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The winery takes a step forward in the 2017 Harvest by implementing the use of drones for precision viticulture


Haro, 4 October 2017.- Ramón Bilbao is entering the final stages of its 2017 harvest in the Rioja and does so in an incredibly innovative way by implementing precision viticulture in its 180 hectares of corporate vineyards, which are over 40 years old and located in unique settings in different locations within the Appellation of Origin and which are significant due to their high altitude and their location close to hillsides.

Precision viticulture

Since 2016 Ramón Bilbao has been incorporating precision viticulture as a way of enhancing its knowledge about and hence management of its vineyards. Until now it had only been possible to monitor the state of the different plots using satellite images.

For the 2017 Harvest, Ramón Bilbao has taken a step forward by flying over the vineyards with drones. The multispectral cameras fitted to the drones enable real-time images to be taken and due to their quality and resolution, it is possible to gain thorough knowledge of the state of the grapevines. This means that it is possible to know the exact optimal time to start harvesting. Furthermore, these images enable us to monitor the photosynthetic capacity of the plant, its health, water stress, etc. Ultimately, precision viticulture helps to distinguish areas of the vineyard with common aspects to implement microvinification which in turn enables us to produce unique wines..

The 2017 harvest

The innovative spirit and the constant desire of Ramón Bilbao to discover beyond the expected has led the winery to explore new routes to achieve maximum quality in each of its wines. Advances in technology have enabled greater care for the environment and resource optimization resulting in cost-effective wine-growing and exquisite quality, “despite the harsh climatic conditions this year, the 2017 Harvest offers excellent prospects in that the parameters observed have been highly positive: a good pH and an exquisite anthocyanin/tannin ratio, ensuring high quality wines” states Rosana Lisa, Head of Innovation at Ramón Bilbao.

The 2017 climate is seen to have been the warmest year in the last ten years, resulting in each phenological state occurring at an earlier than usual time. Not only this but also “this is the earliest harvest on record: over the last 70 years the harvest has been brought forward about 20 days and in 2017 it has actually started 15 days earlier”, observes Rodolfo Bastida, CEO and Technical Director at Ramón Bilbao.

Ramón Bilbao harvests by hand using small 15-kilo crates in order to safeguard the quality of the grapes. Inside the winery the rosé wines are already resting and completing their alcoholic fermentation, impregnating the winery with fresh, floral and red-fruit aromas. As far as the red wines are concerned, the grape is gradually ripening depending on the altitude of the vineyards and following a painstaking selection process in the field, these are being brought to the winery.

This is the process for harvesting for Ramón Bilbao wines such as: Ramón Bilbao Edición Limitada, Ramón Bilbao Reserva Original, Ramón Bilbao Viñedos de Altura, Ramón Bilbao Mirto, Ramón Bilbao LaLomba Rosé, etc.


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