In the Network of Progress
17.11.2021

In the Network of Progress

Research institutions and studies

What will winegrowing look like in eighty years? What impact will climate change have? How will automation and robots help in the future? What role will sustainability play? Exciting questions, and the close-knit network of researchers and developers who are operating from Alto Adige is seeking answers to them. The Consortium of Alto Adige Wine has strong partners in this area. With the Laimburg Research Center, the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, EURAC, and the Alto Adige Fruitgrowing and Winegrowing Consulting Center, there is an excellent international network.

EURAC is conducting research into the effects of climate change on viticulture. Specifically, the research team is investigating under controlled conditions how selected grape varieties in Alto Adige cope with climatic change. To this end, the vines are exposed to very high temperatures of up to 40° C (104° F) in the terraXcubeextreme climate simulator, including over longer periods of time, and their water balance is kept under observation in order to learn how very high temperatures or extreme climatic situations affect viticulture.

At Laimburg, on the other hand, a digital outdoor laboratory for fruit growing and viticulture was set up which enables research institutions and companies to test forward-looking technologies in the fields of digitization, robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence. The aim is to ensure more sustainable production methods, a more careful use of resources, and adaptation to climate change.

Another project that Laimburg − or more precisely, its viticulture department − is working on is the collection of old local grape varieties. In order to be able to enter old varieties in the grapevine variety register, the Laimburg Research Centre is working on a comprehensive characterization. One exciting finding from this is that many of the old local varieties have the analytical potential to produce sparkling wine due to the lower specific gravity of their juice and their naturally high acidity.

And at the NOI Techpark, research is also constantly being carried out in the field of wine. Thus the Oenolab was set up as a laboratory for the scientific research of oenology and technologies for the production of other alcoholic beverages. In addition to the three research fields of super tannins (which characterize the quality and authenticity of a wine), closure systems, and innovative preservation systems for wine bottles using magnetic levitation technology, Oenolab's field of activity is constantly growing.

In order to continue to achieve fruitful results in the areas of research and development, it is of course also necessary to have well-founded training. Thus in their own courses of study in Bolzano, San Michele, Geisenheim, or Wiesbaden, on one hand a body of valuable wine knowledge is being built up, while on the other hand, technologies are researched and new projects are initiated. This is always done in close exchange with research institutions that operate at the international level.

And then the Consortium of Alto Adige Wine bundles this valuable knowledge in the background, promotes the further development of the sector in cooperation with the network of schools, research institutions, and universities; and ensures that Alto Adige winegrowing can continue to function profitably for many years to come. All of this to ensure the outstanding quality of Alto Adige wines in the future, as well.
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