Product Review: Vintel
Vintel is a piece of software made by a French company called ITK that predicts vine water potential, “by mapping soil and plant characteristics to prevailing weather and irrigation practices.” I gave it a spin at Unified and it seemed surprisingly simple to use. It was easy to enter the various data points necessary to perform such a prediction and the mapping software seemed quite easy to use, too.
The data outputs are clean, detailed and easy to interpret and the irrigation recommendations are straightforward. At $250 per block, it seems like a worthwhile way to manage vine stress in these water-sensitive times, with two caveats. First, for that price, they need to be able to generate Excel-ready data output, which they say they are working on. And second, I have no idea how accurate their model is.
If they can get the data output working with Excel and the predictions are on-point, this seems like a cost-effective way to manage water resources, achieve appropriate levels of vine stress and track historical water usage on the vineyard. The data output could then be related to quality, yields and water costs. The latter seems easy to track, but with good historical data, you can identify inefficient watering strategies (especially as relates to peak electricity costs.) Their website has a decent video tutorial.