Today at FEM scientific focus and awards for winegrowers: 18 prizes and 13 honorable mentions

Thursday, December 02, 2021


Today in the Fondazione Mach the scientific seminar and the award ceremony of the first national evaluation of wines from varieties resistant to fungal diseases took place.
The event took place in the presence of about a hundred participants, including the wineries taking part in the competition and representatives of the national and local wine world, as well as via live streaming with about 150 spectators, including three classes from FEM.
The event was opened by FEM President Mirco Maria Franco Cattani, Provincial Councilor for Agriculture Giulia Zanotelli, President of the Consortium for Innovation in Viticulture Enrico Giovannini and President of PIWI International Alexander Morandel.
Under the moderation of Professor Mario Pezzotti, Director of the Research and Innovation Center, three renowned experts spoke: Professor Luigi Moio, President of the International Organization for Vine and Wine, Attilio Scienza, Professor at the University of Milan, and Fulvio Mattivi, Professor at the University of Trento. Finally, the competition dates with the awarding of the 18 prizes and 13 awards to the winning wineries were explained. Afterwards there was a tasting of the participating wines.

A total of 56 companies with 95 wines took part in this first national event, which were carefully assessed by a jury of qualified experts on November 18th. The 30 commissioners gave not only a score, but also descriptive parameters for the wines in each of the five intended categories: red, white, orange, sparkling wine.
The event, which was supported by the Vine Innovation Consortium and the international association PIWI, had the aim of making the new varieties known by comparing wines made from at least 95 percent of the PIWI (Mushroom Resistant) variety.
"The first national exhibition of wines made from PIWI grapes is another important step by the Edmund Mach Foundation to promote resilient wines," said FEM President Mirco Maria Franco Cattani at the start. It is therefore only logical for FEM to promote this first national event, an activity with scientific and cultured development, in which some of our most sensitive and passionate local producers have been involved for years. The well-being and the harmonious development of the territory in which it is located is therefore the mission that is anchored in the DNA of the Foundation that was born and lives for the farmers of Trentino, but for decades as a scientific reference point nationally and internationally Level is recognized ".
Councilor Giulia Zanotelli said that today is an important moment, the result of the work of the FEM, but also of those involved in the Trentino agriculture. “We're talking about resilient grapes and wines: these terms are part of the policy of the Green Deal and the new CAP. This shows that Trentino was able to anticipate these problems by focusing on innovation, research and, above all, genetic improvement ”. In his speech, the councilor recalled the personalities Rebo Rigotti, Italo Roncador and Professor Scienza, who gave a strong impetus to the genetic improvement in San Michele, carried out today by the Research and Innovation Center. "This event is a starting point and we must all commit to ongoing research and training to ensure a future for our agriculture."
Afterwards, Enrico Giovannini, President of the Consorzio Innovazione Vite (Consortium for Innovation in Viticulture) explained how the nurseries have tried in recent years to take up the signals and advice of the winegrowers and wineries in order to implement new development strategies. Innovations were required ", he emphasized," with regard to the resistance to the most important fungal diseases, in order to reduce the pesticide measures ". Alex Morandell, President of PIWI International, said that an initiative like this "invigorates and stimulates the issue of sustainable viticulture". PIWI International lives from this spirit, from the commitment of the structures, the winegrowers and everyone who moves in this area ”.
Professor Mario Pezzotti, Head of the Research and Innovation Center, moderated the scientific seminar and highlighted how this initiative promotes the issue of sustainability in viticulture, which can no longer be postponed in the near future. It is about aligning viticulture with ecological change through genetic innovation from lengthy and expensive programs for genetic improvement ”. Marco Stefanini, Head of the Department of Vine Genetics and Genetic Enhancement, explained the details of the review. He, Andrea Panichi, the coordinator of the post-secondary education department, and Maurizio Bottura, the head of the viticulture unit, as the organizers of this event, received applause from the audience.
The FEM students played an important role in this initiative. They supported the committee during the tasting phases and helped set up the tasting tables and prepare the food (vocational training course).

Scientific reports by three illustrious speakers: Prof. Scienza, Mattivi and Moio

After the welcome, three scientific lectures followed: “The mestizo will save us, or rather, save viticulture” by Attilio Scienza from the University of Milan, “Same and different: the composition of wines made from fungus-tolerant grape varieties” by Fulvio Mattivi, professor of the University of Trento, “The Future of Wine in the Age of Sustainability” by Luigi Moio, President of the International Organization for Vine and Wine.
Prof. Attilio Scienza explained that, analogous to the revision of the concepts of the “human race” by modern anthropology (in particular by the contribution of Cavalli Sforza, who proposed the abolition of the concept of race itself in the 1970s), new discoveries were also made in ampelography lead to a rethinking of the supposed "purity" of the European vines compared to the American ones. Recent research into the origin of the genus Vitis suggests that the starting point for the spread of this genus lay in the New World, from where the species immigrated to Eurasia in the late Eocene (about 40 million years ago). From this other point of view, one might conclude that there are no “A” vines, that is, European vines, and “B” vines, that is, American grape varieties; a practical consequence of this is that the new resistant grape varieties can finally be used for the production of DOC wines.
Prof. Fulvio Mattivi spoke about the fact that the search for tolerant grape varieties goes back at least to the end of the 19th century, as a solution for phylloxera and a number of new pathogens from America. Little by little it was possible to select quality vines. With the advent of chemical pest management, however, these research directions were almost completely abandoned, and in the 1960s, pathogen-tolerant hybrids began to be demonized, which - with today's knowledge - was based on flimsy arguments. The increasing pressure and resistance of pathogens to pesticides, the growing effects of climate change - which are calling into question the very existence of some wines as we know them today - and heightened environmental awareness have led many research centers to revert to using existing ones Focus on biodiversity in the vine. Today's varieties are the result of several generations of backcrossing with European grape varieties, whereby a great genetic proximity to Vitis vinifera was achieved, so that the term “hybrid” for these grape varieties is superfluous today. This development therefore favors gentle viticulture, which is related to the climate and the soil, but by no means at the expense of quality.
According to Prof. Luigi Moio, wine has become a real cultural and emotional good, the result of mastering a profound knowledge of natural biological and biochemical phenomena. Due to the obvious climate change, today's scenario harbors the risk that the sensory diversity of the wines and their close connection with the concept of “terroir” will be weakened. If we promote the perfect match between genotype and the environment, that is, grow the plant that is best suited to the soil and climate in which it is grown, the wine we get will not only be more "sustainable" but also harmonious in all its components and its balance will mainly be due to the perfect combination of plant, soil and climate; in this case we create the conditions defined as “light oenology”, which requires a minimum of intervention in the wine cellar and is therefore more relevant than ever to the environment and consumer health.

On the website you will find the abstracts of the scientific lectures and the ranking of the award-winning wineries. (in Italian)

Photos and film from the press office


Giulia Zanotelli, Mario Pezzotti, Luigi Moio, Attilio Scienza, Fulvio Mattivi

Attilio Scienza - The mestizo will save us, or rather, he will save the viticulture
Fulvio Mattivi - Same and different. The composition of wines made from fungus-tolerant grape varieties
Luigi Moio - The future of wine in the age of sustainability
piwi ranking in the order in which it was awarded
- How to access the live streaming:

Latest news