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The decision taken by the EU in the summer to also allow resistant new varieties for wines with a protected designation of origin (PDO) now officially comes into force. This means that wines from fungus-resistant (PIWI) grape varieties, among others, may also bear the name of an appellation - and thus site designations. This decision by the EU is a reaction to climate change and is intended to make European viticulture more sustainable. Many hybrid varieties are more resistant to diseases such as powdery and downy mildew and require less pesticide than the well-known grape varieties of the Vitis vinifera family.

However, before Piwi varieties can be included in a specific PDO regulation, the consent of the member states and the competent regional authorities is required. And this is where Vincent Pugibet, president of the French producers' association PIWI and owner of the La Colombette winery in Languedoc, sees a problem: "EU approval is a step in the right direction, but the lack of cooperation and competition between the many European wine-growing institutes is still a major obstacle to the introduction of resistant varieties." For example, he said, the French Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), which is responsible for the approval of grape varieties, has not allowed the cultivation of Piwis bred in Italy. "INRA will never allow us to use resistant Italian varieties because they breed them themselves," said Pugibet.

(al / Source: decanter.com; Photo: Creative Commons, Thorbjoern Joerger)

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