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Grapevines 2.0: Viña Concha y Toro Begins Planting Vineyard Prepared for Climate Change

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The work of Viña Concha y Toro’s Centre for Research and Innovation, now in its eighth year of existence, has made it possible to have plants free of some viruses and fungi that will result in more resistant vines and thus extend their useful life.

December 6th – Viña Concha y Toro’s Centre for Research and Innovation celebrates eight years since its founding by highlighting the focus on adaptability to climate change, through better prepared vines and advances in precision irrigation with cutting-edge technology.

One of them is the beginning of the planting of what are being called “Grapevines 2.0”: vines free from 13 viruses and 5 wood-decay fungi that have a longer lifespan, and will be more resistant to climate change.

This achievement is the result of a joint effort between Viña Concha y Toro’s Agricultural Division and the Centre for Research and Innovation (CRI), through a program initiated in 2016 based on qPCR, the world’s most sensitive analysis technique based on sanitary selection and virus and fungus cleaning. There is no genetic improvement.

“This is the first time that Viña Concha y Toro has planted vineyards with this superior plant material or ‘Grapevines 2.0’, which are free from 13 viruses and 5 wood-decay fungi that affect vineyards’ productivity and longevity”, noted the Centre’s Director, Álvaro González. 

Grapevines 2.0 will be healthier, more productive, and will have a longer lifespan than their predecessors. These grapevines will also be more prepared to face climate change.

The first Grapevine 2.0 planting was carried out in the company’s El Triángulo Estate, located in Chile’s Valparaíso Region, which marks the starting point of a new quality standard for grapevines produced in the plant nursery run by Viña Concha y Toro’s Agricultural Division.

“This major milestone is the result of the CRI’s research and development program, which was launched in 2016 and today constitutes a specific innovation success story that will improve the productivity and longevity of our vineyards and add value to the work of our agricultural area”, said González.

In the future, Viña Concha y Toro plans to develop grapevines free from 12 viruses, reinforced with trichoderma (beneficial fungi), resulting in even more robust grapevines than those currently being planted.

18% water savings for irrigation

Another relevant success story is precision irrigation. Four years ago, a new water efficiency project was launched at the CRI, which consists of implementing an irrigation management system based on the development of crop coefficient (Kc) curves in different fields of the company, which, together with the analysis of meteorological information, makes it possible to calculate the specific water demand for the vineyard. That is, exactly when to irrigate and how much to irrigate.

This plan is currently applied to 900 hectares of the 10,000 hectares planted by the holding company in Chile, which has led to savings of 18% on average in the amount of water used.

For more information about the Centre for Research and Innovation, visit their website.

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