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Libera Università di Bolzano

AGR Faculty Research unibz news

unibz team recognised for sustainability efforts in winemaking practices

The interdisciplinary team involved in the SUWIR project received prestigious recognition at the "Climate Change Resilience Practices for Mediterranean Perennial Crops" conference.

The "Climate Change Resilience Practices for Mediterranean Perennial Crops" conference was held online on 12 and 13 March. The event brought together a diverse range of 28 speakers and over 1,000 participants from across Europe.

The spotlight was on Prof. Emanuele Boselli's presentation entitled "Introduction of Disease Resistant/Tolerant Grape Varieties for Sustainable Winemaking, Enhanced Occupational Health, and to Address Climate Change", which was selected as one of the top 12 presentations for further dissemination within the Climed Fruit project. "The selection process involved evaluating video recordings on the Climed-Fruit YouTube channel, taking into account factors such as ‘views’ and ‘likes’ from the live conference," says Boselli.

His presentation addressed critical issues surrounding sustainable wine production in the European Union and explored the EU's goals to reduce pesticide use, improve occupational health and safety, and thus combat climate change.

"In my presentation, I tried to highlight the potential of PIWI wines in addressing these challenges," Boselli explains, "PIWI wines, derived from disease-resistant grape varieties, could be seen as a means of promoting sustainable agriculture while minimising reliance on conventional production methods. Moreover, their introduction into the gastronomy sector, together with initiatives such as competitions and events, can prove to be a useful way of raising awareness among food and wine lovers; the other side of the coin is that there are still regulatory barriers, now considered anachronistic by most experts".

The SUWIR project focuses on the environmental, economic and social sustainability of wines produced from disease-resistant grape varieties. The interdisciplinary team leading the project includes experts from various faculties at unibz, including Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences, Education, Engineering and the Competence Centre for Plant Health. Their collaborative efforts were instrumental in winning the €5,000 prize, which will be used to produce a digital story and an Extended Practice Abstract (EPA) by October 2024. These outputs aim to provide stakeholders with practical guidance based on the findings of the presentation.

The recognition received by the unibz team underscores the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in advancing sustainable practices in viticulture and addressing the challenges posed by climate change. Only through continued research and dissemination not only technical but also social, it will be possible to pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable future of the wine value chain.