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Swiss R and D Chases Winning PIWIs

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Swiss R and D Chases Winning PIWIs

By Bart de Vries

With a third generation of fungus-resistant hybrid wine grapes in development, are we poised for a breakthrough in the spread of so-called PIWIs? Will the quest for an alternative to disease-prone Pinot Noir finally bear fruit? Swiss researchers, breeders, nurseries, and winemakers are at the forefront of this effort.


For an increasing number of vintners, traditional grape growing with seven to 12 rounds of spraying annually has become unsustainable. For some, organic farming
isn’t the answer. Because organic agents work superficially and wash off with rain,
they must be applied more frequently. This requires more labor and more passes through the vineyard, leading to higher CO2 emissions, as well as greater soil compaction and higher costs...

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