The Gen-Z Vineyard Project was recently launched. This is a tech-transfer project with the main objective to empower producers/viticulturists/winemakers with the latest info and technology to make better long and short term decisions in terms of their wine grape growing to become more profitable.
Gen-Z simply refers to the description for the current era that we find ourselves in, which will apparently last for the next 10 years. It is also during this period that the vineyards of the future will have to be planted. These vineyards will constitute the core of our industry in 10-15 years and therefore it is of utmost importance that the planting of vineyards during this period should take place using:
- the best and latest knowledge and experience at our disposal;
- the latest technology;
- (plantings) must be in line with consumer preferences/market needs; and
- must be in harmony with our natural resources/terroirs so that the minimum management inputs are required; and it
- must be profitable and sustainable in the long term.
Why is this project important?
We as viticulturists want to help and support our producers to make the right decisions when it comes to the planning and planting of new vineyards. Therefore we want to establish demo sites (plots) in all our wine regions in new commercial vineyards (that are going to be planted), to practically demonstrate to our producers the following:
- the application or demonstration of the latest local, as well as international research findings;
- the latest available technology, material, and gadgets;
- new vineyard practices that are applied world-wide;
- to try out our own new/innovative ideas and plans; or
- to test the adaptability and/or suitability of new cultivars/clones and rootstocks in the different regions by means of interplantings.
Who are involved with the project?
VinPro’s consultation service and regional vineyard consultants will coordinate/manage the project in the wine regions in close collaboration with our viticulturist colleagues who will help with the planning, layout and measurements of the demo plots, as well as producers on whose farms demo sites will be established, and who will manage and take care of the vineyards, vineyard suppliers who will assist with sponsorship of material/equipment,
local researchers and winemakers/cellars who will assist us with small-scale winemaking to see how these practices or new ideas impact on the wines.
The planned outputs
We want to generate measurements, observations, evaluations of these demo plots by the observations of the producers/viticulturists/researchers. These will be made available on our website, to be developed next year, as well as through farmers, producers and study group days.