Concerned about the environmental impact of industry practices, French winemakers have decided to incorporate new strategies like solar-powered robots and lighter packaging, reports Phys.org. It’s disease-resistant grapes, however, that strikes the site as the “most dramatic green innovation in the French wine world.”
Three-plus decades of research was spent to cross-breed grapes varieties so that they would not require any treatment. Didier Merdinoglu, research director at INRA, said the gola was the circumvent the harm caused by other disease-fighting measures like pesticides and vine treatments. The new batch of grape varieties will be resistant to oidium and downy mildew.
While vintners must wait until 2016 before the varietals are ready, they can upgrade their vineyards now with the new solar-powered robot Vitirover, which was designed for “mowing the wild plants between vine rows without need for heavy, polluting tractors or herbicides.”
Christophe Riou, the scientific and development director of the French Vine and Wine Institute, feels that the Appellation of Origin (AOC) should include environmental concerns as part of the certification.