Innovations dans la filière vin


Innovations in the international
wine sector

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Vinelink International A link for wine research and innovation


…a production based on quality and variety is not antagonist to the use of sophisticated technologies Paillotin & Rousset (1999)

In 1992, several wine professionals and public researchers of diverse nationalities created “Vinelink International” / ”Lien de la Vigne” gathering international scientists and professionals convinced of the importance of developing innovation within wine production and trade.

The Association was based on the evident need for a joint international innovative effort. It was created after seeing that beyond commercial competition, many major problems of the wine profession are often the same in different regions or countries, for example many serious grapevine diseases. Therefore it is desirable that research programs involve countries or regions concerned with common problems in order to make the best use of limited financial resources and to combine complementary expertise from across various regions.

From that time, Vinelink International has organized many research programmes on wine production mainly oriented in the fields: grapevine diseases and grape berry ripening (see below).
It also mobilized activity concerning communication to the consumer of wine: French Paradox, young friends of wine, wine and health, awareness of new consumers, and more recently on the Economy of Wine. A conference was held in 2008 on the access to major international markets.

These last years the association has worked on progress in wine sensorial perception, on grapevine deadlock diseases and the strategies for reducing vineyard input, and recently on the analysis and monitoring of wine quality.

We all know that wine business is now confronted by a serious situation as some vine diseases are seriously increasing, while at the same time their chemical treatments have been or will be soon prohibited.

From its creation, the Association has initiated very important research programmes regarding wood decay diseases, backed by the European Commission: Eutypiose ($ 2,4 Mio) and ESCA ( $ 1.8 Mio).
Another objective of ours aims at the reduction of pesticide inputs especially for Botrytis, Mildew and Powdery Mildew treatments, 3 diseases for which the wine business is today expending some 130.000 tons of phytosanitary product/year and this is only for Europe! A few years ago we launched and financed an international coordination on Powdery Mildew and Botrytis. At the moment, a project of fundamental research analysing grapevine defence against these 3 diseases is under way.
In 2012 and 2013 the theme ”Strategies for reducing inputs to winegrowing” and in 2014 “Blockages to progress in Grapevine Diseases” have stressed the difficulty to control the diseases in recognising the restrictions imposed by administrative regulations on pesticides.

In 2005 we held a national meeting at CNIVE with the scientists of INRA in order to envisage the applications of the recent discoveries on the genome of vine. The results of this research where presented at our general assembly in 2009.

The development of new tools for a better control of wine maturation adapted to each terroir is essential for improving the quality of wine throughout out the world.
The Association has decided to investigate this research domain through 2 parallel and complementary programs :
First a fundamental program: looking for a better understanding of the ripening phenomenon. In 2003 we obtained the EU financial aid for our "Development and ripening of grape berry" project, gathering 14 European countries.
Second, an industrial program was developed and targeted to create new tools for the vineyard. In December 2004 the French Ministère de l’Agriculture selected our project “New tools for the optimisation of grape ripening in the vineyard” (gathering 3 research centres and 3 technical institutes) for an important grant.

In 1993 when the scientific works of Pr Serge Renaud on the positive influence of wine on the cardiovascular diseases (what was later called the “French Paradox“) was produced on T.V. in the United States, it was clear that Wine & Health issues could be both of serious concern and also a major promotion tool for the wine business.
From that time we have joined with the Provence Association COREVI to back researchers’ efforts and their publications in this field.
Recently a new program on alcohol and cancer under the ccordination of Dominique Lanzman, successor of Serge Renaud has stressed a favourable influence of a moderate consumption of vine on the prevention of some cancers.

As soon as 2005 the association got involved in the marketing, the trade and the economy of wine. In march 2008 we held a conference on the connections between brand, label and trade name and on the strategies at export of the big companies.

Two main meetings

- A workshop in autumn for the scientists to make a synthesis of the work conducted on the theme of the year.

- A general assembly and a plenary meeting allows the members to review what has been done and to determine which actions to undertake in the future. At the same time a technical seminars on current themes are given with presentations from specialists in the selected area.. In 2015 the theme selected is "Definition, analysis and monitoring of wine quality". Past topics have included "Precision viticulture", "Reduction of Viticultural Inputs" and "Evolution of oenological practices" ; all stressing the importance of the technological evolution of our business.

Who takes part in the Association ?
Vinelink International is an independent multinational association, without dependence on national or industrial bodies : It is a neutral ground for proposals and for setting up technical or marketing pre-competitive projects for concerted actions on strategic themes.

The Association strives not to take themes already treated elsewhere.

Vinelink International is comprised of 106 members and 250 associates from 25 various nationalities.

Two colleges:

1) The scientific college is composed of scientists from public organisations : members from INRA of Bordeaux, Montpellier, Colmar, Angers, from the universities of Poitiers, Dijon, Reims (France), Milan, Bari, Ancône ( Italy), Madrid, Saragosse ( Spain), Cornell and Davis in the USA, from the stations of research of Geilweilerhof (Germany) and Changins Agroscope (Switzerland), Grape Wine Research Development Corporation (AUS), the American Vineyard Foundation (USA).

- 2) The professional college is sponsor (via its memberships) of the association and is guarantor of independence of the association in defining the priority measures for the field and is composed amongst others of membership from Schenk (Switzerland), Freixenet, Torres (Spain), Amorim (Portugal), Robert Mondavi Winery, E.&J. Gallo Winery (USA), Hennessy, Moët&Chandon, Vaslin-Bucher, Pernod Ricard, Roederer (France), Zonin and Antinori (Italy), the interprofessional centers of Champagne (CIVC), of Cognac (BNIC), Interloire (France)…
In 2016 we had the pleasure to welcome as new members some French companies Fruition Sciences, Qualiplante, DiiMotion, and three well known Italian companies : Ruffino, Vivai Rauscedo, Bolla.

The annual membership fee for private members is set at 950 € and 250 € (CA less than10 M. €), The membership is free for public scientists.

If interested, please request an application from : Gérard Siclet