Yummy, it’s a fruity little Côtes du Drone


Matthew Campbell, Paris

THE West uses them to wage war from a safe distance, but drones are also being deployed in the unlikely setting of the vineyards of Bordeaux.

France’s famous wine regions are not at war with each other, but a peaceful revolution is under way in the vineyard involving everything from robots to laser guns. Drones, or “unmanned aerial vehicles”, are being deployed to photograph vines and assess their health.

“We used to hire a helicopter to take pictures, but it was expensive and not great for our carbon footprint,” said Basile Tesseron from Château Lafon-Rochet, a highly prestigious Médoc. “At €400 [£340], the drone is virtually the cheapest bit of equipment we’ve ever invested in.”