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Senior Member
Sep 30, 2009
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Banbury UK
New vine umbrella to protect grapes from rain "Viti-Tunnel" from France against mildew, frost and hail
The French company Mo.del has developed a "vine umbrella" called the "Viti-Tunnel".

The French company Mo.del has developed a "vine umbrella" called the Viti-Tunnel, which can cover rows of vines in less than a minute. The aim is to protect the vines from rain, hail and peronospora. The system works automatically with the help of sensors: without human intervention, it is extended and retracted as often as necessary depending on the weather conditions. After years of experimentation, the "Viti-Tunnel" will now go into production at a cost of around 60 euros per running metre.
The system was tested for five years at twelve wine estates in Bordeaux, including Château Quinault L'Enclos in the Saint-Émilion appellation. The château, which belongs to the LVMH Group, is managed by Pierre-Olivier Clouet, General Director of Château Cheval Blanc. Clouet sees the Viti Tunnel as a "good solution" for continuing to produce wine in the town, as the innovative system would reduce plant protection treatments by 90 per cent. "Without rain, no mildew. The challenge is to ensure that the drops don't touch the plants," says Pierre-Olivier Clouet. With a density of 6,500 vines per hectare, the plot in Saint-Émilion planted 40 years ago did not even need to be adapted to set up the Viti tunnel.

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