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A look back at the European Innovine project

The collaborative project called Innovine – Combining innovative vineyard management and genetic diversity for sustainable European viticulture – has driven the European research community into the lead regarding the impact of climate change-related stresses on vine functioning and berry quality. The results of this project have been widely publicised to research scientists, engineers, technicians and producers throughout the wine world.

Logo innovine. © INRA
Updated on 11/09/2017
Published on 09/05/2017

Although the European winegrowing sector accounts for 50% of the land worldwide that is planted to vines and 60% of global wine production, it is facing numerous challenges:  climate change that has the potential to affect the balance between the area of production and grape varieties and the current incidence of pathogenic agents in vineyards; the need to develop agricultural production methods that are sustainable and more environmentally-friendly; consumption patterns that are changing in terms of products and consumption rates, and finally an increase in global supply and a reduction in public support. In this context, the wine industry needs to improve its competitiveness in order to ensure sustainable viticulture in Europe.

Innovine, the principal features

Two principal challenges provided the framework for work by the consortium of partners in the Innovine project (EU - FP7): the adaptation of high-quality grape production to climate change and the need for a drastic and sustainable reduction of pesticide use in vineyards.

Throughout the project, 27 institutional and private industrial partners form seven European wine-producing countries (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Hungary and Bulgaria) focused on disseminating their results to different types of end-users: research scientists, actors and consultants in viticultural development, students and winegrowers. A broad range of methods was deployed to publicise their findings, and included a website, annual newsletter, scientific publications and training courses. A final report was published in February 2016 and offered a review of the potential impacts of climate change on the industry. An international conference was also organised in November 2016 to present the results of the project.

Innovine, beyond the results

lnnovine made a major contribution to placing the European research community in the lead with respect to the impact of climate change-related stresses on the functioning of vines and berry quality.

Innovine generated tools and mathematical models that will allow scientists to progress their work, and data on the effects of different cultivation practices that could mitigate the impacts of climate change. The project also developed knowledge (e.g. the ability of mildew populations to circumvent resistance), resources (e.g. resistant genetic resources) and models (e.g. prediction of the evolution of mildew) that will enable the design of strategies to reduce pesticide use in vineyards, and notably the introduction into European vineyards of disease-resistant varieties. It mobilised these tools and resources in order to propose decision-support tools for producers, and the skills of all partners in reflecting on innovative viticulture systems.

The wrap-up conference for Innovine was a major success.

In November 2016 in Toulouse, this conference attracted 300 participants, 63% of them being directly (winegrowers) or indirectly (consultants, service providers) involved in viticulture and wine production. The first day was of a more scientific nature and addressed the issues of adapting to climate change and the impact of diseases, and the most important scientific findings of the project were presented. The second day was more slanted towards winegrowers and their consultants, and proposed more practical aspects, which included a tasting of wines made using new varieties or harvests sorted using sensor systems, as well as presenting the decision-support tools that had been designed or improved during the project. The format of the meeting was conducive to numerous exchanges between the participants.

Innovine, perspectives for the future

Innovine thus highlighted two issues which now need to be studied in more depth: the availability of decision-support services that can be directly and simply used by winegrowers at all stages in their production, and support in the development and deployment of new disease-resistant varieties that will favour the sustainability of this resistance.

Scientific contact(s):

Associated Division(s):
Plant Biology and Breeding
Associated Centre(s):

Find out more

Adam-Blondon A-F (2017) Combining innovation in vineyard management and genetic diversity for a sustainable European viticulture. Impact 1: 28. https://doi.org/10.21820/23987073.2017.1.28.

Adam-Blondon A-F (2017) Innovation in vineyard. Adjacent Open Access, in press.