Vitiforestry: a sustainable strategy for viticulture to cope with climate change?

In the context of climate change, the frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts and heat waves are rising. Increasing stressors put quality wine production under pressure and threaten the sustainability of vinegrowing. The integration of trees in vineyards is emerging as a potential solution to tackle future challenges in viticulture. Thus, interest among Swiss winegrowers is growing, as is the demand for supportive information. But today, there are only few references on modern vitiforestry systems integrating trees either between vine rows (inter-rows) or within them (intrarows), in Switzerland and worldwide. Hence, there is a strong need to investigate pioneer system that have been implemented for several years in the Swiss territory in order to judge their interest in terms of resilience to climate change. Therefore, the project aims to:

  • Evaluate an existing vitiforestery system to deepen the understanding of the main processes and interactions within the system regarding microclimate alteration, water and nutrient availability, productivity and quality of grapes. As improved resilience through mycorrhizal belowground network.
  • Investigate new vitiforestery systems regarding changes in soil characteristics and mycorrhizal community formation.
  • Collect references on management practices, acquisition of information strategies and added-value prospects in existing vitiforestery systems.
Project Manager Dr Markus Rienth Professor of viticulture T +41 22 363 40 27

2023 – in progress

Partners: FiBL, AGRIDEA

Funding: OFAG