PIWI International Meeting from November 11th to 13th, 2022 in Neustadt ad Weinstrasse – Germany

Author: Jiri Sedlo

Members of the "PIWI International" association from Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands met in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse for the annual general meeting. Most of them are winemakers who grow (sometimes exclusively) PIWI grape varieties.
A board meeting of the organization was held on Friday morning, followed by a visit to Rebschule Freytag, which is one of the main suppliers of these resistant grape varieties, giving participants an insight into their work and interesting information about breeding and propagation (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Volker Freytag (left) at a presentation on his farm

Inspection by Volker Freytag


November 25, 2022|

Press release on the PIWI meeting in Neustadt aW Nov. 2022

Press release PIWI International
November 2022

Viticulture must respond to climate change

A large number of members of the "PIWI International" association from Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands met last weekend in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse for the annual general meeting. Most of them are winegrowers who (sometimes even exclusively) grow new grape varieties that are resistant to powdery mildew and downy mildew, among other things. This means that treatment with pesticides can be significantly reduced, which is good for the environment and lowers the costs for the winemaker.


November 19, 2022|

Big investment at Kullaberg – new winery for 100,000 bottles

While the harvest was still in progress, Scandinavia's most serious investment in wine production was inaugurated - a new winery at Kullabergs Vingård with a capacity for 100,000 bottles per year.

– Beverage is an important part of Skånes gastronomy, and it is important that we have people who dare to invest and work hard, said governor Anneli Hulthén, who cut the blue and yellow ribbon.

The building, planned since 2017 with construction starting exactly two years ago, resembles a typical quadrilateral local farm and, like everything else in the business, has an environmental focus.

– With a frame made of glulam and walls made of solid wood, we live up to our requirements for sustainability, said architect Paulina Berglund, also part of the owner couple behind Kullabergs Vingård.


November 18, 2022|


At the end of October, a digital outdoor laboratory for fruit growing and viticulture, also known by the abbreviation LIDO (Laimburg Integrated Digital Orchard), was inaugurated at the Laimburg research center (South Tyrol). The aim of the smart, innovative and sustainable outdoor laboratory is to promote innovation in the field of digitization and robotics in agriculture.

Since the end of October, the LIDO has been available to companies and research institutions to use, test and demonstrate to the public existing and new technologies under practical conditions. The goal: Digitization and robotics can support sustainable, knowledge-based production and the careful use of resources in order to equip agriculture for the challenges of the future. For this reason, the Laimburg Research Center has dedicated itself to the topic of "Digital Innovation and Smart Technologies" in one of its five main research areas until 2030. Numerous projects and activities related to digitization, big data, non-destructive quality determination, automation and modern breeding technologies contribute to the implementation of this focus. Against this background, the test center has set up two outdoor laboratories for fruit and wine growing. "We stand for smart and quality-oriented food production that is more efficient, economical and ecologically sustainable," explains Michael Oberhuber, Director of the Laimburg Research Center.

Source: SZOW – Swiss magazine for fruit and wine growing

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November 18, 2022|

Status of acreage of PIWI varieties in Czech vineyards

At the end of the 2021/2022 wine year, according to the wine register, there were more than 17,900 ha of vineyards in the Czech Republic, of which almost 900 ha (896 ha) were planted with PIWI varieties, ie 5.0 %. The development of the area under cultivation of the PIWI varieties since 2012 is roughly represented by a growth line (Figure 1). In the last ten years, the area under cultivation has increased fivefold, and around 75 hectares are replanted every year.

read more (PDF)

November 6, 2022|

Medals are almost becoming commonplace for Fredholms Vingård in Sweden.

They have only 1800 vines and got 96 points at PIWI International Challenge 2022 for their Solaris ”Elsa” – one of ten wines awarded Top Gold. Fredholm Flasche TopGold

Medals are almost becoming commonplace for Fredholms Vingård in Sweden.

– It is the first time that we are submitting wine to a competition solely for PIWI. Previously we’ve wanted to compare ourselves to other wines, says Pär Fredholm at Fredholms Vingård.

