Report of Proceedings
April 1st, 2022
Maison des Arts et Metiers, Paris
Lien de la Vigne – Vinelink international is an independent association that gathers public and private research centers, producers, and inter-professional structures, dedicated to collaboration, exchange and transfer of technological innovation for the wine sector. Conferences, surveys, development of research partnerships and international collaborations among all the figures in the supply chain, are the tools used by the Association, founded in 1992 and based in Paris, to promote the development and diffusion of innovation in the wine sector. Exactly in the year of its 30th anniversary since the foundation, during the General Assembly of OIV, the International Organization of Vine and Wine, held in Dijon on 25 October 2021, the Association Lien De la Vigne Vinelink International was recognized in the status of Observer.
The annual assembly of Lien de la Vigne took place in Paris on April 1 st at the Maison des Arts et Metiers and dealt with the theme of the adaptation of viticulture to climate change.
A presentation by President Peter Hayes (AU) opened the meeting and introduced the issue of climate change as fundamental for the future development of the sector.
The novelty of this edition of the assembly was the presentation of three excellent students participating in the Euromaster Vinifera 2021 – 2023 organized by University of Davis, Yale University, Institut Agro Montpellier and Hochschule Geisenheim University: Michaela Svobodova, who reported on her studies on the spread of Hylestes obsoletus in the Czech Republic, Rodrigo Martinez, on the conservation of over 100- year-old vineyards in Ribera del Duero and Paige Breen, on climate change in California.
The first part of the conference saw the presentation of aspects relating to vine genetics, starting from two different approaches: the search for new rootstocks & varieties and the identification of polyclonal populations of ancient vines as tools to fight climate change.
Eugenio Sartori Director, from Vivai Cooperativi of Rauscedo (IT), after a broad overview of the cultivated vines and their diffusion, focused his report on the main demand trends from Italian winemakers: they are currently looking -for white wines- late ripening ones with high acidity and a broad aromatic profile as Vermentino, Viogner and Grillo or for long-cycle varieties, as Pecorino and Durella, while the demand has decreased for Friulano, sensitive to high temperatures, and for early ripening varieties. For red varieties, the corrent trend highlights the preference for varieties with higher fertility, that guarantee an adequate production potential even in difficult annual climatic conditions, as well as a growing interest in late- ripening varieties with a high degree of resilience towards high temperatures (as Cabernet sauvignon, Carignano, Aglianico). In the South, early ripening varieties such as Merlot are less and less in demand and more and more attention is paid to Syrah and Nero d’Avola. These new trends confirm that Italian winemakers are conscious of the effects of the ongoing climate change and seek forms of adaptation and www.liendelavigne.orgmitigation by orienting the choice towards specific varieties, more resilient and more stable in new climatic contexts. If 37 rootstocks are allowed for cultivation in Italy, 5 (1103P, Kober 5BB, SO4, 110R, 420A) represent approximately 78% of the total surface of the mother plants in nurseries but a growth of cultivated surfaces is reported for Kober 5BB in Northern Italy, 110R, 140RU, 1103P in Central-Southern Italy. At the same time there is a growth of M1, M2, M3, M4. If the “Italian vineyard” extends from the Aosta Valley to the slopes of Etna, soils, climates, farming systems, varieties and enological purposes are extremely different, this multifaceted viticulture is based on a limited number, and -in some areas- inadequate number/diversity of well-adapted rootstocks. Often some rootstocks were introduced only for their reputation in other prestigious areas. Among the resistant varieties admitted to cultivation, some have better agronomic and enological characteristics than their Vinifera parents (e.g. Soreli, Pinot Iskra and Pinot Kors). Resistant varieties in environments with heavy rainfall or in situations of long-lasting extreme meteorological events can effectively counteract climate change, due to the reduced need for repeated phytosanitary treatments. Through hybridization, working on a wide scale, resistant vines are often obtained with agronomic and enological characteristics capable of resisting climate change. Future goals for viticultural nurseries are the creation of not only disease-resistant varieties, but also varieties with greater resilience to climate change, as well as to evaluate the opportunity of genomic editing techniques to improve resilience in the most commonly used existing grape varieties.
Antonio Graça, R&D Director of Sogrape (P) proposed the polyclonal selection strategy as a tool to increase genetic variability and consequently to increase the resilience of the vine and adaptation to climate change. The methodology of selection of an ancient vine conducted by PORVID (Portuguese Association for Grapevine Diversity) and the Portuguese Network for the selection of the vine, focuses on quantitative genetics resulting in an integrated strategy that includes two types of selected material: clonal and polyclonal. The work is focused on an innovative clonal selection approach that predicts genetic gains for different traits and information on the environmental stability of the clone (G × E interaction). This analysis, combined with the use of different certified clones (about 7), contributes to better adaptation to environmental changes.
