The Research Line “VitalityWINE” intends to approach the strategic importance of the Vine and Wine sector on the economic and social development of the country, highlighting the key role of CITAB as a reference pole in this specific area in the North of Portugal. The present situation of the vine and wine sector is highly competitive, mainly due to the emergence of new wine-producing countries, the high quality of the wines produced, the price wars and the rise of vineyard production costs. Under these technological, social and political challenges and advances, mostly negatively exacerbated by global changes, the measurement of the environmental effects and adaptation measures, the improvement of biodiversity in vineyard ecosystems, the enhancement of management procedures to reduce input costs and to increase the sustainability and wine quality, the appreciation of vine and wine by-products and the increment of the awareness of consumers on the many uses of wine related to the well-being are key strategies to reinforce the sector competitiveness and to ensure its consolidation and future growth. This implies new and innovative approaches, involving scientists from agro-meteorology, statistics, biosystems engineering, soil science, viticulture, plant genetics and physiology, molecular biology, pest and diseases, yeast microbiology and enology. Therefore, the research plan is divided into five scientific projects, each one subdivided into several activities closely interlinked.
The Vitality WINE research line is to develop a multidisciplinary approach that can be a new contribution to overcome the vulnerabilities of Douro Valley viticulture in a changing climate, ensuring the economic and environmental sustainability of the entire sector and maintaining the wine particular attributes and the appreciation of its by-products.
The 5 projects presented in this Research Line will use advanced methodologies, whose main focus will be in the vineyard functional biodiversity, grapevine performance, grape composition and the key role of microbial communities in pre- and post-harvest grape quality and, finally, in the by-products appreciation. All measures have the potential to create relevant scientific and technical production with the main interest being for the stakeholders. The adaptation practices that will be studied have the potential to be extended to other Mediterranean wine regions, once their technical and economic feasibility have been refined and scientifically demonstrated. In this sense, VitalityWINE aims to lessen the adverse impacts of climate change, by supporting timely adaptations in Douro viticulture and so, over a longer term, foster resource-efficient economic growth and the job preservation in this economically important sector. The systematic evaluation of the links between climate, soils, plant health and viticulture is unprecedented and methodically innovative at a big scale, which accounts for the needs of climate impact research in the viticulture sector.
ETIS: Laura Torres, João Coutinho Mendes
ETIS: José Moutinho Pereira, Maria Cortez, Isaura Castro, José Brito, Virgílio Falco
ETIS: Aureliano Malheiro, Eunice Bacelar, Maria Arlete Faia, Lia Tânia Dinis
ETIS: Pedro Melo, Ana Ferreira, Carlos Serôdio
ETIS: Ana Isabel Barros, Miguel António Rodrigues