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The large cooperative wineries of Emilia-Romagna Cantine Riunite & Civ, Cantina Sociale di San Martino in Rio, Caviro, Terre Cevico have founded the Vitires consortium together with the Ri.Nova research centre. Its task is to research and cultivate new resistant grape varieties. In the past, the wineries had already worked with the Edmund Mach Foundation in San Michele all'Adige on the genetic improvement of the region's existing grape varieties. To date, 16 regional grape varieties have been researched and more than 700 crosses have been made. The first selections are already being tested for their resistance to pathogens. The focus here is primarily on powdery and downy mildew. In addition, the adaptability to growing conditions and climatic changes is to be tested.

However, the Vitires consortium does not want to limit itself to field trials, but also wants to promote the cultivation of the resulting resistant grape varieties. To this end, selected vine nurseries are commissioned to propagate the new varieties. Together, the wineries produce 70 percent of the grapes in the Emilia-Romagna region and eleven percent of the total Italian production.

"The Vitires consortium aims to be a single, participatory voice for the development of resistant grape varieties in Emilia-Romagna," said consortium president Marco Nannetti. "We are united by a sense of responsibility towards grape growers and consumers. With our commitment, we want to support winegrowers in achieving the sustainability goals of European policy."

(ru/ Source: Winemag; Photo: 1243rf.com)