Grapevine

Every winemaker knows powdery mildew is an expensive problem which needs careful and effective control.

Thorvald provides that control, protecting your valuable vines through the application of UV-C light, each and every night, so you and your team don’t have to. Efficient, autonomous, sustainable and cost-effective, Thorvald is a reliable partner for every viticulturist trying to marry the best of traditional practices with the best of what technology can provide.

Light treatment

Thorvald is a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution with no direct CO2 emissions during operation.

Controls powdery mildew

Light treatment controls powdery mildew without chemical inputs by exposing grapevines to shortwave light on a weekly basis. Research and real-life usage show this to be highly effective at controlling powdery mildew.

Autonomous application

The treatment is applied at night (allowing it to perform optimally), by Thorvald, our autonomous robot, saving labour over conventional fungicide application.

Environmental benefits

The light treatment also generates significant added value through direct cost savings and the environmental benefits of reduced fungicide use.

The Thorvald light treatment

Thorvald is conducting light treatment on Pantano vineyard in Italy. Exposing vines to shortwave light on a weekly basis is highly effective in controlling powdery mildew. The treatment must be applied at night in order for it to perform optimally, but as treatment is delivered autonomously by a driverless robot unit, it saves labour over conventional fungicide application. The light treatment also generates significant added value through direct cost savings and the environmental benefits of reduced fungicide use.

Grapevine Open Field being treated by Thorvald agricultural robot
Powdery mildew

It doesn’t matter if the grapes are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or any other variety, powdery mildew is likely to be a problem. In many wine-growing regions entire vineyards may need to be sprayed up to 15 times per season. If powdery mildew is not effectively controlled it can reduce yield by 45% and negatively affect wine quality by both increasing acidity and reducing anthocyanins.

Thorvald robot user interface
Autonomous application

Instead of applying evermore frequent and ever-higher doses of chemicals, some growers have ‘seen the UV-C light’ and are instead using Thorvald to apply ultra-violet light to better control the problem.
Thorvald applies UV-C light treatment at low speeds and at night, when the powdery mildew defences are dormant. The plant is freed of powdery mildew naturally, without the need for chemicals.

UV-C Robot in front of vines at Willamette Valley Vineyards
Efficiency

For Willamette Valley Vineyards in Oregon, this has meant it is now able to prevent powdery mildew from damaging its prized grapes by replacing its use of organic sulphur with sustainable UV-C light and to do so more efficiently and at lower cost.
In Europe we use more than 50 million tonnes of fungicide on our vines to control powdery mildew, at a cost of almost 165 million euros annually. Thorvald means we could halve that figure – imagine what removing those chemicals could do for the environment, and for the quality of your wine.
Contact us to learn more about how Thorvald can help you.

Grapevine Field