When research assists winegrowers

Published on 01/03/2019

On 6 February 2019, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) took part in the annual assembly of the Luxembourg wine grower community. Taking place on the first Wednesday each February in the town hall of Wormeldange, Luxembourg, this traditional event is composed of a series of invited talks covering new legal regulations, technical innovations and latest research results that affect viticulture. It is organised by the Luxembourg wine grower association (Fédération des associations viticoles) and the Luxembourg’s Wine Institute (Institut Viti-vinicole - IVV).

Climate change, a real challenge

In the 2019 edition, Jürgen Junk and Daniel Molitor, two LIST researchers in the agro-environmental systems area, presented results from two research projects: Terroir future “Impact du changement climatique sur la viticulture et la typicité du vin d’appellation d’origine protégée (AOP) Moselle Luxembourgeoise – estimation des risques et stratégies d’adaptation possibles” and Clim4Vitis “Climate Change Impact Mitigation For European Viticulture”. While the first, funded by IVV, has recently been closed, the second, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, has just started in October 2018. Thanks to them, researchers could understand how climate change will affect viticulture at the national and the European level and develop adaptation strategies.

Aspects of the theoretical background of climate model ensembles and how they are used; selected consequences currently expected in the Luxembourgish wine growing area due to climate change as well as potential adaptation strategies were discussed by LIST researchers.

Pesticide use to reduce

At the event, Rebecca Retzlaff from University of Trier highlighted the first results of a third project in which LIST researchers are active: BioViM “Monitoring of pests and development of eco-friendly crop protection strategies in viticulture”. In this project funded by the IVV with the aim of reducing the use of pesticides in viticulture, LIST and University of Trier are collaborating to establish a warning system for the vine disease Peronospora by means of drones and remote sensing. Together they could already monitor disease development in an experimental vineyard using a hyperspectral camera carried by an unmanned aerial vehicle. Efforts to predict and control the disease development better than in the past based on the newly acquired data are ongoing.

More than 150 wine growers, politicians, consultants, marketing experts, researchers and some guests from Germany and South-Tyrol attended. A small exposition where private companies including a nursery, an insurance, machine -, fertilizer- and bottle- retailers presented their products was arranged in the entrance of the town hall.

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Dr Marco BEYER
Dr Marco BEYER
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