- The problem:
Carole Meredith and Steve Lagier know pretty much everything there is to know about making wine. Learn how meter.me saves them time and effort allowing them to manage their water from the app and dedicate their time to their winemaking craft.
Vines with a View
Carole Meredith and Steve Lagier have a 4-acre vineyard on their property, situated at roughly 1300 feet on the slopes of Mt. Veeder in the Mayacamas mountains. Carole and Steve bought their 84-acre property in 1986 and planted their first vines in 1994. Six years later, they bottled their first wine, a vintage of Syrah. Carole likes to say that Syrah grapes need a good view. And she should know: Carole and Steve know pretty much everything there is to know about winemaking.
Carole Meredith was a professor for 23 years in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. She conducted extensive research into grape genetics, even traveling to locales such as Croatia to study nearly extinct grape varieties and acknowledge their historic impact. Carole was insatiably curious about the long, storied history of wine-grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
Steve Lagier has an extensive, colorful career in winemaking, and it’s clear that his passion for the craft runs deep. He started making wine in 1980, first with friends in garages and carports, and later at Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley. After working for Robert Mondavi for fourteen years, he left to devote his time to the vineyard he and Carole planted together. Once they bottled their first vintage, they aptly named it Lagier Meredith, honoring their shared dedication to the craft.
Carole and Steve care meticulously for their vineyard and their wine. The pair walks the rows of vines before harvest, carefully removing fruit clusters with raisined grapes or uneven ripening. They destem the fruit by hand, placing whole berries into fermenters carefully tended to until it’s time to barrel the mixture. They use only neutral French oak barrels that have already held wine at least three times to ensure a smooth flavor.
Water distribution is another crucial element of the care Carole and Steve take with their wine production.
Caring for their mountainside vineyard requires carefully controlled water distribution, as one might imagine. Living high on Mt. Veeder with a 1.5-mile driveway means there’s no quick solution when anything goes wrong with their self-contained rural water system. Checking their water tanks was a regular chore, of course— and the hike required to reach those tanks felt a lot longer once they ran out of water!
These two winemaking experts had resigned themselves to a status quo that involved plenty of manual water system checks—and far too much guessing and hoping
But then they found meter.me.
Carole and Steve were busy enough with their vineyard that they knew they needed some type of water monitoring system. But a quick scan of the market showed them that their operation was too small to justify the cost of large-scale SCADA-based commercial systems.
Meter.me offered an affordable, feature-rich solution that’s designed for the needs of smaller rural operators like Carole and Steve.
Meter.me installed sensors on their water tank and well. Those sensors feed data back to the meter.base LoRaWAN gateway, which then sends that data via the cloud to the meter.me mobile app. Now Carole and Steve have instant visibility into water levels and usage rates: Instead of hiking the hills of Mt. Veeder to make sure they have enough water to maintain their vineyard and their household, all they have to do is check the app and instantly know what their water levels are.
Meter.me resonated with Carole’s scientific mind especially, as it allows her to track trends in water levels and analyze the data that the system constantly collects. Steve appreciates meter.me because the instant alerts save both water and time, two factors vitally important to maintaining a beautiful mountainside vineyard.
Carole and Steve use meter.me to help them maintain the Lagier Meredith vineyard, a passion project backed by titans in the wine industry. Experts like Carole and Steve need expert solutions. And meter.me provides those solutions, offering richer, more accurate data in a system that’s approachable for all.