News2020-07-06T09: 53: 04 + 02: 00

PIWI Wein: Viticulture without chemicals with resistant grape varieties By Daniel Bayer with Martin Darting-

PIWI wines are made from fungus-resistant grape varieties that, due to their special properties, have some great advantages.

In this first part of the interview we clarify the question of how PIWI varieties are bred, how they came about and what benefits we can derive from cultivation and vinification.

As an interlocutor for this episode has Martin Darting agreed to share his knowledge with us. He is known as a sensory expert, author, winemaker and speaker and has researched in this and many other areas for many years. As a consultant, lecturer and wine connoisseur, he is a true icon in his field and does not shy away from de-romanticizing the world of wine a little and drawing a clear dividing line between marketing and wine language.

Alternatively, listen to it on Youtube

Martin-Darting-Daniel Beyer
May 5, 2021|

Are Piwi Grapes The Future Of Winemaking?

Fungus-resistant hybrid grapes could be the answer to environmentally sustainable winemaking.

Hello, Felicia! Undoubtedly, we were more than happy to see 2020 come to a close, but the year end did bring about a few silver linings. In the wine world, one such event was the official approval of new Piwi grape varietal, Felicia.

Short for “pilzwiderstandsfähig” (German for “fungus resistant”), Piwis are special hybrid crossings between vitis vinifera, the common European grape vine, and the mainly North American vitis species. While hybrid grapes are far from new, Piwis have gained attention in recent years thanks to the increased interest in and greater push for environmentally sustainable agriculture.

As native North American grape species are resistant to a variety of maladies their European counterparts are susceptible to, these hybrids carry a natural resistance to fungal diseases, reducing or even eliminating the need for spraying. This, in turn, significantly reduces the negative impact on the environment: less usage of chemical fungicides, lower emissions of carbon monoxide from tractors and a reduction in compacting of vineyard soils when tractors run over them, thus encouraging more micro-organisms in the soil.

There is not only an environmental upside to adopting Piwis. Jörg Philipp, Asia representative of Piwi International, a global association for the promotion of fungus-resistant grape varieties, lays down its financial advantages.

“Less usage of costly treatments and less need for driving through the vineyards (translating to savings of time, fuel and machinery input) lowers the cost of wine production in a significant way. Economically, the usage of Piwis is an important cost reducer.”

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April 20, 2021|

Use the perspectives of new grape varieties

Exploiting value creation potential

The opportunity to increase operational resilience and leverage
Prof. Dr. Marc Dreßler, Wine Campus /
Ludwigshafen University and Christine Freund, DLR Rheinpfalz. Which arguments can
motivate strategic market cultivation to plant new grape varieties?

Wine producers are called upon to achieve a synchronization of the service promises and offers and the needs of the target customers in their strategic planning, taking into account trends as well as their own ambitions, ideas and the operational situation.
In the field of action, which is restricted by massive environmental influences and pressure to act, the new grape varieties open up a perspective increase in added value in the cost and competitive wine market. When making a decision, from a business point of view, the costs of changing the range must be compared with the savings in labor costs, the minimization of risk and the marketing potential. New grape varieties offer holistic potential for solutions to current challenges in viticulture: lack of profitability, adaptation to climate change and customer requests for greater sustainability. They offer potential for reducing operational expenses, increasing sustainability, for differentiation and can serve as concrete proof of sustainability. Marketing and sales activities can benefit from the differentiation possible with new grape varieties and from increased profitability. Product innovations associated with new grape varieties and communication approaches on sustainability allow contributions to differentiate themselves from the competition.
In the workshop, concrete ideas were developed that use experiments to test whether the hurdles have been exceeded and question the perspectives.

Source: The German Wine Magazine, August 29, 2020

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March 19, 2021|

SAVING POTENTIAL - New grape varieties

Make work in the vineyard more efficient and sustainable and increase profitability with fungus-resistant new varieties

Text: Prof. Dr. Marc Dreßler (Weincampus / Hochschule Ludwigshafen) and Christine Freund (DLR Rheinpfalz)

The wine industry is facing the challenges of increasing competitive pressure and rising costs. It is hardly possible any more to increase profit through cost management while continuing the usual business models and processes, because there is potential through increased efficiency and increased space
are largely exhausted. Quantum leaps towards further increases also require corresponding investments. Conversely, price increases must always go hand in hand with added consumer value and differentiation and justify them. All providers, regardless of the strategic grouping, have to manage value creation and costs professionally. In this limited field of action, the so-called new grape varieties, which were bred during breeding because of their resistance and are therefore also referred to as piwis (fungus-resistant grape varieties), open up a perspective increase in value creation in the cost and competitive wine market.
This article sheds light on arguments that can motivate considerations about new grape varieties.

Source: German viticulture 14-15 / 2020


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March 19, 2021|

Nepal: Extreme viticulture in the steepest vineyards in the world

By Wolfgang W. Schäfer, Tropical Viticulture Consultants (TVC)

When you think of Nepal and the impressive snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas, vines and well-tended vineyard terraces hardly come to mind.
The three company founders Mr. Kumar Karki, Mr. Janapal Tharpa and Mr. Dhruba Kumar have just managed to put Nepal on the list of international wine-growing countries with the first and only winery "Pataleban Vineyard Winery".


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March 12, 2021|

How FreiSTil ReFRAMES South TyROL

By Valerie Kathawala


Pranzegg. In the planeThomas NiedermayrGarlider. Four names that will mean more or less to you depending on where and how you drink wine. Four small-scale organic and biodyanamic growers from four points on the compass of northern Italy's Südtirol-Alto Adige (aka South Tyrol). Four individualists who, after years of being stuck in the corners at tastings and fairs - singled out as “crazies” for their cloudy cuvées, atypical varieties, and defiant styles - decided that being outsiders together would, at a minimum, be more fun. More off-piste than pissed-off, Freestyle (“Free style”) was born.