The wine „Elsa“, a 100% Solaris that was first released in 2017, has previously been awarded four great golds, five golds and one silver at competitions in Spain, Germany and France. The wine has a couple of days of maceration with one third in French oak barrels before final aging for seven months in steel tanks.

– Internationally, „Elsa“ has always received over 90 points. It’s amazing that it can performs so well everywhere, all the time. Why? I think that part lies in the minerality, the saltiness and the high pH – the acid never becomes aggressive, says Pär Fredholm.

Fredholms Vingård is located, like most wineries in Sweden, in Skåne in the very south. The couple Jenny and Pär Fredholm started in typical Swedish manner on a small scale with red grapes. 25 Rondo cuttings were planted in 2002. Pär Fredholm shakes his head:

– Rondo is not our favorite grape, but at the time everyone here wanted to make red wine. However, it didn’t take long before people realized that the wine from Rondo was not that good, but that white was better suited.

However, he is much more fond of Siramé, which he hopes will get more attention in Sweden.

– It’s a fantastic grape that rarely gets sick. It’s a shame it isn’t more popular. We use it in our rosé together with Rondo, where the latter works better.

Fixed focus is Solaris. The first cuttings were planted in 2008, but it is only from vintage 2017 – the premiere vintage of the prize-winning wine „Elsa“ – that they think they have gotten to know the grape and know how to treat it.

– We prune hard for low yield, around 0.8–1 kilo per log. In the winery, we let the grape skins macerate for a couple of days before fermentation, partly to raise the pH value. Acid is indeed the backbone of all wines, but it can also be the winemaker’s worst enemy.

The 2022 harvest has just finished, and Pär and Jenny Fredholm are satisfied with the vintage, which, however, got off to a tentative start with a cold spring and early summer.

– Then came the heat – but no rain, so some here had problems with stress in their vines. Ours could handle it, so we got a normal maturity and about 13 degrees alcohol, says Pär Fredholm.

Though, he emphasizes the importance of not only looking at Oechsle. You have to look at the whole, not least the phenolic maturity.

To return to „Elsa“ and the structure behind the success. The typical saltiness and minerality – call it energy – which only seems to become more and more prominent, Pär Fredholm finds the answer in the soil. The vineyard has volcanic soil and is located near an old lime quarry.

– Now the roots are starting to dig deep and can reflect the terroir.

And why the name Elsa? After their beloved black labrador of course, always present in the vineyard to contribute positive energy to vines as well as followers on social media.

November 4, 2022|

PIWI is developing into a quality mark - PIWI Wine Challenge 2022

High level at the PIWI International Wine Challenge 2022

President Alexander Morandell Wine Queen Katrin Lang-Georg Börsig

Gone are the days when PIWI vines were grown primarily for environmental reasons. There are now many very good wines made from PIWI varieties, as well as numerous internationally committed winegrowers who can draw on a lot of experience with PIWIs both in viticulture and in winemaking and who bottle the best wines, which the PIWI International Wine Challenge 2022 has fully confirmed . Two thirds of the wines received SILVER or GOLD, even TOP GOLD. The high quality was generally confirmed by the visitors at the subsequent public tasting, for which all the wines were presented according to the blind evaluation. The PIWI mark, which PIWI members are allowed to put on the labels of their wines, can be considered something of a quality mark. And so PIWI wines bring environmental protection and enjoying good wines together and can be considered an important future of wine.


November 2, 2022|

Katrin Lang visits PIWI International Wine Challenge

Source: German Wine Queen – News


"The German wine nation has been dealing with the topic of PIWIs and sustainable viticulture for several years: Wine producers are also planting more and more robust grape varieties at an international level," said German Wine Queen Katrin Lang during her visit to the PIWI International Wine Challenge 2022 in Kappelrodeck-Waldulm.

The PIWI International working group has launched a competition for the first time: At the PIWI International Wine Challenge 2022, a total of over 180 wines from Germany and the surrounding wine-growing nations were entered and evaluated in five categories by a specialist jury.