In Portugal, the genetic selection of grapevine began in 1978 with the strategy of conservation and evaluation of intravarietal genetic variability, an integrated approach taking into care two types of selected material, polyclonal and clonal – both carriers of a high genetic level. The polyclonal material is a group of superior genotypes selected from the first major selection field trial, that is a sample representative (100– 400 genotypes) of genetic variability within the variety. The clonal material corresponds to the single clone, selected after a third selection phase based on multi-environmental tests to evaluate the genotype × environment (G × E) interaction of the clones. The method ends with the selection of a multiple number of different clones (usually 7), allowing the grower to avoid monoclonal vines and thus minimize G × E interaction.
Mireia Torres of Familia Torres (ES) introduced with her report the part dedicated to the testimonies of the companies in the various wine-growing areas. Torres implemented different strategies to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change. Among them the careful management of water resources and irrigation of the vineyards and the recovery of old Catalan varieties, more adapted to climate change, a great job that Familia Torres has developed over the years in their own plant research and multiplication center. Torres believes that a fundamental contribution will be made by the adoption of the model of “regenerative viticulture”. Regenerative Viticulture is a vineyard management model, based on the carbon cycle, that regenerates the soils, stops erosion, promotes biodiversity, produces healthy foods and www.liendelavigne.orgmitigates the effects of climate change. In detail, regenerative viticulture is focused on recovering the natural fertility of the soil, nourishing the food chain, increasing organic matter, improving the water cycle and carbon sequestration. The goal is to find a correct balance among organic matter, minerals, and microorganisms in the soil. As the presence of flora and fauna is the indicator of the health of the vineyard, regenerative viticulture is committed to improving biodiversity, replacing the use of synthetic chemicals with natural ones, and respecting the so-called vineyard’s “guests”. In soil management, a natural mulch is introduced which preserves soil moisture: the soil stays cooler, and evaporation is reduced. The soil is also protected from erosion by splashes. The turf is grown and then rolled or mowed before competition with the vine begins (April – May). This model of viticulture establishes correct relationships among total and functionally active microbial diversity to crop management parameters, production and the physical- chemical conditions of the soil. Familia Torres’ commitment is to convert all its vineyards according to this model within the next 10 years.
Sebastien Debuisson, Comité Champagne CIVC (F) in his speech reported that over the years the progressive decrease in the number of bunches per m2 of surface, but, mostly, the increase in the average weight of the bunch, led to a constant increase of average production yields from 1950 to 2010: this increase in crop load was affected by the increase of pressure of vine diseases and bad meteorological events, mainly spring frost. The constant increase in average temperatures observed in Champagne from 1960 to 2021, associated with the intense rains of the last 10 years, has favoured the development of diseases and parasites responsible for the decrease in grape production per hectare recorded in recent harvests.
How to reduce the effects of climate change on Champagne production? Among them the “Semi – Wide vines” project, an experimental trial that changes the planting density and especially the space between the rows. In 2005 INAO (the French Protected Designation of Origin -PDO- products regulatory body) authorized the experimental planting of about ten hectares of more widely spaced vines (PDO for a temporary time) in 17 plots. The distance between the rows is between 1.8 m to 2.2 m, while the space between the vines on the row ranged between 0.9 m to 1.2 m, that is a density variation from 4,000 to 5,500 vines per hectare compared to the traditional 8,000 plants per hectare. New customized cultivation techniques had to be developed. First results: larger vines are slightly less susceptible to spring frosts (up to – 40% susceptibility), grass strips are easier to maintain with simpler mechanization tools, vines have a better resistance of water scarcity, a good acidity of grapes is maintained. This possible change has to be studied as for its impact on agronomical, oenological, environmental and economic impacts; not to forget the effects on work ergonomics and on landscape itself.
Another adaptation could be the introduction of the resistant varieties, in particular, Voltis. Voltis could be the first vine resistant to downy mildew and powdery mildew to be included in an AOC. At its meeting last February, the National Committee for Appellations of Origin of Wines of the Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (INAO) approved Champagne’s request to include the Voltis grape in its specification on an experimental basis: a vine with “sustainable resistance” (ResDur1) which allows to drastically reduce the phytosanitary treatments against fungal diseases (downy mildew and powdery mildew) in the appellation area. This possibly modification of the appellation, which will soon be the subject of a two-month national opposition procedure (PNO), takes advantage of the European possibility, from 2023, of inserting vines other than 100% Vitis vinifera (here a hybrid variety that presents organoleptic characteristics of traditional www.liendelavigne.orgvines with genes of resistance to downy mildew and powdery mildew from wild vines of the genus Vitis). A legal development is expected from wine-growing areas with designation of origin, in order to face and respond to the challenges of the ZNT (Zones de Non Traitement).
