Drones Changing The Wine Business
France combining Wine & Technology with the help of Drones
Apart from the farmers, miners, construction companies, power utilities and rail operators - the demand for drones amongst the winemakers is also increasing, to gather information faster and more precisely than humans can on the ground.
Delair, a leading company in professional UAVs provides aerial-imagery-based data to help industries make informed decisions. Created in 2011, Delair is an expert in long-range UAV manufacturing as well as data processing. It delivers end-to-end solutions, from data acquisition to business analysis. Delair has worked with winemakers in the Minervois and Gaillac regions, including on an experiment to combat a phytoplasma disease. Cognac maker Hennessy has also used Delair’s technology.
A vineyard in the Fronton region of France is visited by Nikola Nemcova, a former land surveyor. She walks through the vine stalks carrying a large backpack. Pulling out something which looks like three curved items of Styrofoam, she then clips them together and checks the wind direction. She then throws the finished product in the air with a toss. The white drone reaches the height of 500 feet in a few seconds transmitting a loud hum sound.
Nemcova, who has been working for French drone maker Delair for a year and a half says, “You have to check for obstacles on the ground and scan the sky for potential hazards. Helicopters and drones don’t mix well.”
This basic model of Delair is about 3.6 feet wide, weighs 6.6 pounds and costs some €15,000. It took the drone only a minute or so to fly over half a square-mile of vines, clicking detailed pictures through the camera.
"This isn’t your everyday toy drone. These are big, stable, sophisticated flying robots for business,” said Michael de Lagarde, chief executive officer of Delair. "Our clients don’t care for drone fun. They measure cost, return on investment and performance.”