These are bred hybrids, fungus-resistant seedlings that need much less chemistry, which also means that you don’t have to go to the vineyards as often, while the low frequency of the technique benefits the soil, for example, in better moisture retention.
However, the hitherto little-known names, as well as the relationship developed over the years with “traditional European” varieties, mean that, for now, mainly large companies are starting to plant, which was also confirmed by the latest Vinařská Union survey.
PIWI varieties (from the German “pilzwiderstandsfähige Rebsorten) are currently found on an area of 890 hectares. However, it is only five percent of the total area of vineyards in our country, even though the amount of these seedlings has quadrupled in the last ten years.
“Viticulture is struggling with longer periods of high temperatures, lower rainfall totals and their uneven distribution. In this context, the approach to soil treatment and water management needs to be changed,” he explains Pavel Pavloušek from the Faculty of Horticulture, Mendel University in Brno.
“The way is, for example, to reduce the number of mechanization trips in the vineyard as part of protection against fungal diseases, which causes compaction of the soil and prevents the absorption of moisture. Therefore, regenerative viticulture practices in relation to soil care and also more resistant PIWI varieties are being put into practice,” he added.
“A more sustainable way of managing vineyards is a big topic for us. In addition to the PIWI varieties, of which we will plant 11 hectares this year, we are also testing natural preparations in some vineyards as a substitute for chemical protection and probiotics,” Libor Výleta, director of viticulture of the Bohemia sekt group, told Práv on the Kotel u Sedlec vineyard track, where the planting took place. the promotion of this resistant group of varieties in our country the furthest.
As another winegrower Pavel Moravčík added, many winemakers still stick to traditional varieties. Among other things, also because people simply don’t know the new names. The exception is Hibernal or Solaris, which managed to establish themselves on the market.
“We also want to try planting these resistant varieties among the classic varieties, for example among the Rhine Riesling seedlings, and we hope that this can also cause these traditional seedlings to be more resistant,” added Pavel Moravčík.
“The vineyards planted here will produce grapes mainly for the production of sparkling wines, but due to their high yield potential, we expect their greater use in the future also in the production of still wines,” added Libor Výleta.
Sedlečky bet on the demanding production of extremely sweet wines
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