VInCI, preparing for the future of the wine sector

Bringing together partners from France, Spain and Portugal, the Interreg SUDOE VInCI project develops statistical forecasting tools to support the productivity of the wine sectors and boost international exports.

  • 14/10/2020

© Bordeaux Sciences Agro © Bordeaux Sciences Agro

Currently, the wine-producing sector in south west Europe is faced with two major challenges:

  • Unpredictability in terms of annual yield: as a result of grapevine trunk disease and climate change, the region is suffering from a decline in vineyards which has a significant impact on output and, as a result, the economic balance of operations.
  • Rising competition from international markets: the market share of this region has declined by 15% in volume over the past 20 years. This competition will further accelerate with the massive arrival on the market of wines from emerging countries (in particular China).

Nevertheless, growth opportunities do exist for the European sector. The international market has experienced steady expansion in the last twenty years, despite a fall in European consumption. The global market should see a growth rate of 25% in the next five years* with the emergence of new consumer nations, such as China, or the confirmation of the USA as a major consumption market. The expansion of the market to countries which previously represented only marginal consumption is set to continue in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This growth may be accompanied by a wider range of distribution channels (new online trade) and a rise in direct sales (via wine tourism and internet).

In response to these challenges and opportunities, the VInCI project is developing a variety of online tools for professionals to help them better anticipate yield forecasts and optimize the choice of export markets.

In a world where there has never been so much uncertainty concerning vineyard yields and job perspectives, these tools are of utmost importance for wine makers.

Jean-Marie Cardebat — Research director of the VInCI project (University of Bordeaux / LAREFI).

Forecasting vineyard yields

The aim of the yields forecast tool is, through the analysis of weather data and the identification of vine productivity, to develop and test a statistical model based on the assessment of vineyard productivity on the scale of the plot and the region. Such a yield forecast model will strengthen the technical performance of operations via enhanced management of production resources. This will enable producers to improve their economic balance by optimizing the actions to be carried out in the vineyard.

Optimizing sales

The aim of the digital support tool for exports is to identify business opportunities for professionals and their organizations. VInCI is working on the development of statistical models based on international data flows in addition to statistical yield forecasts. By cross-referencing this information, the tool provides advice on the most relevant volumes, prices and destinations for export.

  • Professionals will be able to access a web platform featuring all the tools developed in the framework of the project. It will include:
  • Paying access to the plot yield/harvest forecast tools.
  • Free access to Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)​/regional yield/harvest forecasts in France, Portugal and Spain.

A three-year project, with work already in progress

Since early July, work in the fields has started with the creation and deployment of a tractor camera system prototype in vineyards in south west France. At the partner level, each laboratory and business are collaborating with local players in order to gather historical and climatic data and to develop calculation models. These models will then be tested by all the partners during the years 2021 and 2022. The final tools will be launched and accessible once the tests have been completed at the end of this three-year project.

Partners

The VInCi project is a European research partnership, bringing together French, Spanish and Portuguese laboratories and businesses in the wine sector. In October, the second consortium meeting took place in Saragosse (Spain) and was also organized via videoconference. 

* Market study group Marketline (2017)

Contact

Jean-Marie Cardebat
Research director, VInCI

Anne-Sophie Masure
Project manager

For more information

Please consult the dedicated website.