about grape varieties

about grape varieties2021-11-26T21: 35: 16 + 01: 00

Souvignier gris: fruity or Burgundian?

Author Wolfgang Renner
Souvignier girs

According to multiple applications in 2023, there are 66 hectares of the Souvignier gris grape variety in Austria. This proves to be a versatile representative of the group
of fungus-resistant grape varieties (PIWI). Current grafting figures suggest a further increase in area. Several years of experience in
Cultivation and expansion from Styria shows the characteristics of this variety.

The Piwi grape variety Souvignier gris (pronounced Suvinje grie) was bred in 1983 by Norbert Becker (1937 – 2012) at the State Viticulture Institute in Freiburg im Breisgau (D). Originally, the parentage Cabernet Sauvignon x Bronner was assumed. However, a genome analysis disproved this assumption. Souvignier gris is actually a cross between Seyval Blanc x Zähringer.

In any case, Souvignier gris is an interesting newcomer. The German breed from the Freiburg im Breisgau Wine Institute is enjoying increasing popularity in most Austrian wine-growing regions. Depending on the ripeness of the berries and the way the grapes and must are processed, this grape variety can produce many different variants - from simple quality wine to excellent quality sparkling wine.
Previous experiences also show that Souvignier gris is able to represent the terroir of an area or a location well.

to the article with graphics - Source: Der Winzer 08/2023

August 29, 2023|

Newly approved PIWI varieties in the wine regions of Europe

In the Official Journal of the EU C 222 of June 26, 2023, a new (PIWI) variety was approved for the PDO "Champagne". The Voltis variety has been added to the existing seven main varieties. The maximum permitted grape yield is 15.5 t/ha.

A notice on the creation of the new German PGI "Großräschener See" was published in the Official Journal of the EU C 222 on 26/06/2023. The cultivated varieties are the PIWI varieties Solaris, Cabernet blanc, Johanniter and Pinotin. The PGI is located in Brandenburg on the Großräschener See, near the border with Saxony. The maximum yield is set at 90 hl/ha.

In the Official Journal of the EU C 230 of June 30, 2023, the approval of new varieties (PIWI) for the PGI "Pays d'Hérault" (near Montpellier) was granted. A total of 17 new PIWI varieties were added and 18 old varieties that are no longer used were removed. The newly approved PIWI varieties are Artaban N, Bronner B, Cabernet blanc B, Cabernet Cortis N, Floreal B, Johanniter B, Monarch N, Muscaris B, Pinotin N, Prior N, Saphira B, Sauvignac B, Solaris B, Soreli B, Souvigner gris B, Vidoc N and Voltis B. (N=Noir, B= Blanc)

Jiří Sedlo, July 18, 2023

July 21, 2023|

PIWI grape variety Calardis Musqué receives plant variety protection

csm_PI2023-2_Bild1_Calardis_Musque_Traube_2abef71cef download website JKIThe white grape variety cultivated at the Julius Kühn Institute with pleasant exotic fruit aromas is resistant to several pathogens.

(Siebeldingen) Vine breeding takes time. This also and especially applies to the new grape variety Calardis Musqué. It was crossed in 1964 at the Geilweilerhof in Siebeldingen from Bacchus and Seyval Blanc. 59 years later, the development of vine breeding at the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), the Federal Research Institute for Cultivated Plants, has now been awarded plant variety protection.

Calardis Musqué is one of the so-called PIWI (fungus-resistant grape varieties). In addition to moderate resistance to powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis, it also has a high resistance to black rot. These properties mean that significantly fewer pesticides have to be applied during cultivation - an important step towards more sustainable viticulture and also essential for organic cultivation.

copyright Julius Kühn Institute


April 24, 2023|

Spotlight on PIWI varieties by Edy Geiger

Since 2021, when many winegrowers were only able to keep fungal diseases under control with great difficulty, interest in PIWI vines has risen sharply. Especially because of the prospect of financial aid for new plants. PIWI pioneer Edy Geiger presents what he sees as the most promising varieties.

