All posts filed under: Burgundy

The Dawn of Agtech

Agricultural drones may be creating plenty of buzz, but their terrestrial cousins — the robots — are poised to make their commercial debut. Next year promises to be the year of the agricultural robot. With the altruistic vision of creating a sustainable society where future generations are free from worry about food security and safety, the world’s first robotic lettuce farm will go into production in 2017. Kyoto, Japan-based company, Spread, has retooled an indoor vertical lettuce plant where robots will plant, water, harvest and trim up to 30,000 heads of lettuce every day. The automated plant will reduce labor costs by 50%, cut energy use by 30% and recycle 98% of the water needed to grow the crops. The company has plans to build similar robot farms to grow staple crops and plant protein around the world. Growing lettuce in a greenhouse is a far cry from managing a vineyard, but from apple harvesting robots that can carry bins of fruit weighing half a ton, to grapevine pruning rovers that make surgical cuts, several …

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The Undiscovered Burgundy

Visually, Burgundy isn’t a particularly mysterious place; the low-growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines hunker over the earth in their search for heat. From a vantage point to the east of Chablis, you can survey the gentle landscape and precious grand cru sites in a sweeping glance but, the wines themselves continue to remain a mystery—one that we ponder with each passing vintage. During the week-long parade of trade tastings known fittingly as Les Grands Jours, it seemed as if no stone has been left unturned by importers in their efforts to demystify the  wines. Tastings that began in Chablis and stretched to the far reaches of the Mâconnais revealed that, while importers have been astute in seeking out quality, there are new discoveries to be made in Burgundy. Primarily in the form of young producers who have branched out, after years of mentoring, to start their own labels and less-visible sub-regions whose wine quality is pushing forward by leaps and bounds.  At this bi-annual celebration, Burgundy’s grand cru vineyards sustain the most scrutiny, and …