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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Bernard Magrez Embraces Drone Technology in Bordeaux

Aerial views will help decision making on vineyard management.

French tycoon Bernard Magrez has announced the acquisition of a high-performance drone to be used in his four grand cru classé vineyards in Bordeaux.

In a statement, Magrez said that while he used traditional methods for managing the vines, he did not want to neglect "more innovative techniques." He added: "For me, it’s a point of honor to be a first mover.”

The drone will be deployed at Châteaus Pape Clément (Graves), La Tour Carnet Haut-Médoc), Fombrauge (St.-Émilion), and Clos Haut-Peyraguey (Sauternes).

Magrez described the craft as “a management and measurement tool, for immediate diagnostic and rapid identification of the vines' needs with an accuracy within centimeters.” Equipped with an infra-red camera, it would help to identify areas requiring spray treatment or fertilizer, and measure the ripeness of the grapes to ensure the best time to harvest each area.

In addition, the statement said, the drone would aid in drainage and soil management of individual plots and assist in decision making around new plantings. 

Magrez, who is 77, was a successful spirits retailer before he began acquiring vineyards. His company is now said to be worth around 600 million euros ($821 million).

As well as various Bordeaux estates, he owns vineyards in Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Japan, Uruguay and Morocco.

Source: www.wine-searcher.com