RFID and NFC technology streamline vineyard logistics


Hand-picking grapes is an age-old practice known to produce the best wine, but also logistics and administrative challenges. HID Global has combined RFID and NFC technologies to streamline these processes giving the Bodega Norton vineyard a further day of production.

The Argentinean vineyard’s outdated, cumbersome tracking system was based on manual distribution and collection of thousands of plastic and aluminum chips. A full day was then dedicated to collecting, collating and processing the chips using a paper-based system.

“We sat down with Bodega Norton and reviewed the entire production process, from vine to bottle, to identify how we could help improve efficiency, accuracy and productivity, while maintaining the highest quality product,” says Guillermo Ibarraran, Latin America sales manager for Identification Technologies at HID Global.

The solution, developed in partnership with systems integrator Fundación Ada Byron, combines radio frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication (NFC) technology: each harvester has an armband with a unique contactless HID ISO MIFARE® card, grape collection bins are tagged with HID Epoxy Disc tags and vineyard supervisors are outfitted with near field communication (NFC)-enabled smartphones.
To activate the system, supervisors simply place their smartphone next to the harvester’s armband triggering an audible beep that assures both the harvester and supervisor that the collection bin has been counted and credited to the right person.

Pablo Minatelli, vineyard manager for Bodega Norton, says: “Due to the efficiencies of the new system, we pay better than other vineyards, and that means we attract the best harvesters. With the best people and reduced administrative time and expense, we get a better harvest and yield.”