Flying innovation in the vineyards of Heitlinger & Burg Ravensburg
The VDP wineries Heitlinger and Burg Ravensburg are leading the way to the future in viticulture by using an agricultural drone to help bring out plant protection in their steep slope vineyards. For the two organic certified and biodynamically working estates innovation and finding a more sustainable approach to winemaking has always been an integral part of their philosophy.
In the steeper vineyards the team of the estates Heitlinger & Burg Ravensburg were facing the problem, that it is too dangerous to work with machinery on the slopes when it is wet. For wineries that manage their vineyards organically, it is especially important that they can bring out their plant protection products fast to prevent any kind of infection. Waiting in wet years has often meant that the vines could not get the optimal protection and parts of the harvest were lost. Winemaker and managing director of the estates Heitlinger and Burg Ravensburg Claus Burmeister has been searching for a solution to this problem and has found it in the use of drones.
In use is a DJI Agrars T 30 with a 30-liter tank that can apply various organic sprays and biodynamic preparations in a relatively short time. The drones are quite independent of the weather so that reliable plant protection can always be guaranteed. Also, another benefit of the use of drones is that you can lower the level of soil compression, because no heavy machinery has to drive through the vineyards. This leads to less erosion in the steep soil vineyards and also increases the soil fertility, drainage and biodiversity.
Winemaker Claus Burmeister says:
“Our soils are the most precious commodity for us. We are happy for any treatment we can do with the drone and believe we are only at the beginning of this technology. It benefits our soils and our grapes, giving them the treatment and protection, they deserve without compromise.”