Cabernet in the Cloud

August 19, 2013

Later this September, winemaker Elias Fernandez will take part in his 30th grape harvest, overseeing workers as they pluck fruit from the vines spread across the 200 acres of Shafer Vineyards in Napa Valley, California, the heart of America’s winemaking industry. But this year is different. Unlike all of his previous harvests — including his 2008 vintage, named best in the world last year by Wine Spectator — this one won’t be of grapes grown using purely gut intuition. Instead, Shafer Vineyards has a few new hi-tech systems to thank. "It’s always good to look at technology and use it to see if your gut was the correct way to go after all," Fernandez tells The Verge.