Posted by Tempest ● June, 2024

Protecting Vineyards from Frost with Tempest


Brix and Columns Vineyards, located in the scenic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, has established itself as a standout winery since its founding in 2015. This family-owned vineyard and winery is known for its dedication to crafting premium wines from a meticulously selected range of grape varieties. Being especially vulnerable to shifting and severe weather, the Brix and Columns team leverages modern weather technology to minimize weather-related damage, ensuring healthy vines and high-quality grape production.


The Vineyard Vantage project, launched by Brix and Columns Vineyards and Smart Grow Agritech, exemplifies a commitment to leveraging precision agriculture technology to mitigate environmental risks. The vineyard team aimed to harness real-time environmental data to enhance decision-making processes by strategically deploying TempestOne Weather Stations among the grapevines. 

The Tempest data is displayed internally for Brix and Columns staff through the Vintage Vantage app, specifically designed for vineyards. Various dashboards are displayed in the tasting room, used for spray forecasts and frost alerting, and also available via a QR code on the wine bottles themselves. This code takes curious visitors to an overview of the precise weather conditions during the lifecycle of the grapes harvested.



Weather plays a crucial role in the health and productivity of all vineyards. Various weather conditions directly impact grape growth, quality, and yield, from temperature and humidity to rainfall and sunlight. One of the most significant threats to vineyards is frost, which results when temperatures drop below 30° Fahrenheit and can cause substantial damage to grapevines. In an extreme example from 2022, many French vineyards resorted to lighting hundreds of candles and torches at night in an attempt to protect their vines from unseasonably cold temperatures.

On April 25th, 2023, the National Weather Service issued a frost advisory in the region where Brix and Columns is located, threatening vines at their vineyard. These conditions posed a particular risk to the early budding vines, which were particularly vulnerable to frost damage. 


The Vineyard Vantage project proved invaluable in addressing the frost advisory challenge. The Tempest Weather Stations, strategically placed among the grapevines, continuously monitored key environmental parameters, allowing the vineyard managers to stay informed in real-time.

When the vineyard team noticed the temperature recorded by Tempest dropping lower than what had been forecasted locally, they recognized the heightened risk and made the decision to take immediate action. They quickly initiated remedial actions to mitigate frost damage by spraying potassium, a protective measure that lowers the freezing point by 5 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Despite Tempest recording a low temperature of 28 degrees in the vineyard, the potential loss was minimized to less than 2%. Without the proactive spraying, the vineyard could have faced a catastrophic loss of up to 60% of its valuable grape crop.


Beyond weather monitoring, Brix and Columns Vineyard uses blockchain technology to record weather data and crop management activities, ensuring transparency and traceability. This not only bolsters consumer confidence but also provides an additional layer of security for their operations.

By embracing these cutting-edge tools, the vineyard not only safeguarded its crops from a severe frost but also set a benchmark for innovation and excellence in the wine industry. The integration of real-time data and blockchain technology reflects a future-forward approach that ensures the production of exceptional wines while fostering resilience and sustainability in the face of environmental challenges.

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