Faced with increasingly frequent climatic hazards, the sector is looking for alternatives. The devastating frost in April, the torrential rains in July, or the fires in August, in the Var, are unfortunate examples of what winegrowers will have to cope with. Some events have no remedy, but this is not the case for all of them: for example, the effects of drought and climate stress can be mitigated. Through a series of talks and participative workshops held from Tuesday 30 November to Thursday 2 December, SITEVI intends to serve as a relay for those who can provide solutions.
All aspects of the winegrowing profession - plant material, growing methods, vinification and marketing - must adapt to extreme weather events that are happening more frequently and with more devastating effects than before. Looking back on this year, "an unprecedented succession of climatic disasters affected the majority of French winegrowing regions: spring frost on a rare scale, high occurrence of mildew during the summer, hailstorms and fires. 2021 will have one of the smallest harvests in 50 years, with a drop of around 25% compared to the five-year average," summarises Jean-Pierre Van Ruyskensvelde, former CEO of the French Institute of Vine and Wine (IFV).
Adapted grape varieties at the centre of thinking
The players in the sector are mobilising to provide solutions to professionals. SITEVI 2021 aims to promote and publicise these solutions, with nearly a thousand exhibitors and a rich programme of nearly 50 talks and workshops. The conference "Adapting viticulture to climate change and hazards" (Tuesday 30 November at 9:30 am) will open the subject with the presentation of the industry's national climate strategy, in the presence of researchers from INRAe, IFV and Montpellier SupAgro. Other themes linked to global warming are also planned for the same day. These include dynamic agrivoltaism (talk at 3.15 pm) and carbon footprint assessment on the estate (at 4.30 pm).
JEAN-MARC TOUZARD, DIRECTOR OF THE INNOVATION UNIT AT INRAE
“The results of the Laccave project will be unveiled at SITEVI 2021”
“The talk on adapting viticulture to climate change and hazards will take place just after the final seminar of the Laccave project, which has been run by INRAe since 2012. We will therefore be presenting the results for the first time. This will be an opportunity to present the main strategic orientations, and the issues of soil and water will be particularly addressed. We will also discuss a key factor: encouraging more participatory approaches, at both local and national levels.”
And to make the transition from theory to practice, the exhibition will focus on exchanges between professionals. Every day, the participative workshop "Solutions to address climate change" will be an opportunity for those who so wish to contribute their ideas and benefit from the feedback of other professionals. Also from Tuesday to Thursday, tastings of grape varieties adapted to drought or water stress will allow participants to project themselves further into the viticulture of tomorrow.
CARMEN ETCHEVERRY, HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY AT ADVINI
“The tastings of adapted grape varieties should be particularly interesting”
“We will be at SITEVI to seek out innovation and broaden our perspectives, particularly on the themes of climate change and biodiversity. We hope to discover new developments in terms of plant material, spraying, or plant cover. The tastings of adapted grape varieties should be particularly interesting.”
A device to “scan” your plots
What if the future wasn't so far off? Many exhibitors will be available to discuss their innovations. Among them are the nominees for the SITEVI Innovation Awards, such as Terranis. The SME has launched Oenoview365-hyd, a system to monitor the water status of vines over time using satellite imagery. Meanwhile, 3D Aerospace will present DeVines, a proximity detection service. The principle: a device with seven cameras, mounted on a tractor for example, is hooked up to a database. It estimates at a glance the yield, the veraison and the detection of missing vines on an HD map.
Full programme available at sitevi.com.