AI, the industry’s ally

Even in a notoriously traditional sector like wine, artificial intelligence is gaining steam, as exemplified by the increasing number of solutions designed by innovative start-ups. There is no denying that when used wisely, the solutions can help members of the wine industry cope with multiple challenges, quickly and efficiently.


  • Using AI
  • A keen eye in vineyards
  • From tasting wines through to buying them
  • The future for people

Using AI

The fundamental principle of Artificial Intelligence is based on simulating human cognitive skills. Created in the 1960s and popularised by ChatGPT, the technology has now become a part of our everyday lives, whilst prompting both concerns and delusions. “AI is just one of a whole host of resources”, says Charles Nespoulous, president of the start-up Chouette and a board member of the WineTech*, debunking some of the myths surrounding the discipline. It has a dual purpose, which is to “automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks” and to “process huge amounts of data and rapidly provide the right information, in the right place, at the right time and in the right format”. In fact, AI is only purposeful if it offers a “return on investment” in response to specific issues. At the production end of the industry,

climate change is leading winegrowers to review their practices. “Nowadays, a mistake in vineyard management can rapidly jeopardise the future of a winery, especially because escalating costs of basic materials and equipment is eroding profit margins”. This is where AI comes in.

A keen eye in the vineyards

Only 1 to 3% of vines are monitored on a weekly basis”, recounts Nespoulous, which is why since 2015, Chouette has supplied AI-based vineyard monitoring technology. Its principle revolves around a sensor placed on the tractor which generates images that are subsequently retrieved by servers then processed using algorithms. “AI has been trained to examine up to 70 different aspects based on a database containing 35 million images sourced from across every region”. Consequently, a report of plant status – possible diseases or vine vigour for instance – is generated, along with recommendations to avoid crop losses, improve quality and optimise choices such as spraying strategies.

From tasting wines through to buying them

Gradually, AI is filtering through to every link in the supply chain, particularly marketing, to create descriptions or labels, and even through to the wine in the glass. Bordeaux-based Winespace has developed Tastee, the recipient of the 2024 V d’Or Best New Business Solution award. “The algorithm has the ability to analyse any type of text-based tasting note and extract all of the aroma and flavour characteristics of a wine. It can also compare styles and segment them, rank them by vintage, model the flavour development of the wine, and even the influence of the closure”, explains Julien Laithier, president of Winespace. The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles uses it to summarise its thousands of tasting reports and generate a complete, weighted review for each wine, including strengths and weaknesses, aroma and flavour profile. As a pioneer of virtual reality in the wine industry, WineVision offers 360° immersive visits to vineyards, wineries and cellar door facilities for instance. The itinerary is incorporated into a winery’s website and can be accessed using a number of media (VR headsets, smartphones, tablets…). It uses a chatbot – an avatar of the winegrower – to answer questions by consumers and turns into an interactive virtual showroom using a QR code placed on wine bottles.

The future for people

One ‘virtual’ visitor in 5 subsequently wants to visit the winery”, claims Matthieu Varon, the co-founder of WineVision. He believes “this communication aid helps the winegrower stand out from the crowd and provide support during the shopping experience, whilst also increasing revenue”. From declining consumption through to carbon footprint and forgeries, the list of issues that can addressed by AI is long. Its potential is huge, but fortunately it also has its limitations. At this year’s ProWein exhibition, Moldova presented two wines made using AI as a decision-making aid throughout the entire process. Ultimately, after a comparative tasting, most people preferred the wine made by man…

Florence Jaroniak


*Established in 2016, the WineTech is a network that connects, promotes and trains innovative businesses in the wine industry. Over 130 start-ups are currently members.