Late September is harvest season and the busiest time at the Longshan vineyards in Yantai, Shandong, China. Grape pickers are spread out across the 1,270 hectares of land filling their 20-kilo baskets, some up to six times a day. Drivers deliver the grapes from morning until 2 o’clock the next morning.
The Longshan vineyards are run by the Great Wall Wine Yantai Winery, a division of the China Oil and Food Import and Export Corporation (COFCO). As China’s largest winemaker, Yantai produces 50,000 tons of red and white wine a year and sells its products all over the world.
Overseeing the vineyard’s operations is Zefu Li, chief engineer at Yantai. Li is excited about the Whole Industrial Chain Information System of Wine that the company implemented. At its core is the Simatic IT manufacturing execution system (MES). “With the help of Siemens digital technologies,” says Li, “we have standardized the overall production process management.” This step brings Yantai’s vision for enhancing the winemaking process from the soil to the bottle one step closer to reality.