South African wine producers experienced the latest Italian vineyard technology first-hand at Vinpro on 2 October, kicking off a three-day Fieragricola exhibition in the Cape Winelands.
More than 100 viticulturists, wine grape producers and industry stakeholders attended the event at the Vinpro head office in Paarl where 12 Italian companies showcased their specialised equipment, systems and products for wine grape cultivation. The delegation extended their visit to the Swartland and Worcester regions on 3 and 4 October.
“One of the pillars of the Gen-Z Vineyard Project is exposing South African producers to the latest technology from around the world through practical demonstrations,” says manager of Vinpro’s Gen-Z Vineyard Project, Francois Viljoen. “We therefore seized the opportunity to host a practical demonstration of machinery and other agricultural products from established and prospective Italian companies, when the organisers Veronafiere and their local agent, Adv Glenn Babb approached us.”
Dr Albert Strever from Stellenbosch University (SU), says agri-technology is crucial for an innovative future. Although technology is abstract, the application in the vineyard is important. “I’ve seen and tested a lot of technology, but the true test lies in the practical application thereof. Today we had the privilege to see if it will work and stand the test of time.”
“Technology transfer and innovation is a focus point for the industry and it’s crucial for the industry to cultivate partnerships and share knowledge to ensure a sustainable industry,” says Vinpro MD Rico Basson. “This new partnership with Italy is the first step towards finding solutions, sharing challenges and strengthening our producers. We hope to build on this going forward.”
Emanuele Pollio of the Italian Consul in Cape Town says Italy is a leader in agriculture machinery within the viticulture sector. “Although this was Italy’s first trade mission to the Western Cape, there is potential to exploit business partnerships. This is a milestone that could establish great business partnerships within the industry.”
GianPoala Pedretti, business development manager at Veronafiere, says the Western Cape was the perfect location to showcase the best Italian viticulture technology. “Companies introduced their equipment and buyers could view demonstrations of the respective different machinery and technology. Our partners Vinpro, WineLand Media and the Italian Consulate were a perfect fit for this initiative.”
The 12 Italian companies who showcased their technology were: Argo Tractors-Landini (official tractor partner), Agrimaster-Demetra, Bgroup, Carraro Agritalia, Celli, Dondi, Grena, Ideal, La Cruz, Orizzonti, Polimetal, Vignetinox.