To the results of the top winners


October 27, 2022|

divico: assemblage partner for Pinot noir?

It is well known that Pinot noir is becoming less popular with inexperienced wine consumers due to its relatively light colour. This shortcoming is partially remedied with so-called dyer grapes. Now the fungus-resistant variety Divico is being discussed as an assemblage partner - because of the color and the olfactory potential.

Pinot noir is still the most commonly grown red wine variety in Switzerland. Their high qualitative potential is sometimes reduced by a color intensity that is judged to be rather weak. Dyer grapes such as Dakapo and Dunkelfelder are grown in Switzerland, and their wines are used in low-percentage blends to improve color. With the Divico vine developed by Agroscope and approved in 2013, which is resistant to downy and powdery mildew and gray mold, another variety is available that is suitable for this purpose. In a trial carried out on the Agroscope experimental farms in Changins and Pully, a 10 % blend of Divico with Pinot noir was compared with blends of the Dakapo and Dunkelfelder grape varieties.

Source fruit and wine growing Switzerland
Author: Jean-Laurent Spring Agroscope, Pully

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October 21, 2022|

PIWI Wine Award International publishes the ranking according to 2022 PAR®

PAR® Quality test with 283 PIWI wines from 14 countries - increased average level - overall winner with 99 points comes from Switzerland

Frasdorf, October 2022 – An impressed PAR® It was the Certified Master Jury that selected the tasting room at the end of last weekend PIWI WINE AWARD INTERNATIONAL in Frasdorf, Bavaria. Because the high average level of this year's ranking exceeded all expectations: the percentage of Grand Gold and Gold ratings was 10 percent higher than in the previous year, and that without any changes to the tasting scheme or medal table. A total of 30 Grand Gold, 130 Gold, 90 Silver and 20 Recommendations were awarded. Overall winner with 99 points is the 2020 Divico AOC from the Florian Ramu winery on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The telephone debriefing will take place on October 26th.


October 20, 2022|

Late pruning of the vine

In the current climatic context, with milder winters leading to earlier budburst in most wine regions, vines are exposed to the risk of spring frosts for a longer period.  Depending on the year, frost can lead to yield losses of between 20 and 100 %, jeopardizing the economic survival of wine estates. In addition, by destroying young shoots, spring frosts can impact the following season’s production, by reducing the number of canes available for pruning, for example. Late pruning is one method to combat spring frosts (Ravas, 1912; Frioni et al., 2019).

October 2, 2022|

The country needs new grape varieties...

Source: Tagesschau - MITTENDRIN - viticulture and climate change

Status: 09/22/2022 4:30 p.m

Long periods of drought, extreme heat and heavy rainfall: climate change and its consequences pose major challenges for winegrowers in the Rheingau. Traditional grape varieties in particular are suffering from the extreme weather.

By Jakob Schaumann, HR

Excerpt from the article ….

Save Riesling from extinction

Since 2014, the Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences has been researching what the future of viticulture could look like with a project that is unique in the world. With the FACE experiment, the researchers venture a glimpse into the atmospheric future. The expected CO2 concentration of 2050 is simulated by the targeted addition of around 20 percent carbon dioxide.

Two varieties are examined: the Cabernet Sauvignon, which is more familiar from warmer climes, and the Riesling, which is typical of the Rheingau. "Of course we are interested in how the wine will be in 2050, but above all: How will the plant react?" says Hans Reiner Schultz, President of the university. It is about the water consumption and the structure of the fruit, because the more compact a fruit is, the more susceptible it is to rot.

It is already apparent today that this could become a problem for Riesling. The increased CO2 concentration leads to increased photosynthesis and stronger berry growth; this makes the Riesling vines more compact and therefore more susceptible to mold growth. To ensure that the Riesling does not die out in the Rheingau, the University breeds Riesling vines that can cope better with climate change and have looser berry growth overall.

September 23, 2022|
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