Research and Technological Development Project, co-funded by the European Commission with the contract number EVG1-CT-2002-00075, under the 5th Framework Program, sub-program "Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development". 2002-2005

The "Bacchus" project concerned the improvement of the methodologies available for the localization and characterization of the vineyards, through high-resolution remote sensing data and spatial analysis techniques. The aim of the project was to provide Consortia, farmers and wine producers with an integrated and complete system to meet their information needs on vineyard conditions, mainly based on the use of satellite and aerial images, GIS (Information Systems Geographic) and modern software solutions.

During the project we have developed a methodology to perform the inventory of the wine-growing areas and the single vineyard management. This methodology has been tested on various pilot systems with the aim of supporting the end user in a series of activities:

  • updating of the regional and local statistics (for the analysis of the Controlled Origin areas (DOC and DOGC), the evaluation of existing trends and / or the study of the variability between vineyards and within the individual vineyard);
  • management of the country works and short, medium and long-term interventions (from the preliminary study of the vocational nature of the territory, during the planting phase, up to the planning of the harvest);
  • evaluation and monitoring of the vineyards, providing the growth rate of the vine (quantity of biomass), phenological phases (date) and the forecast of grape production (quantity and quality).

Bacchus partners have dealt with all these problems concerning the management of the vineyard, studying and proposing specific and original solutions by integrating new methodologies and techniques into innovative and effective tools. In particular, a new methodological approach has been developed for the implementation of specific tools for:

  • updating of the vineyards register by means of remote sensing images;
  • precision agriculture applications for the evaluation of vines growth and production estimation, using specific agrometeorological modeling and agrometeorological monitoring stations;
  • the management of the vineyards and the evaluation of production scenarios through the integration of traditional databases, GIS spatial analysis tools and remote sensing techniques.

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 Vineyard Suitability and Variability Evaluation System (VISAVES)

Design prototype developed in the VBA Esri ArcGIS 8.3 environment.

(Bernardo Rapi, Maurizio Romani - 2005)

VISAVES is a software package that is based on the typical GIS technology, within which indices, mathematical and statistical models have been implemented, useful for providing elements of understanding the dynamics in progress and supporting decisions in the long, short and medium term.

European wine producers need to increase their attention towards the management of the territory and its resources, in an attempt to achieve ever higher levels of rationalization of their activities and optimization of the various production factors.

Having to deal with increasingly competitive markets and facing new challenges from a social and environmental point of view, the availability of advanced tools, able to support the activities of the trustees and decision makers, is felt as a necessity by many operators in the sector.

The system intends to provide a valid response to these needs, giving truly useful information from an operational point of view on the potential of the various vines and on the management of the vineyards according to the environmental peculiarities and specific characteristics of the production reality to which it is addressed. For this reason, the system proposes methodologies and criteria recognized by the scientific community and brought to the operational level thanks to the decisive contribution of local experts and end users.


The integration of Information Tecnology (IT), mathematical and statistical tools with the operators' knowledge and management skills makes it possible to exploit their application potential for the management of productive realities that intend to follow the path of innovation and development.

Since this is a system that needs to be adapted to the characteristics of the production systems that are intended to be supported, the information collection and organization activities, as well as the tuning up of the system, must be thought of as an activity conducted in synergy with the various figures involved.

Once the information available for a specific production reality has been organized within its database, VISAVES allows you to perform a series of simulations to evaluate the response of the plant to current conditions and / or to the changes that can be made or that can intervene in that specific production context.


Land Suitability
Land Suitabilty model scheme
Operating Models
VISAVES Models Scheme

The various tools allow you to:

Long-term assessments (years)

  • Characterize the environment from a morpho-pedo-climatic point of view producing maps of:
    • Aspect, altitude and slope;
    • Solar radiation (on the slope and inside the vineyard);
    • Pedological classes;
    • Agroclimatic indexes (thermal, heliothermic, pluviometric, hydrometric, etc.).
  • Identify the best aspect for the plants and organize the vineyard system;
  • Identify the most suitable areas for a specific cultivar and rootstock, by integrating territorial peculiarities with the needs of plants;
  • Estimate the water needs and any additional needs compared to the rainfall characteristics, during the different development phases.

Mid-term evaluations (months)

  • Estimate the effect of certain practices on production and quality:
    • Dry and green pruning;
    • Thinning;
    • Fertilization;
    • Grassing.
  • Predict the effect of harmful events:
    • Frosts;
    • Parasitic attacks;
    • Water stress.
  • To produce, months in advance, a production range according to the possible climatic trend at the end of the year:
    • Optimal
    • Average
    • Negative
  • Identification of homogeneous areas by
    • Phenological phases
    • Biomass
    • Production
    • Quality

Short-term assessments (days)

  • Management framework
    • Current system
      • Crop surface
      • Planting layout
      • Vines
      • Rootstocks
      • Plants age
      • Irrigation System
      • Historical archivie
      • Crop operations
      • Yields
      • Product quality
  • Management program
    • Coltural interventions
    • Treatments scheduling
    • Administration
    • Crop interventions forecast
  • Description of variability inside the vineyard
    • Identification of homogeneous zones (attribution of measured values)
    • Biomass
    • Leaf Area Index (LAI)
    • Health Condition
    • Variability index (greater variability = greater management difficulties)
  • Identification of areas of low development or with the presence of stress
  • Water balance within the different areas of the vineyard


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