In the transnational Upper Rhine region (Alsace, Baden, Vorderpfalz and Südpfalz), the wine industry is of particular economic importance. Favourable climatic conditions enable outstanding wine qualities. The further increasing appreciation and demand of the regional wine by consumers guarantees a high added value also in the future. In order to secure this development potential, the wine industry must make the consumption of resources and the use of pesticides more sustainable in order to keep the natural balance intact. An additional challenge for viticulture could be caused by climate change, which could lead to the spread of new vine diseases in the Upper Rhine region.

The Interreg V project VITIFUTUR is intended as a cross-border cluster of excellence in practice and science, serving research and innovation for sustainable viticulture as well as knowledge transfer and further education. With the VITIFUTUR project, the wine industry in the Upper Rhine region is increasingly involved in transnational research and innovation projects to promote sustainable viticulture. The scientific partners include all research institutions for viticulture and universities in the cross-border Upper Rhine region.

The establishment of a "transnational academy for applied wine-growing research" serves the practical further training of young scientists and executives from the wine industry and represents a link between practice and science. The wine industry is represented by the regional winegrowing associations, which participate in the form of an advisory board to VITIFUTUR. This combination of science and practice serves as a basis for achieving the specific goals of the project for the wine industry, consumers and society.

The scientific part of the project is divided into three subject areas:

  • Development of a scientific foundation for sustainable viticulture with resistant grapevine varieties

    Development of strategies to prevent the spread of viral diseases of grapevine in the Upper Rhine valley

    Conduction of studies on grapevine wood diseases and evaluation of control measures

The Department of grapevine biotechnology works in close cooperation with the DLR-Rheinpfalz in Neustadt, the Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI) Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants in Siebeldingen and the State Institute for Viticulture and Enology in Freiburg on the topic of "resistant grapevine varieties".

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