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Hard defense, soft on the finish

Researchers in the tri-border region have cultivated grape varieties that can withstand disease-causing fungi


More and more grapes are joining the resistance. Fungi-resistance, or “PiWi” for short. A PiWi grape can naturally defy disease-causing fungi. Plants of this kind have been cultivated in the tri-border project “Vitifutur.” Together with researchers from Switzerland and Alsace, the Freiburg biologist Prof. Dr. Hanns-Heinz Kassemeyer has been working on grape varieties that can better ward off pathogens. The keyword here is “artificial pollination.” Scientists use a brush to apply pollen from resistant American wild species onto the flowers of European varieties. Of course, the wine’s flavor must not be affected. Winegrowers who have already planted the grape varieties cultivated in Freiburg know it too.




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