NEOTEMPO Uses the Monarch Tractor MK-V to Advance a Mission of Sustainability & Innovation

NEOTEMPO Uses MK-V to Advance Sustainability & Innovation

Date Dec 22, 2023

To pick up a wine glass filled with NEOTEMPO wine is to hold the past, present, and future in your hand. It embodies a reimagined wine experience through innovation and the alchemy of nature, art, and science, and Monarch’s MK-V tractor is playing a central role helping bring it all together. Consider it a special blend. 

A big part of NEOTEMPO’s mission is to support innovation and sustainability in wine. I’m happy to report that in 2023 we used Monarch’s MK-V tractor exclusively for the entire season from seeding, mowing, weeding, and of course, the harvest.

Kia Behnia, Co-founder, NEOTEMPO Wines & KIATRA Vineyard

Kiatra Vineyards

Winemaking Smarts

Smart farming is a fusion of technology, intelligence, and agriculture transforming how farmers cultivate the land. Transitioning to smart farming benefits farms and farmers, the environment, and ultimately consumers who rely on the agricultural system for their food and drink. 

Kiatra Vineyards 2

First season where our vineyard operations were 100% emissions free. Our grapes taste even better with no diesel fumes.

Kia Behnia, Co-founder, NEOTEMPO Wines & KIATRA Vineyard

Similar to Monarch Tractor, NEOTEMPO Wines has a vision for scalable, modern, sustainable farming. For NEOTEMPO, this advanced version of farming takes place on what it calls S.M.A.R.T. farms — Sustainable, Monitored, Automated, Resilient, and Technology-enabled. The 100% electric, driver-optional, smart MK-V tractor with its advanced Wingspan Ag Intelligence (WingspanAI) technology, is a perfect fit.  

At NEOTEMPO, S.M.A.R.T. farm use cases include emissions-free tractor operations and efficiencies in operations. WingspanAI turns the MK-V tractor into the vineyard’s control center, providing a platform to gather information for data-driven decision-making. Automated operations planning, remote fleet management, tractor performance reports, and maintenance diagnostics are just a few examples of its capabilities.   

Monarch Tractor WingspanAI technology
For automated crop evaluation, NEOTEMPO partnered with Scout, a startup based in Davis, CA, to perform automated AI-based analysis while the MK-V performs regular farming operations. NEOTEMPO plans on using MK-V autonomy and Scout’s data platform to gather intelligence on its crops throughout the season and inform data-driven decisions to reduce waste and increase yields. 

Another S.M.A.R.T. farm use case for NEOTEMPO is minimizing inputs for pest and invasive plant control at its KIATRA estate vineyards. Mowing is an alternative to herbicides for weed control, but the increased passes come with a higher cost of carbon emissions and labor. Because the MK-V is an electric, autonomous tractor, these costs are drastically reduced or eliminated, making mowing a viable alternative.  

A Shared Vision

In 2021, KIATRA Vineyard, which grows the grapes for NEOTEMPO, was among the first vineyards in Napa to experience and test one of the MK-V demo units. Behnia immediately placed an order and received one of the first five units to roll off the factory line in Lordstown, OH 

Behnia reports that when KIATRA Vineyard received its Monarch MK-V, the team set a goal to only use electric power for its tractors for the entire growing season.  

“Monarch helped us in how best to use the tractor and gave us critical software enhancements that made the tractor even better,” Behnia says. “Like any new product there are things to improve and new features forthcoming, but we received great support from the Monarch team and look forward to using the autonomous capabilities more next season.”  

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