2021 is projected to be the year with historically lowest global wine production due to unfavorable weather in Europe’s wine-growing regions.
This year the production is 7% below the 20 year average and according to OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine), this year is the third consecutive year of below average global output and is fast approaching the 2017 level of 248 mhl, which was the lowest wine volume in six decades.
While US, South America, Australia, and South Africa have had a very positive year reporting an increase compared to 2020, Italy estimated a drop of 9%, and Spain’s volume sunk 14% and France’s vintage was hit the hardest, dropping 27% this year.
Climate change is here and all of us are feeling the impact. This change is shifting living terroirs, it is making conditions extreme, harsh, and unpredictable for all of us. The trends are all towards extremes, rain doesn’t come gradually throughout the year, it comes in fewer but larger doses that the land is just not able to soak up.
The wine world has seen increase in wildfires, spring frost, followed by heavy rain, hail and mildew disease, and many such climatic incidents with greater frequency over the last 5 years and the next 2 decades are going be a big climate test.
“Wine is the most sensitive food in the world,” says Prateek Srivastava, CEO & Co-founder of Terraview, “and climate change is making producing wine harder and expensive. Wine is like a canary in a coal mine for climate change”.
The most important signal for wine producers globally is the yield estimates. These estimates help wine producers take all critical decisions in the business like labor, procurement, supply chain, distribution, capital needs and more.
For centuries, proprietary yield estimation models formulated by wine producers have worked for them but over the last 4-5 years, climate change has created a variability that’s never been witnessed before.
Traditionally, estimating yield is a labor-intensive process that involves counting clusters and grapes per cluster, weighing grape bunches at veraison or lag phase, or counting flowers early in the season. The producer then projects these metrics from a sampling of vines to estimate yield for the vineyard block after factoring in historical yields, and, of course, weather.
Today, labor is harder to get for the business than ever, given the tough conditions, very few are willing to work and those who do, have become more expensive. The entire process today is being done multiple times a year to provide yield estimate predictability but in spite of all that the estimates have fallen from grace. Half a decade ago, wine producers’ estimates were 90% accurate, today even some of the top producers in the world get to 50-60%. This drop in accuracy has made the business harder to operate as it creates massive economic challenges in areas like procurement, capital, and distribution.
“Wine is a global product, but production challenges are terroir influenced. In spite of that, every producer we spoke with had yield estimation as their top 2 problems” Srivastava notes. “Wine is a $400 billion industry that has strong reliance on the harvest outcome. A poor harvest would mean a poor business year and a poor estimation would mean an even worse year economically, because it directly impacts all your margins”
Conversations with over 400 wine producers globally helped Terraview establish that they were looking for a solution that would be intuitive, simple and climate calibrated. A tool which would provide them continuous estimates and not episodic.
“We were clear that we had to build the tool at the intersection of wine science, technology and climate. Everything that we have built so far and continue to build will be at this intersection.”
Terraview uses the knowledge of the terroir, continuous signals of unique terroir weather, phenological cycle, canopy, evapotranspiration, GDD and captures that every 1 hour and combines that with historical harvest data and on demand user input to create a near accurate estimates that gets updated every 24 hours.
Terraview was put to test in its first season, within 6 months of launch, over 200 wine producers signed up across the world, with accuracy of yield estimates as the most important outcome.
As the northern hemisphere closes its harvest, Terraview’s yield estimates have been 80-90% accurate in most case, in some case going all the way up to 97%. It is now the only company in the world that has been able to prove the efficacy of yield estimation at scale, helping wine producers find an anchor for certainty.
Jeff Baccus of Joseph Phelps Vineyards was one of the wineries working with Terraview who found its accuracy compelling.
“Initially, I started using Terraview as a satellite image portal,” says Baccus, “but I quickly learned that the platform provided so much more. Most impressive is the accuracy of the predictive crop estimation module. Their tools allowed me to adjust internal data based on regional weather data.”
Roberto Frías Iruzubieta of La Rioja Alta added that he was “pleasantly surprised and very satisfied with the precision on the harvest estimate made by Terraview in our blocks”
“Our mission is to provide the wine industry with tools that bring in production certainty, economic predictability and deeper distribution. Today, we onboard 1 wine producer every day on our platform and within the next 12-15 months, we will partner with over 1000 wine producers across the world.”, says Prateek
Climate change is here and the wine industry needs climate tools to prepare for the next 2 decades of unforgiving weather.
According to Prateek, “The rain is going to come; at Terraview we are building an arc for the wine industry”.
Terraview is a Climate SaaS OS providing intelligence and certainty to wineries. It is helping them with production, distribution and capital needs for the next decade.
- Yield estimation
- Weather & alerts
- Disease management
- Smart irrigation
- Vineyard management
- Distribution (coming soon)
- Capital (coming soon)
- Carbon footprint (coming soon)
The intelligence provides by TerraviewOS has a positive impact on production & reduces business impact caused due to yield estimation variability.