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VitiVisor: An information, prediction and advisory platform for viticulture


Initiated by Riverland Wine and co-developed with Riverland growers, VitiVisor is a digital platform that supports growers to manage production costs and enhance vineyard profitability. Key elements of the platform include integration of diverse data streams covering biophysical and economic information into a single web portal, the collection of new high-resolution data from ground-based camera systems, and state-of-the-art algorithms for predicting yield and providing guidance on management decisions. The tool has been developed to Technology Readiness Level 6 (pre-commercial demonstration), has been demonstrated on the Loxton Research Centre vineyard, and is available to the community through open source licensing. A partner report titled "The economics and financial benchmarking of Riverland Grape production, and potential benefits of VitiVisor technology" provides more details to complement the economics summary of the primary report.


The VitiVisor project exists within a context of rapid change and digital disruption that has the potential to transform the Australian wine sector, presenting both challenges and opportunities to those within it. Recognising the need to be active participants in this transformation, Riverland Wine engaged the University of Adelaide in 2018 as part of a process of co-creating digital technologies that are specifically targeted to the unique contexts of Australia’s inland winegrape growing regions.

This report describes the outcome of an important step in the journey of creating VitiVisor as a commercially viable digital platform that can help growers maximise the benefits of their data, with an initial focus on viticulture production costs and profitability. Specifically, this project focused on developing VitiVisor to a ‘pre-commercial’ technology readiness level, involving (1) the development of a prototype tested on real-world vineyards, (2) the development of a clearly identified value proposition, and (3) the identification and initial engagement of potential commercial partners.

This project led to the creation of an open-source digital information, prediction and advisory platform that is capable of supporting grower decision making throughout a growing season. The platform has progressed through multiple design cycles, and includes the following functionality:

  • A ground-based vision system that cost-effectively captures geo-located canopy imagery, converts the imagery into key vine health and development indices (e.g. plant area index, pruning weight, inflorescence number, shoot number, bud count and plant leaf temperature), and automatically uploads this information onto a digital platform for visualisation purposes and integration with other parts of the system. This system comprises a multi-camera box with flexible mount (e.g. to quad bike, tractor, ATV), and has been tested under a range of lighting conditions (i.e. cloud cover and direct sunlight).
  • A data acquisition and storage system that collects real-time data from diverse sources including various ‘Internet of Things’ sensors on the vineyard (soil moisture, temperature, electrical conductivity, weather data, dendrometer readings), irrigation system data such as flow and pressure readings, airborne imagery such as NDVI and water stress, data from the ground-based vision system, water market information and financial accounting data.
  • A library of labelled vine images comprising 170,867 separate images (geo-located, with PAI and canopy porosity) from 14 sites and across the five main varieties in the Riverland. Of these, 500 images have been annotated and ground-truthed using separate measures deemed to be decision-relevant to growers, and both the annotated and raw imagery have been deployed to train the ground-based vision system to Riverland conditions.
  • A vine growth and yield prediction tool that builds on the VineLOGIC modelling platform, and that has been tailored to enable updating predictions (1) in real-time based on weather, soil moisture and canopy growth, and (2) for alternative management actions, particularly as they relate to watering strategy.
  • Financial data collection and benchmarking capability that enables users to upload and track their farm costs and revenues, simplifying and optimising decision making. This tool includes integration with Xero and Know Your Numbers, as well as the outcomes of a financial benchmarking dataset developed based on a survey with 25 growers.

Each of the components have been integrated into a single operating environment, which has been refined through a series of feedback cycles with growers in relation both to core functionality and user experience. The VitiVisor platform has been demonstrated on the Loxton Research Centre, with a lean version also demonstrated on three grower sites located throughout the Riverland.

All project objectives have been achieved; however, the broader direct and indirect sectoral benefits of the VitiVisor platform have yet to be realised. Indeed, the next phase is both the most important and arguably amongst the most difficult: taking the technology from pre-commercial to commercial, achieving impact at scale, and doing so in a manner that benefits the inland regions both through direct benefits in terms of reduced operating costs and increased profitability, and indirect benefits that might flow from greater end-user engagement, digital literacy and control of its digital future.

Learnings from commercialisation efforts suggest that there remains a significant gap in the transition of VitiVisor from Technology Readiness Level 6 (‘pre-commercial’) to TRL 9 (‘commercial deployment’), as required to enable the benefits to be realised through widespread deployment across Australia’s vineyards. All the recommendations from this report have therefore been designed with a single objective in mind: to describe potential next steps that help ensure VitiVisor or its component technologies are deployed at scale and create value for the sector. This will require further investment, as well as efforts to ensure strategic alignment between Wine Australia, representative bodies from the inland winegrape growing regions, and one or several third-party technology companies that might ultimately become custodians of the technology.

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.