"I didn’t expect that I could use imagery to identify bunch rot."
Nathan Cardella

In addition to its own award-winning estate wine, the family-owned Cardella Winery produces grapes for some of the biggest winemakers in the state. The operation is known for its rigorous pursuit of water efficiency.

IMG_0450 (1)
Crop Type
Wine grapes
Fresno County, California
Pest and disease
$83,000 in savings

The problem

Partner and farm manager Nathan Cardella discovered bunch rot on the south side of an 80-acre block where he was growing Chenin Blanc. When he drove to the north side of the block, there was no rot to be seen. Nevertheless, his buyer, one of the top three wineries in California, wanted him to thin out the entire block just to be safe. Nathan wanted to avoid dedicating time and labor to this task unnecessarily—not to mention the lost revenue that would result from thinning the whole block—but felt he couldn't say no to the buyer.

The solution

With high-quality images from Ceres Imaging, however, Nathan could verify that 10 acres were infected with bunch rot. After double-checking the data in the field with his Ceres Imaging app in hand, he used the imagery to make his case. Presented with the clear and specific visuals, the buyer was convinced and agreed to selectively thin only the 10 infected acres.

The outcome

Ceres Imaging helped Cardella Winery save $83,000 on treating bunch rot.


Bunch rot is correlated with abnormally high canopy vigor, revealed in this image as the blue section in the upper left.
Holding the imagery in hand, I was able to get buy-in from the winery to only thin out 10 acres, instead of the full 80-acre block.
Nathan Cardella, Partner and farm manager

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