Source: Swiss magazine Obst + Wein April 2023

read more ( PDF, English)

April 13, 2023|

PIWI Pedia by Arnold Becker

PIWI-Sorten von A bis Z,   in 3 Teilen

Pilzwiderstandsfähige Rebsorten (Piwis) erfahren derzeit ein gesteigertes Interesse: Forschungen werden intensiviert, Vereinigungen zu diesem Thema gegründet und Pfropfreben mancher Sorten sind in Deutschland auf 3 Jahre hin ausverkauft. Gleichzeitig will die Zusammensetzung des Rebsortenportfolios innerhalb eines Betriebs gut über legt sein. Arno Becker vom DLR Rheinhessen-Nahe-Hunsrück möchte mit der Erstellung einer „Piwi-Pedia“ Hilfestellung geben.

Ziel dieses Beitrags ist es, vorhandenes Wissen zusammenzuführen, fortzuschreiben und einen möglichst umfassenden Überblick zu vermitteln. Schließlich werden immer wieder Erkenntnisse über Versuchsserien veröffentlicht, die zwar Teile des Themas darstellen, aber es naturgemäß nicht in der Gesamtheit abbilden können.

Zudem hat der Komplex pilzwiderstandsfähige Rebsorten eine hohe Dynamik, so dass es der Fachliteratur oft schwerfällt, Schritt zu halten.
Bei Züchterangaben werden zudem überwiegend die positiven Attribute in den Vordergrund gestellt.

Quelle: Das deutsche Weinmagazin 14.1.2023  1/2  bis 4

Teil 1 von A – C

Teil 2 von  D – P

Teil 3 von  R – Z

April 11, 2023|

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|

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

read more (English)

October 21, 2022|

Viticulture needs new fungus-resistant and stress-tolerant grape varieties in order to be able to defy climate change

Press release Julius Kühn Institute number 13 from August 12th, 2022csm_PI2022-4_Bild3_LogoGBG2022-RGB_7648ab27c8

Vine breeders and geneticists from 23 countries exchanged ideas at the XIII. GBG symposium in the Palatinate.

(Siebeldingen) The Institute for Vine Breeding of the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), located on the Geilweilerhof in the Palatinate, had the honor of hosting the international symposium on vine breeding and genetics this summer (2022). The "XIII. Symposium for Grapevine Breeding and Genetics" took place from 10.-15. July in the Art Nouveau festival hall in Landau. 180 scientists from 23 countries in Europe and overseas came together to present and discuss current research results. The event takes place every four years at different locations around the world. The next host country after Germany is Croatia in 2026. The series of events was launched almost half a century ago by the vine growers at the Geilweilerhof in Siebeldingen, who have been part of the Julius Kühn Institute since 2008.


August 12, 2022|

"Pioneering Wines (PIWIs) - Innovation and Tradition"

This was the motto of the 13th International Symposium on Grapevine Breeding and Genetics, held from July 10-17 in the Art Nouveau Hall in Landau, Germany, where renowned breeding researchers and those involved in breeding and refining met.

The event was held under the patronage of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the International Organization of Vine and Wine, OIV for short. The dedicated team of the Julis Kühn Institute organized a varied and exciting program of lectures, discussions and excursions, which of course included the gala dinner on Thursday evening.


July 21, 2022|

Peter Morio Prize for Vine Breeding goes to Prof. Dr. Jochen Bogs from the Neustadt Wine Campus


Peter Morio Prize for vine researcher from Weincampus Neustadt: from left Prof. Dr. Reinhard Töpfer (head of JKI vine breeding), award winner Prof. Dr. Jochen Bogs and Dr. Andreas Kortekamp (2nd chairman, sponsors and friends of the Institute for Vine Breeding Geilweilerhof eV © J. Fuchs/JKI

Press release from the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI) – Federal Research Institute for Cultivated Plants No. 10 from July 5th, 2022

The Friends of the JKI Institute for Vine Breeding honors the scientist for his outstanding research on disease-resistant grape varieties, among other things.

(Siebeldingen) Jochen Bogs was awarded the Peter Morio Prize 2022 for his outstanding scientific contribution to vine breeding. Prof. Bogs teaches at the wine campus in Neustadt, among other things, on the physiology and biochemistry of the vine and grapes, biotechnology, vine breeding and vine nutrition. His numerous publications speak for his excellent scientific networking in Germany and abroad. His expertise is valued worldwide. The prize is awarded by the community of sponsors and friends of the Geilweilerhof Institute for Vine Breeding. The Institute for Vine Breeding at the Geilweilerhof site in Siebeldingen belongs to the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), the Federal Research Institute for cultivated plants. The award was presented on June 3rd at the association's annual general meeting.

