Viticulture and Vineyards


Conveners: Aaron Fait, BGU and Nurit Agam, BIDR

The session will aim at gathering scientists from Israel and abroad, to discuss themes related to Grapevine, Viticulture sustainability and Climate uncertainty, Grapevine AgroEcology and Molecular physiology, Vineyard Micro-metereology and Grapevine Omics. Special attention will be dedicated to discuss 'data collection and integration' to enhance decision making processes and strategies.

Grapevine is one of the most important perennial crops in the world, and in the Mediterranean region specifically. However, grapevine production and fruit quality are highly dependent on climatic factors, fresh-water availability and dedicated agro-techniques. Grapevine has a complex interaction with the environment, for instance it tolerates relatively high water loss, saline soil, elevated midday temperatures and strong solar radiation. On the other hand, these very same factors cause chemical shifts in the plant, entailing negative consequences on fruit yield, chemical composition and wine quality and making viticulture and enology in a changing climate, and specifically in arid land, not trivial. In Europe, recurrent unexpected climate events, e.g. rainfall shortage, hail, and heatwaves, during the summer have prompted the introduction of agrotechnologies previously not needed. Drip and computerized fertigation are in expansion in regions of France, Spain, and Italy, and are a common practice in large areas in the United States. In Israel, arid regions are the new frontier of viticulture, recognized by large wineries. Here, in spite of a thriving tradition of “intelligent" irrigation, the use of herbicides and fertilizers exacerbate the soil deterioration process in the vineyards. The proposed session aims to bring together experts from multiple disciplines to explore the complex interaction between the vine and its environment, the very basis of the terroir concept and how to wisely implement agrotechniques to enhance sustainability of wine production.