SITEVI 2023

The French national vine dieback plan in detail

Vine dieback occurs in all winegrowing regions in France, and consequently affects the productivity, survival and profitability of the vineyards concerned. To fight this scourge, offer personal assistance and take action at every level, the national vine dieback plan (plan national contre le dépérissement du vignoble) was created in 2016. It was introduced to attendees at the last edition of SITEVI.

On the front line of this action plan are the interprofessional winegrowing organisations brought together within the Comite National des Interprofessions des Vins (CNIV), the Supervisory Board and a Technical management board.

These bodies are supported by the French Ministry of Agriculture through aScientific Council, and by a mixed monitoring committee comprising the various partners (IFV, Inrae, FFPV, Chambers of agriculture and specialists working in consulting, development and training).

What is vine dieback?

Dieback in winegrowing is a problem with many causes. It can be the result of diseases (grapevineviruses, wood diseases and phytoplasma) or climate-related factors (climate change, environmental stress), the soil, the social and technical environment (plant material available, regulations, technical advice) or the vine growing practices conducted on the estate.

In all cases, the outcome for the affected vineyard is a loss of yield.

A global approach

The national vine dieback plan adopts a global approach which no longer focuses solely on technical and scientific aspects relating to diseases, but on all levels of the vertical to find the means to fight actively.

It is a long-term plan that allows winegrowers to limit the occurrence of vine dieback while taking into account the sector’s economic and regulatory constraints.

The goals of the national vine dieback plan are multiple:

  • Train winegrowers in dieback and the best practices to adopt on the ground.
  • Develop innovative computerised solutions suitable for preserving the vineyard and anticipating crises.
  • Work in collaboration with nurseries on the issue of plant material and the capacity of renewing the vineyard.
  • Launch an ambitious research plan based on a national and European scientific programme.

State of play of the plan: figures and key dates

According to FranceAgriMer, in the space of 10 years, 19% of the surface area of vine stock has disappeared and dieback is responsible for annual yield loss of 4.6 hL/ha. Vineyards in France account for 10 % of the world’s area under vines according to figures from the OIV in 2017.

The winegrowing area is a major part of agriculture in France: it applies to one in five farms, according to figures from the CNIV. This puts it top of the French agricultural sectors by value.

With regard to the key dates of the project and its development, it is important to mention the following:

  • March 2016: announcement of the national vine dieback plan at the Paris agricultural show.
  • 7 April 2016: official presentation of the national vine dieback plan to the sector at AgroParisTech, the National Institute of technology for life, food and environmental sciences.
  • 20 September 2016: signature of a framework agreement for the implementation of the dieback plan by Minister for Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll, Jean-Marie Barillère and Jérôme Despey.
  • 25 February 2017: launch of a dieback plan collaborative platform.
  • 25 March 2019: creation of the tool “online diagnostic” to obtain a quick analysis of the condition of a vineyard hit by dieback.
  • 24 May 2019: creation of seven new research programs financed by the plan.

Spotlight on the three pillars of the plan

The national vine dieback plan, also known as PNDV-2, revolves around three main pillars.

SITEVI 2023

Plant material

The main goal here is to secure the supply of vine plants by building partnerships with nurseries. This also makes it possible to focus research on innovation with regard to production and planting techniques.

Next, a focus on plant material helps pursue better adaptation to climate change while reducing the use of chemical crop protection products.

Finally, it helps combat possible diseases. In this respect, a national body was set up to enable better support/exchange between sector professionals and the development of varietal innovation.

National and regional research

At the beginning of 2021, the extended technical commissions of interprofessional bodies updated themselves on the situation in winegrowing regions and on the existing regional problems relating to dieback.

The goal here was also to meet the main players on the ground and exchange with them in order to identify the new research priorities together. Following this consultation, new callsfor projects were issued.

Calls for projects change each year depending on the needs of the sector. However, they are based mainly on the following research priorities:

  • Relations between yield and longevity,
  • Interaction between soil, ecosystem implants,
  • Biological risks,
  • Plant material,
  • Social and economic levers.

Transfers and regionalisation

This final phase consists of transitioning from research to practice with the definition of subjects to be addressed as a priority and with the deployment of appropriate tools on the ground. In parallel, plans to build a vineyard health observatory are underway following a call for projects launched in 2021. This is based on three areas deemed to be priorities: soil biology, coordination of varietal innovation, and the monitoring of emerging diseases.

A team comprising 15 correspondents of the PNDV-2 plan (known as “Les 15 du Plan”) has been created to run the program at a regional level among the sector’s players (chambers of agriculture, private consultants, agricultural colleges, nurseries, intra-professional bodies).

Created in 2017, the main goal of the national vine dieback plan is to provide winegrowing professionals with tangible, technical, scientific and human solutions. In total, the project has brought about 4 calls for projects, leading to the financing of 26 research programmes and 29 winegrower networks in three pilot regions: Loire Valley, Charente, and Rhône Provence.