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March 5, 2021|

PIWI WEIN - Departure for new wine times PIWI CH January 2021

Dear readers
Dear Piwians and connoisseurs

"It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is most likely to adapt to change." Charles Darwin

Yes, the year 2020 is really tough. These days, the positive and negative are often not far apart. The everyday is questioned, the unusual suddenly becomes normal. 2020 is pure change!
Reflection is once again the order of the day. Unfortunately, this is linked to the realization that we can only change and influence the world positively on a small scale. But at least we should enjoy that to the full!
It is unbelievably positive that we are allowed to make our life worth living in democratic Switzerland! A huge privilege!
Shift down a gear, give yourself and your loved ones more time, create something special in everyday life and consciously treat yourself to something good every now and then ...

This is what Marc Almert, Sommelier World Champion 2019/2020 said to himself. Since his place of work, the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich, was not exactly busy at the beginning of July due to Covid 19, he took a little PIWI break. After an extensive tour through our vineyards and winery, the focus was on tasting various PIWI wines: a real wow experience for Marc! But read his tasting notes for yourself right away!

The implementation of the first general meeting of PIWI CH on June 30, 2020 can really be described as successful. 60 people took part in the informative rebuild tour. Around 50 members and guests stayed for the meeting, followed by a tasting. We will therefore also plan the practical linking of technical PIWI cultivation topics and the general meeting next year. Unfortunately, the pandemic thwarted the rest of the annual planning: we were unable to carry out the wine trip to Poland or the W&D in Hiltl in Zurich. But, as is well known, postponed is not canceled!

Social change, global warming, the pandemic and other changes will continue to concern us in 2021. Flexibility and a spirit of innovation are required more than ever, which is nothing new for us Piwians!

Have fun reading and "stay healthy!"
Roland Lenz / President of the PIWI CH association

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February 17, 2021|

Agriculture - with nature!

A very interesting program about naturalness in agriculture - from minute 16 PIWI topic (Valentin Blattner and Roland Lenz)

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February 10, 2021|

What sells well: from mainstream to characterful challenge

Do you know that? You talk your mouth frayed and in the end people do what they have always done: namely buy what they know. The willingness to try something new, let alone find it good, is ... let's say diplomatically, a rare commodity.

No, of course there are no THE people! If we ask consumer researchers, we get 1000 conditions for when which target group buys what and why at what price. The bottom line, however, is: supposedly “new” is and has always been there, but must always be at least 80 percent the same and therefore known in order to be accepted.

So your wine may differ from what your customers know about you by a maximum of 20 percent from year to year? Yes, this deviation can be precisely quantified and measured. Food and product designers pay meticulous attention to the fact that customers don't notice a deviation of less than 20 percent; especially not if it can be done slowly. But if the deviation is more than 20 percent, it becomes noticeable. And immediately the product is viewed with skepticism and no longer bought.


January 26, 2021|

New multiple fungus-resistant grape variety Felicia receives approval

Felicia JKI new breed 200 × 300
Press release from the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), Federal Research Institute for Cultivated Plants No. 1/2021

The new breed from the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI) is resistant to powdery mildew, downy mildew and black rot.

(Siebeldingen) Every wine consumer in Germany knows wines made from classic grape varieties such as Riesling and Pinot Noir. Wines from new varieties that can defend themselves against harmful pathogens, such as the fungus-resistant Piwis, however, are still waiting to be discovered. The Felicia variety, the lucky one, joins this growing segment of the PiWi avant-garde in Germany. Wines of this white grape variety have been available from the Julius Kühn Institute in the wine shop of the Institute for Vine Breeding at Geilweilerhof for several years. The variety has had plant variety protection since 2004. At the end of 2020 it received its approval from the Bundessortenamt. This means that it is approved for quality wine production in most wine-growing regions, and experimental cultivation is no longer necessary. Even under the new wine law, the gates are open for a prosperous development. After Calardis Blanc in spring 2020, Felicia is the second fungus-resistant, so-called PiWi variety from the JKI, which was approved in 2020.


January 21, 2021|

Is the market ready?

The marketing of PIWI wine is characterized by various challenges.

Text: Christoph Kiefer, M.Sc. and Prof. Dr. Gergely Szolnoki, Hochschule Geisenheim University

Mushroom-resistant (PIWI) grape varieties are the next logical step towards sustainable cultivation within organic viticulture. Although PIWI grape varieties achieve economic and ecological advantages for winegrowers, fewer than three percent of German vineyards are planted with them. Other wine-growing countries such as France and Italy are registering increasing breeding successes, but the proportion of PIWIs in these countries is also at a low level. This mainly results from the lack of market acceptance by the consumer. Customer acceptance of these innovative grape varieties remains low despite the increased demand for sustainable food.

Within the VitiFIT, the team from Geisenheim examines the complete value chain of PIWI wines in order to better understand the attitudes and needs of producers, marketers and consumers. Based on this, a communication strategy is to be developed at the end of the project in order to establish PIWIs on the market in the long term.

This article analyzes the current market acceptance.

Source: Deutscher Weinbau 25-26 / 2020

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January 20, 2021|

Pesticide cocktails in Swiss wine

Half of the 15 Swiss wines in the “Kassensturz” test contain five or more pesticides.
Author: Adrian Zehnder

The sample includes popular Swiss wines from the retail trade: five whites, one rosé and, above all, red wines from the major Swiss growing areas, made with the typical grape varieties Pinot Noir (Blauburgunder) or Merlot. Chasselas dominates the white wine. These varieties are considered pesticide intensive. The wines cost between 7.50 and 22 francs.

Source: Kassensturz

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17th January 2021|
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