The project aims to identify and map the locations of all vineyards across Australia, to determine the total area of vineyards in Australia by geographical indication (GI) and to develop a repeatable, scalable, cost-effective solution for updating and tracking vineyard plantings over time.
Grapevines are the foundation of the Australian wine sector. Australia has a very diverse supply base with vines grown in 65 GI regions across Australia and covering more than 100 different varieties. To assist with long-term planning in meeting global demand for wine and evolving consumer tastes, it is critical to understand how many hectares are under vine both by GI region and variety. As there is a relatively long lead time between planting and production, growers and wine producers require the ability to track changes in vineyard area nationally on a regular basis.
Foundational vineyard data was traditionally collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) via the Vineyard Census. However, this is no longer possible and the last Vineyard Census was reported in 2015.
Without mandatory powers to compel reporting, a survey does not have sufficient accuracy for the collection of foundation vineyard data, including variety information. It is also inefficient and expensive. A new approach is needed that is independent of the cooperation of individual respondents, cost-effective and repeatable.
The National Vineyard Scan project is the geolocation of all winegrape vineyards in Australia. The vineyards in Australia’s 65 wine regions will be accurately mapped for the first time using high-resolution satellite images and advanced machine learning to automatically recognise vineyards. Consilium Technology has been engaged by Wine Australia to deliver the National Scan for three years from 2018–2020.
Winegrape and wine levy-payers will be able to view the mapped vineyards in a web interface being developed by Consilium Technology. The software and the web interface are known as GAIA (Geospace Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture). Grapegrowers can also pay for additional features including crop health insights through the GAIA software.
The results from this project will provide accurate geolocation for all vineyards in Australia to support vineyard management activities as well as biosecurity and environmental planning, strategy and processes. The statistical information regarding the total area and change in area over time, both in total and by Australian GI, will assist with business decision-making and sector planning.