“Being able to apply quantitative values makes the [imagery] so much more powerful.”
Originating in France more than 50 years ago, Boisset Collection unites the old and new worlds of wine with wineries on two continents and a Franco-American spirit. Now run by the second generation, the Boisset operation’s newest vineyards stretch across the fertile bottom-ground in the Napa Valley and Russian River Valley.
Precise water applications are critical to ensuring wine grape quality. At Boisset Collection, Winegrower Sophie Drucker fine-tunes irrigation scheduling and strategy throughout the season, often adding or removing drip lines and changing emitters and nozzles to produce a uniform crop.
Sophie’s decisions are informed by careful water status measurements using pressure bombs or porometers. This practice is effective, but very time consuming. With multiple vineyards to monitor, she needed a more efficient solution—especially after a change in California labor laws set new limits on farm workers’ overtime hours: Sophie found she simply didn’t have enough time in the day or employees on the ground to get all of the work done.
Now, Sophie uses aerial data and irrigation analytics from Ceres Imaging to guide her testing strategy on the ground. Instead of relying on scouting or guesswork to choose locations, she and her team focus on collecting measurements from areas that show stress in the imagery.
“Finding skilled labor is challenging and time is limited—so creating more efficiency in the management strategy has been a game-changer,” Sophie says. “It would be time consuming and nearly impossible to take enough moisture measurements in the field to produce the quality of the bird’s-eye view of our vineyard that Ceres Imaging provides.”
Sophie also benefits from the measurement tools built into the Ceres Imaging app, which make it easy to compare crop performance in different areas and over time. “Being able to apply quantitative values makes the [imagery] so much more powerful,” Sophie says.
Facing a shortage of skilled labor, Boisset Collection uses aerial data from Ceres Imaging to save time by identifying the areas of the vineyard where pressure bombing or similar measurements would be the most useful. The combination of aerial data and in-field testing is an efficient strategy for improving uniformity.
“We used to spend a lot of time doing water measurements throughout the field. With Ceres Imaging, we can target our measurements to collect data on the areas that look stressed, rather than collecting numerous datapoints that we may not need.”