(Viticultural Integration of NASA Technologies for Assessment of the Grapevine Environment)

Earth Science Division, NASA Ames Research Center

Institute of Earth Systems Science and Policy, California State University, Monterey Bay

Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, University of Montana

Winegrowers worldwide have recognized for centuries that grapes harvested from different areas of the vineyard can produce wines with unique flavors. Even under constant variety and rootstock, the feel, bouquet, color, body and overall wine quality is influenced by differing physical factors within vineyard: microclimate, slope, aspect, soil type and water-holding capacity. However, mapping and monitoring of vineyard variability can pose a challenge.

Applied research was conducted to further develop the use of remote sensing and other geospatial technologies as decision support in winegrape and other high-value, irrigated agriculture. Prototype remote sensing products were developed to map vineyard leaf area, shoot "balance", block uniformity, and crop evapotranspiration. A water balance model (VSIM), which uses remote sensing, weather and soils data, was developed to simulate vineyard water balance on a 24-hr timestep. Model output can be used to show, for example, timing of stress onset during the season, or cumulative stress during specific phenological periods.

Collaborators included the Robert Mondavi Winery (Oakville, CA), VESTRA Resources, Inc. (Redding, CA) and the Bay Area Shared Information Consortium. VINTAGE was sponsored by NASA's Earth Science Program.

See daily water balance simulation of 1000 ac Napa Valley vineyard for 2005 season

Prior research projects: GRAPES (phylloxera monitoring); CRUSH (management zones/segmented harvest)


VSIM model website

CONTACT: Lee F. Johnson, Principal Investigator,

Last update: 30-May-07