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Would you ever think that drones could be involved in the process of making the wine you’re sipping? Probably that is not how the ancient romans did it, but now the most innovative Swiss vineyards apparently do so. Wingtra and Geoplan teams report about vineyard surveying in the West of Switzerland, on the banks of the Lake Biel.

Vineyard surveying: what fine Swiss wine and VTOL drones have in common

The 100 ha vineyard area adorning the left bank of the lake Biel in Western Switzerland is considered to be a landscape of national importance and for a reason: not only do these vineyards produce some of the finest wines in Switzerland but are also a host to wild variety of rich natural ecosystem. However, this wasn’t always so.

Prior to the year 2000, the properties were highly fragmented resulting in high production costs. Further, the land boundaries and growth of vineyards were also a cause for concern among ecologists for the preservation of flora and fauna in the area. The solution? Merger of these fragmented properties under RGZ TLTA (Rebond merger Twann Ligerz Tüscherz-Alfermée). With clearly defined boundaries and pathways, renovation of boundary walls, and allocation of area specifically for the natural ecosystem, the vineyards saw a new boost: both for sustainable wine production as well as the preservation of the existing rich ecosystem.

The maintenance and honoring of the merger, though, requires regular cadastral surveying of the properties and pathways. But the same sloping terraces that give the vineyards their famed beauty also make for a challenging case for surveying: graduated terrain, narrow pathways, and geometrically irregular boundaries make traditional land surveying cumbersome. So this year, when the task of vineyard surveying fell to the GeoplanTeam AG, the surveyors chose a completely new way to do their job – a bright orange VTOL drone, the WingtraOne. The maintenance of the vineyards, requires regular cadastral surveying of the properties and pathways.The maintenance of the vineyards, requires regular cadastral surveying of the properties and pathways.

The background of the project

Comprising of about 25 employees, Geoplanteam AG is known for its work in the fields of surveying, geoinformatics and environmental technology. Continue reading about how drones are making for better wine.