpreting pixel values from different sources such as ground, grass or vine.
Different vehicles such as aeroplanes, satellites, helicopters and, of course, the vine grower’s tractor can be used, although not all captors can adapt to these different vehicles. In term of development, each captor/vehicle combination must be considered. Later, analysed and geo-referenced pictures will have to be integrated in the tractor onboard computer equipped with GPS. This is the way forward to allow tomorrow’s vine growers to apply real precision viticulture.


Publication date: January 12, 2022

Issue: Terroir 2004

Type: Article


J.P. Roby, E. Marguerit, O. Schemel, C. Germain, G. Grenier, C. Van Leeuwen

ENITA de Bordeaux, 1 cours du Général de Gaulle BP 201, 33175 Gradignan Cedex

Contact the author


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2004


Related articles…

Physiological and growth reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt to row orientation and soil water status

Advanced knowledge on grapevine row orientation is required to improve establishment, management and outcomes of vineyards on terroirs with different environmental conditions (climate, soil, topography) and in view of a future change to more extreme climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological and viticultural reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.

Effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California

San Joaquin Valley accounts for 40% of wine grape acreage and produces 70% of wine grape in California. Fruit quality is one of most important factors which impact the economical sustainability of farming wine grapes in this region. Due to the recent drought and expected labor cost increase, the wine industry is thrilled to understand how to improve fruit quality while maintaining the yield with less water and labor input. The present study aims to study the interactive effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on yield and berry compositions of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California.

The effects of cane girdling on berry texture properties and the concentration of some aroma compounds in three table grape cultivars

The marketability of the table grapes is highly influenced by the consumer demand; therefore the market value of the table grapes is mainly characterized by its berry size, colour, taste and texture. Girdling could cause accumulation of several components in plants above the ringing of the phloem including clusters and resulting improved maturity. The aim of the experiments was to examine the effect of girdling on berry texture characteristics and aroma concentration.

Application of a fluorescence-based method to evaluate the ripening process and quality of Pinot Blanc grape

The chemical composition of grape berries at harvest is one of the most important factors that should be considered to produce high quality wines. Among the different chemical classes which characterize the grape juice, the polyphenolic compound, such as flavonoids, contribute to the final taste and color of wines. Recently, an innovative non-destructive method, based on chlorophyll fluorescence, was developed to estimate the phenolic maturity of red grape varieties through the evaluation of anthocyanins accumulated in the berry skin. To date, only few data are available about the application of this method on white grape varieties.

Different yield regulation strategies in semi-minimal-pruned hedge (SMPH) and impact on bunch architecture

Yields in the novel viticulture training system Semi-Minimal-Pruned Hedge (SMPH) are generally higher compared to the traditional Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). Excessive yields have a negative impact on the vine and wine quality, which can result in substantial losses in yield in subsequent vintages (alternate bearing) or penalties in fruit quality. Therefore yield regulation is essential. The bunch architecture in SMPH differs from VSP. Generally there is a higher amount but smaller bunches with lower single berry weights in SMPH compared to VSP.