Pierre Leclerc (F) observes how the south-east of France is particularly threatened by climate change for some particularities: according to IPCC, it is close to the Mediterranean “where climate change will be one of the most radical in the world”. Furthermore, the starting points are already high, especially compared to the rest of France, as in these area the alcoholic grades of wines are already high, annual rainfall is “limited” and other risks such as wild fires and floods are already present. The introduction of new varieties coming from other areas may present a double risk: wines from South of France risk a change in their identity as well as it may happen with wines from vineyards further north and / or without altitudes (Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Loire, etc.) with the adoption of Southern origin varieties.
But is the moving of vineyards to higher altitude feasible? In all the 25 departments of the large area of south-east the highest point of the department exceeds 1,000 m of altitude (while it is less than 400 m in: Gironde, Charentes, Loire-Atlantique, Maine et Loire , Lot et Garonne and even Gers). The distance between the actual area of vineyards and the agricultural areas at higher altitude (>400 m asl) have been measured, in tens of km at most, that is, in tens of minutes by car or by tractors. In recent years about thirty vineyards have been planted at altitudes above 400 m asl but this process is limited to individual company choices, without any incentives or “network” with the exception of 4 association plots. In South- East of France the lack of water for future irrigation purposes, a global image of quality that needs to be created, the exclusion from the “national strategy” and finally the fact that the area of AOP wines cannot be easily changed are among the reasons that currently limit the enlargement of viticulture in these areas at higher altitude.
The adaptation of consumers’ taste and preferences is really important! However, we already have the consumers of 2050 ahead of us: they were born after 2000. “The high-end is the vineyards and wines that make people dream,” said Jérôme Quiot. What will “Generation Z” dream about? The question deserves to be discussed. The existence of high-end areas in 2050 in the Southeast affects all producers and actors in these five regions.
Carlo De Biasi, Director of Cantina Toblino (IT), started his talk by presenting the overall shortening of the production cycle of Chardonnay destined for the production of “Trento Doc sparkling wines” in Trentino, Northern Italy. This shortening of the vegetative cycle is more evident in low-altitude areas while at higher altitudes the period between flowering and harvest proved to be more stable. This situation made in recent years to start the harvest in the mid-August: a period hot days, hot nights and often with the risk of water stress conditions. As a consequence, the management of the vineyards for the production of classic method sparkling wines have to be careful and rigorous. There are many factors to keep an eye on, first water management, hence the irrigation of the vineyard. Another determining factor, especially on the “espalier” training forms: leaf stripping, intensity, sides, exposure, management of the topping on the espaliers, how much to keep shaded. Everything must be reinterpreted in order not to leave the grapes exposed to the sun for too long, as excessive insolation leads to early ripening with temperatures on the bunches that are too high and consequent qualitative decay. In Trentino, a mountain context, effects of climate change on the ripening of the grapes for sparkling wines production, are favouring the vines at higher altitudes, to www.liendelavigne.orgguarantee the right ripening cycle, right acidic balances, and to prolong the final ripening phase from September to October, and so is raising the altitude of vineyards used for Trento DOC sparkling wines. But this shift must be governed, the mountain areas differ significantly in terms of exposure, orographic profiles of the horizons, hours of daily light, depth of the soils. This means that planting a vineyard at high altitude without having studied all the factors risks turning into a fatal mistake.
For this reason, the existing Decision Support System, which over the years have been enriched with data relating to soils, exposures, bioclimatic indices, hours of light and phenological phases and ripening data, allows you to interrogate the system in order to obtain all the indications relating to the suitability of the areas for the production of Trento Doc sparkling wine.
Natalie Ollat of INRAE (F) presented the results of a project conducted by a group of researchers from various French research organizations and representatives of France Agri Mer and INAO, as part of the Laccave project, a national research project aimed at studying the impacts of the Climate Change on the wine sector and contributing to the development of adaptation strategies. Beyond the disciplinary work that has made it possible to better specify the impacts of Climate Change and to define a framework for the adjustments to be considered, this project has made it possible to increase the mobilization of the sector on the issues of Climate Change to conduct a forecasting exercise.
