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The "Bacchus" project concerned the improvement of the methodologies available for the location 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 the conditions of the vineyards, based mainly on the use of satellite and aerial images, GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and modern software solutions.

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

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

  • updating of regional and local statistics (for the analysis of areas of controlled origin (DOC and DOGC), the evaluation of existing trends and / or the study of variability between vineyards and within the single vineyard);
  • management of country works and short, medium and long-term interventions (from the preliminary study of the vocationality of the territory, during the planting phase, up to the planning of the collection); < / li>
  • 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).

The "Bacchus" partners have addressed 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 the wine register using remote sensing images;
  • precision agriculture applications for the evaluation of the growth of the vine and the estimate of production, through the use of specific mathematical models and agro-meteorological stations;
  • the management of vineyards and the evaluation of production scenarios through the integration of traditional databases, GIS spatial analysis tools and remote sensing techniques.

BACCHUS cover small

Vineyard Suitability and Variability Evaluation System (VISAVES)

Project prototype developed in VBA Esri ArcGIS 8.3 environment.

(Bernardo Rapi, Maurizio Romani - 2005)

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

European wine producers must increase their attention to the management of the territory and its resources, in an attempt to reach ever higher levels of rationalization of their activities and optimization of the various factors productive.

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

The VISAVES system intends to provide a valid response to these needs, providing 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 the 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 an operational level thanks to the decisive contribution of local experts and end users.


The integration of Information Technology (IT), mathematical and statistical tools with the knowledge and management skills of the operators allows to exploit their application potential for the management of the production realities that intend to embark on the path of innovation and development.

Being a system that needs to be adapted to the characteristics of the production systems that it intends to support, the activities of collecting and organizing information, as well as the development of the system, must be thought of as an activity carried out 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 system to current conditions and / or changes that can be made or that can occur in that specific production context.

Territorial vocation
Land suitability Diagram
Operating models
VISAVES models Diagram

For a better description of the existing condition, the system requires one or more multispectral images, acquired by high resolution satellites or other aerial platforms (airplanes, UAVs, etc.), during the vegetative development phase The required / useful resolution varies, depending on the desired applications, from a few meters to a few centimeters.

The various tools allow you to:

Long-term assessments (years)

  • Characterizing the environment from a morpho-pedo-climatic point of view by building maps of:
    • Quotes, exposures and slopes;
    • Solar radiation on the slope and inside the vineyard;
    • Pedological classes;
    • Climate indices (thermal, heliothermic, rainfall, hydrometric, etc.);
  • Identify the most suitable areas for a specific cultivar and rootstock, integrating the territorial peculiarities with the needs of the plants;
  • Identify the best exposure for plants and organize the vineyard plant;
  • Estimate water needs and any additional needs with respect to rainfall characteristics, during the various development phases.

Intermediate evaluations (months)

  • Estimate the effect of certain practices on production and quality :
    • Dry and green pruning;
    • Thinning;
    • Fertilization;
    • Inherbiment.
  • Predict the effect of harmful events :
    • Ice cream;
    • Parasitic attacks;
    • Water stress.
  • Producing a production gap months in advance according to the possible climatic trend at the end of the year :
    • Optimal
    • Media
    • Negative
  • Identification of homogeneous areas for:
    • Phenological phase
    • Biomass
    • Production
    • Quality

Short-term evaluations (days)

  • Management panel
    • Current system
      • Cultivation surface
      • System system
      •  vines
      • rootstocks
      • Age of plants
      • Irrigated system
    • Historical archive
      • Cultivation operations
      • Productions
      • Product quality
  • Management program
    • Cultivation interventions
    • Calendar of treatments
    • Administration
    • Forecast of crop interventions
  • Description of the internal variability of the vineyards
    • Identification of homogeneous areas (attribution of measured values)
    • Biomass
    • Leaf area index (LAI)
    • Health conditions
    • Variability index (greater variability = greater management difficulty)
  • Identification of low development areas or with the presence of stress
  • Assessment of the risk of parasitic attacks (fungals, bacteria, viruses and insects)
  • Water balance in the various areas of the vineyard