I still remember when Ryan and I first decided on moving to Spain. We each held a romantic picture in our heads of what Spain was like from what little we saw in coffee table books, movies and paintings. Woman dancing flamenco in the streets, while men squatted in a circle clapping their hands in rhythm to their beautiful red skirts swirling to the tap, tap, tap of their shiny black shoes.White washed houses nestled by the Mediterranean Sea with cats lounging on terraces by large pots of big red Geraniums. Vineyards passed on for generations with workers who both hand pick and record each and every grape that passes through their hands into wine. Albeit a romantic imagine, it is one that was accurate before the death of Franco. Over the past thirty years, wineries have slowly adopted new technology and data collection programs to increase both accuracy and production. Now, technology has reinvented itself again, allowing growers to not only obtain information remotely, but also feed information to key players outside of the vineyard in a matter of seconds.
According to Global SMT & Packaging, La Rioja, located in the Northern portion of Spain, has joined with Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) and Spanish IT service provider Acotec to create a smart card that will electronically collect and evaluate information on both the Bodega and their crops.
With the new Smart card technology, a series of benefits will be experienced by Bodegas, Regulatory Authorities and Inspectors alike:
- the Bodega to use an electronic harvest system that will measure everything from water levels to vine growth
- the regulatory authorities will be able to use the system to both oversee the harvest as well as monitor quotas
- it will be able to inform wine presses daily as to the progress of the harvest and planned deliveries
- inspectors will also benefit from this technology by receiving daily reports on closed vineyards and new wine presses.
In the end, Spain has continued to reinvent itself with new technology and modern winemaking techniques over the past few decades, regardless if it has taken a bit of change on the part of the winemaker. Personally, I think this only supports a feeling I’ve had about Spain for quite some time, although their bureaucracy has a lot to be desired, it is a country that can adapt to change when it enhances or benefits something they take pride it – wine is obviously no exception.
If your interested in more information on the technology, click here.