Situated at Prangins, on the Les Rives estate, this 6000m2 plot was planted in 2002 and 2003.

It is a valuable tool for teaching, practical work and research. Grapes are cultivated, methods of combating pests and diseases are tested, and soil management techniques are practised.

The vineyard is planted with Chasselas (clone 800), Pinot noir (Clone 9-18), Dakapo, and with the three hybrid varieties Johanniter, Solaris, and Regent. The latter four are used for plant health studies.

One part is cultivated following Integrated Production Management guidelines, the other part organically.

Since its creation the Rives vineyard has been used for the following activities:

  • Practical work: pruning, disbudding, leaf removal and regulation of crop load
  • Practical work and demonstration of machinery for soil management
  • Practical work in sprayer adjustment
  • Demonstration of harvest machines
  • Practical work in pedology
  • Exercises in identifying weeds
  • Exercises in performing plant health checks and recognition of disease symptoms
  • Exercises in measuring vegetative growth and vigor
  • Experimental area for Bachelor thesis’ (Maurice, 2006, Utzinger, 2007, Marseille, 2008)

The plot is situated on redoxic calcisol, leftovers from bedded and compacted bottom moraine. Its texture is medium to heavy (25 to 30% clay) and silty. The soil and subsoil are very calcareous with an alkaline pH. The rootstocks used are Fercal and SO4.

The ground between the rows is the plot's natural flora. It is cut as necessary. The non-cultivated strips are managed without using herbicides. The tools and techniques used by the school consist of a Clemens vine weeder with blade, a Humus rotary tiller, and gas torches for thermal weed control.

To find alternatives to tillage, a soil management trial was established in 2006, with the following treatments: tilling, mulching with pine woodchips or bark, grassing-over and cutting, and planting with mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella), a plant that has allelopathic properties. The initial results of the study were presented as part of a Bachelor thesis (Marseille, 2008).