Argentina-based Bodega Norton winery has selected the industry and logistics radio frequency identification (RFID) tag solution combined with near field communication (NFC) technology from HID Global to enhance its wine production.

HID’s technology will automate the harvesting process of grapes and thereby help the winery focus on its winemaking versus management and logistics.

Previously, the harvesting process was based on the manual distribution that included collection of thousands of aluminum and plastic chips, which tracked the amount of grapes picked up by the harvesters.

This chip system had lot of administrative and logistical difficulties.

One such example was wastage of one full day per week for collecting, counting and processing the chips, which halted the wine production due to lack of grapes and also harvesters could not earn compensation for not collecting grapes on that day.

To combat with such outdated tracking system, HID Global along with system integrator Fundacion Ada Bryon (FAB) worked with Bodega Norton to develop this new system.

Under the new system, each harvester is supplied with an armband that consists of unique HID Global contactless card and grape collection bins that are tagged with HID Epoxy Disc tags, while the vineyard supervisors are provided with NFC-enabled smartphones.

The system allows vineyard supervisors to place their smartphone next to the harvester’s armband for an audible beep that assures both the harvester and supervisor that the collection bin has been counted and credited to the appropriate harvester.

Bodega Norton vineyard manager Pablo Minatelli said hand picking is the only way to harvest grapes properly to ensure the best wine.

"Due to the efficiencies of the new system, we pay better than other vineyards, and that means we attract the best harvesters," Minatelli added.

"Ultimately, the multi-tiered, RFID tracking and recording system we are implementing with the help of HID Global and Fundación Ada Byron is designed to achieve our mission of presenting the best wines to our customers."