What is foresight? A prediction is based on the principle that the future is not something established over which we have no control, but that it is built in part on the basis of the will of the actors. It is therefore a collective exercise that consists in shedding light on the future by imagining possible futures, in our case different adaptation strategies. A group of experts pre-defined 4 possible futures and built paths that could lead them, then these strategies were compared with the reactions of professional actors through a participatory approach in 6 wine regions. To build these 4 strategies, a framework was designed about the horizon for 2050, for which the expected temperature increase is around + 2 ° C compared to the beginning of the 20th century, with growing water needs of the vine and a moderate increase in climatic extremes. Variable impacts along a North-South gradient with have been established: in the North, rather favourable impacts on yield and maturity, with however problems of acidity and aromas and increased pressure of parasites; in the South, more strongly unfavourable impacts with problems of drought, highly limiting yields, and a marked increase in the alcohol content of the wines.
The 4 strategies have been combined with two adaptation drivers to the Climate change: technical innovation and the relocation of the sites of the vineyards.
(1) The conservation strategy incorporates few technical innovations (at least not beyond the current rate) and keeps the vineyards in position; the composition of the wines evolves with the climate. (2) The innovative strategy, through the integration of many technical innovations allows to keep the vineyards in the same sites and the types of wines produced today. (3) The nomadic strategy favours the transfer of vineyards to other sites to follow the climate change. Finally,( 4) the liberal strategy combines all possible levers in terms of location and innovation to address climate challenges.
The participants decided on the strategic attitudes to be adopted according to these 4 possible futures. During the Bordeaux forum, nearly 37% of participants felt it was necessary to prepare for the advent of the conservative strategy and over 80% expressed a desire to favour the innovative strategy. They strongly www.liendelavigne.orgrejected the nomadic strategy but almost 40% believe that it is necessary to be attentive to its potential implementation, finally more than 40% believe that it is necessary to act to prevent the advent of the liberal strategy.
To conclude, this exercise was useful to define real adaptation strategies. More than 2000 concrete proposals have been put forward by the participants and are being analysed and synthesized at national level. Results and proposals are at disposal of all interprofessional organization and all people that wish to reflect locally on a possible specific strategy. At the national level, FAM and INAO have started a working group with representatives of some important organizations in the sector to develop a national strategy based on the elements of this foresight exercise.
Aithor Corchero of Eurecat (ES) spoke on enhancing resilient knowledge for the development of adaptation and mitigation measures to minimize the effects of climate change. As climate change irrevocably progresses, urgent measures are needed to build resilience and adaptability. In the wake of the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, it is not possible to build effective and climate-resilient regions at the expense of productive sectors or without fair social consensus. We plan to develop and validate a coherent multi-scale, multi-level and cross-sectoral climate change adaptation framework to accelerate the transition to a climate-neutral and sustainable economy. For this, we will implement Resilience Knowledge Boosters (RKB) to build a solid community of Quintuple Helix stakeholders (human dimension) integrated with reliable data and evaluation methods to support decision-making and policy making (digital dimension). This will result in empowering the community to co-design, evaluate, deploy and monitor climate adaptation innovation packages, including the methodological, technological, governance, awareness, behavioural, economic, financial and path-based R&I components. This accountability mechanism to generate adaptation and mitigation measures in transversal sectors (water, agriculture, industry) will be addressed in the framework of the Green Deal H2020 granted project called IMPETUS. IMPETUS will be deployed and validated across all 7 EU biogeographical regions (Continental, Coastal, Mediterranean, Atlantic, Arctic, Boreal, Mountainous) covering all major community systems, climate threats and multilevel governance. Undoubtedly, IMPETUS will support the cogeneration of sustainable measures to tackle climate change in all vulnerable regions of the EU.
Climate Change Knowledge Management, Gap Analysis, Insight Creation and Extension: The VitiSynth Solution, Illustrated by Frost, Damage and Mitigation Cases, James Wright, VitiSynth.
Abstracts and metadata uploaded to the VitiSynth database. The publications indexed using the exclusive 360 degree VitiSynth Wine LoT © ontology: it literally contains everything that has to do with wine, in context. New “things” are constantly being added to Wine LoT © – currently 375290 articles, used in 24980 interaction tables. Correlations also taken care of in the database allowing the generation of graphical representations. VitiSynthesis is sent out weekly to ensure wine professionals discover the large volume of great research published. It creates the capacity for a busy wine professional to gain an insight into a complex system that perhaps only a specialist researcher could generate in their mind. It highlights trends and potential links that haven’t been seen before and provides the ability to understand the potential non- targeted implications of actions. Finally, it’s assists in keeping the legacy of research papers.
