Skip to Content

Wine Robots Are Rolling Into Europe’s Swankiest Vineyards

December 1, 2017

Some of the world’s most traditional wineries can’t resist a reboot.

We’ve explained in the past that swaths of savvy vineyards in California have embraced tech to boost yields and make better wines. That might not be surprising, given their proximity to Silicon Valley and the fact that many executives have used their tech-boom bucks to invest in Napa and Sonoma wineries.

But it’s a whole other story in Europe, where centuries of tradition mean that wine is for the most part made according to good old-fashioned approaches—especially in exclusive vineyards.

Now, Decanter magazine reports that perhaps the world’s most prestigious wine maker, Château Mouton Rothschild, is giving robots a shot. At its Château Clerc Milon estate, it’s been carrying out tests with a robot called Ted, pictured above, which roams around on wheels to cultivate soil and uproot weeds.

“When working in the vineyards, we are first and foremost concerned by the well-being of our workers,” explained Philippe Dhalluin, the managing director of Château Mouton Rothschild, to the magazine. “Ted will be able to relieve them of some of the repetitive tasks.” He did, however, add that “a robot will never replace the human hand ... essential for a perfect, high quality harvest.”

The magazine notes that the high-end port producer Symington Family Estates is also testing a robot. Its Vine Scout trundles around the vineyard autonomously, checking on vines to ensure they’re healthy.

All of which is to say that it seems even hardened traditionalists are now embracing bots.

Deep Dive


Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.