In his laudatory speech, the head of the JKI vine breeding and managing director of the association, Prof. Dr. Töpfer, Prof. Bogs for his achievements. Jochen Bogs is currently researching the mechanisms with which fungus-resistant grape varieties (PIWI) defend themselves against harmful fungi. Another focus of his research is the ingredients of the berries and their influence on the quality of the grapes. He is currently working with the vine breeders and vine protectors of the JKI in the VITIFIT project: "Healthy vines in organic viticulture through research, innovation and transfer" together. Further joint research projects have been applied for.


July 18, 2022|

Climate change and sustainability are driving forces for changing varieties in a traditional market

Vol.:(0123456789)1 3Theoretical and Applied Genetics
A cool climate perspective on grapevine breeding: climate change and sustainability are driving forces for changing varieties in a traditional market
Reinhard Töpfer1 · Oliver Trapp 1
Received: 27 October 2021 / Accepted: 7 March 2022
© The Author(s) 2022
A multitude of diverse breeding goals need to be combined in a new cultivar, which always forces to compromise. The biggest
challenge grapevine breeders face is the extraordinarily complex trait of wine quality, which is the all-pervasive and most
debated characteristic. Since the 1920s, Germany runs continuous grapevine breeding programmes. This continuity was
the key to success and lead to various new cultivars on the market, so called PIWIs. Initially, introduced pests and diseases
such as phylloxera, powdery and downy mildew were the driving forces for breeding. However, preconceptions about the
wine quality of new resistant selections impeded the market introduction. These preconceptions are still echoing today and
may be the reason in large parts of the viticultural community for: (1) ignoring substantial breeding progress, and (2) stick-
ing to successful markets of well-known varietal wines or blends (e.g. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling). New is
the need to improve viticulture ́s sustainability and to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Climate change with its
extreme weather will impose the need for a change in cultivars in many wine growing regions. Therefore, a paradigm shift
is knocking on the door: new varieties (PIWIs) versus traditional varieties for climate adapted and sustainable viticulture.
However, it will be slow process and viticulture is politically well advised to pave the way to variety innovation. In contrast
to the widely available PIWIs, competitive cultivars created by means of new breeding technologies (NBT, e.g. through
CRISPR/Cas) are still decades from introduction to the market.
…. read more

Table 1 A collection of 42 resistant cultivars available in Germany and France including the presence of different resistance loci against downy mildew (Rpv) and powdery mildew (Run and Ren) (colour table online)       Side 3


May 8, 2022|

XIII. International Symposium on Grapevine Breeding and Genetics 10.7. until 17.7.2022

Note: the symposium will be held without the participation of the ISHS

in Landau/Pfalz, Germany

The JKI, Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof is proud to host the XIII. International Symposium on Grapevine Breeding and Genetics in 2022.

Back in the 1970s, Prof. Alleweldt, then head of the Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof in Siebeldingen, Germany, initiated the idea of an international conference as a forum for the dynamic field of grapevine breeding at the time. The idea was to initiate a conference series, that every four years brings together leading scientist in grapevine genetics and breeding at different winegrowing places around the world.

The first meeting took place in September 1973 at Geilweilerhof under the name „International Symposium on Vine Breeding“. Following symposia were held in Bordeaux, Davis and Verona, Siebeldingen, Yalta, Montpellier, Kecskemet, Udine, Geneva, Beijing, and Bordeaux. The 360 participants of the GBG2018 voted for Germany to host the next conference. Now after almost half a century the Congress is coming back again to Geilweilerhof.

The conference takes place in the historic Art Nouveau „Festhalle“ in Landau next to the southern wine route in Germany in the beautiful wine region „Palatinate“.

The conference will highlight current research topics in eight sessions and poster presentations on grapevine

  • genetic resources
  • phenotyping
  • biotic stress
  • abiotic stress
  • grape and wine quality
  • big data management
  • breeding
  • novel technologies

A technical tour will comprise excursions to JKI Geilweilerhof, DLR in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, and brings you to experience local wineries and their outstanding wines.

The conference dinner will be located in Annweiler am Trifels, towered by Trifels castle, one of the most important castles of the Middle Ages, where Richard the Lionheart the King of England was imprisoned 1193/1194. Meet your colleagues from all over the world in a picturesque landscape full of historic places. Post-conference tours will lead you to famous wine regions of Germany.

We hope you take the opportunity to make a fresh start after the pandemic and join the conference.

We are looking forward to see you soon in our famous region!


April 21, 2022|
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