Joel Rochard of Ass. Lien de la Vigne – Vinelink int. introduced the third topic of the day, the eco-design of cellars. Unlike equipment that can eventually be replaced in the short or medium term, a winery is built for the long term. Any design error might cause harm for several decades. This approach implies, with the involvement of the operational and managerial staff, an important preliminary phase of discussion and reflection, in collaboration with architects and/or project managers who, if possible, have experience in the wine sector, on the functions and constraints of the different sectors of the building, without forgetting the external layout.
Bioclimatic architecture uses many simple building strategies, techniques and systems that allow for the heating, cooling, and ventilation of the interior of a building. These techniques generally use traditional skills and local materials, but also electronic devices, designed to optimize the use of energy and water.
In addition to contributing to the biodiversity and aesthetics of the cellar a “pergola” contributes in summer to a shading effect that limits excessive solar radiation and, on the contrary, in autumn and winter after the loss of leaves, allows sunlight to pass through provides natural lighting for buildings.
The HQE charter provides 14 objectives to be considered for a better environmental quality of buildings: – Eco-building objectives (from 1 to 3): harmonious relationship of buildings with the surrounding environment, integrated choice of processes and products of construction, Low noise construction site. – Eco-management objectives (from 4 to 7): Energy management, Water management, Waste management, Maintenance – Comfort objectives (from 8 to 11): Thermo-hygrometric comfort, Acoustic comfort, Visual comfort, Olfactory comfort. – Health and safety objectives (12 to 14): sanitary conditions, air quality, water quality. HQE uses a multi-criteria approach. In order that a project could be certified, it must reach a maximum of 7 targets, with at least 4 high performance targets and 3 very high-performance targets. Parallel to the HQE standard in France, many other labels have been developed internationally.
The thermal aspects can be optimized through the use of green roofs and walls. The green roof is placed on a horizontal structure (concrete, steel or wood) that must support the weight of the installation. During rain or snow melting, this weight can double or even triple, so it is recommended to build on a slope of 1 to 2% to ensure drainage and limit overload on the slab. The waterproofing layer must be resistant to compression and roots. If the slope is not sufficient to guarantee the perimeter drainage, it is possible to install a draining and filtering layer. This layer allows rainwater to be taken to the gutters and can be completed with a geotextile filter treated against the roots to prevent clogging of the gutters and to provide a moist environment for the roots. The extensive greening system of the roof is composed of succulent, creeping and resistant plants: the sedums, whose foliage colour changes with the seasons. The interest of this solution is related to its low weight (from 60 to 100 kg / m2) and its reduced maintenance. There are several techniques for building a green wall. The most common is to build a vertical steel structure parallel to the facade of the building to support it. The space between the wall and the structure allows the passage of air and keeps the wall away from the humid area. PVC sheets are attached to the structure to support the polyamide felt sheets for the plants. The choice of plants must be considered in relation to the available light, but also to the climatic conditions to which the wall is exposed.
Wafa Larkini of MHCS (Moet Hennessy Champagne Service) continued with the presentation of the eco- design of cellars. It is necessarily a global approach, focused on the product, a good or a service, which consists in taking into account environmental criteria right from the design phase of a product. When designing a building, eco-design will apply according to the same principles. The building becomes the product. The study will then focus on all the components of this building.
The eco-design has to be based on different tools and principles: life cycle analysis, sustainable development, biodiversity. The goal will always be the same: to obtain an eco-built building, where all impacts on environment have been studied: materials, water and energy consumption necessary for its construction and later for everyday operations, recycling and reuse its materials at the end of its life.
A building built with an eco-design approach can ultimately be defined through three main axes.
First (1) an environmentally friendly building thanks to the life cycle analysis, which was able to anticipate all stages of construction. A bioclimatic building: the architecture, the orientation of the building, etc. they will take into account the place of construction to maximize the benefits. A building optimized in terms of emissions: the realization of the study allows the selection and production of a building whose overall emissions are much lower than an ordinary building. A building that respects immediate biodiversity: we have a better knowledge of the area, and the construction site will have the principle of reducing bad effects (noise, dust, lighting and respect of the ecosystem and the neighbourhood).
Then (2) an economic building: The design is focused on reduction of greenhouse gases and consumption. As a result, the building consumes less energy during its construction, but also during its operations. This point is particularly important because we know that a building generally has a lifespan of at least 100 years and that the cost of energy increases steadily. This approach also takes into account ease of maintenance.
(3) A comfortable building, the definition of eco-design provides that the approach must not affect the performance of a product: the use of materials with low environmental impact, materials with little or no treatment, which emit few volatile compounds, harmful to humans.