The conference on “Energy transition in Viticulture – New Concepts for Sustainability” at the Weincampus Neustadt was a great success. The event took place on January 31, 2024, in the auditorium of the Service Center for Rural Areas (DLR) Rheinpfalz as an interactive format, attracting a diverse group of wine experts, vintners, and enthusiasts.
Participants were invited to delve into the challenges posed by the energy transition for the German wine industry. The focus was on the issues and opportunities for small and medium-sized wine businesses, particularly in terms of potential savings and the generation and storage of renewable energy. Commencing at 4:30 PM, the event provided an in-person experience at the DLR Rheinpfalz auditorium, with the option for virtual participation via the livestream at https://schlagabtausch.ef-sw.de/.
Energy transition in Viticulture – Panel Participants
The panel discussion brought together renowned experts from the wine industry to share their perspectives. Discussion participants included Dr. Michael Müller, Managing Partner of Magility GmbH from Wendlingen am Neckar, along with Jochen Schmitt from Weingut Egon Schmitt in Bad Dürkheim, Matthias Wolf, Managing Director of Weingut Schloss Ortenberg, Hans-Christoph Stolleis, Owner of Weingut Stolleis in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Saskia Wörthwein, Managing Director of Weinmanufaktur in Untertürkheim, and Moritz Prinz zur Lippe, Apprentice at Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz in Siebeldingen.
A Sign of Sustainability in Wine Production
The discussion focused on ways to make wine production more sustainable, shedding light on the role of renewable energy in viticulture. Participants learned how small and medium-sized wine businesses can achieve savings while contributing to the energy transition. The conference was free of charge, allowing for spontaneous participation, fostering a broad engagement and ensuring diverse perspectives were heard.
In conclusion, the event served as a successful forum for exchanging ideas and information about the energy transition in viticulture. Weincampus Neustadt thereby set an important example for more sustainability in wine production and promoted dialogue between industry experts and practitioners.
The Multidimensionality of Viticulture: A Look at the Levels of Success
Viticulture, a complex and multifaceted industry, is influenced by various levels ranging from global trends to specific growing conditions. Dr. Michael Müller provided a closer look at these levels in his presentation, vividly summarizing them for the participants.
Level 1: The World – Global Trends and Politics
At the highest level, global trends and political decisions on a global scale come into play. Climate change and globalization are examples of factors that can influence viticulture worldwide, requiring continuous adaptation by the industry.
Level 2: Region – Climatic Conditions and Legislation
The second level is the region, where climatic conditions play a crucial role. In Germany, wine regions like Pfalz, Mosel, Rheingau, and Baden are of great importance. Here, laws, regulations, infrastructure, and cultural factors influence viticulture. The German Wine Law is an example of a norm with significant influence on the regions.
Level 3: Soil, Terroir, Topography – Influence on Taste
On the third level, soil, terroir, and topography come into play. These complex factors mutually influence each other and significantly shape the taste of the wine. Each wine-growing region has its own peculiarities that manifest on this level.
Level 4: Vine, Vineyard – Grape Variety, Cultivation Method, Care
The fourth level encompasses the vine and the vineyard. Here, the choice of grape variety, cultivation method, and care are crucial. Different grape varieties are suitable for various cultivation methods, resulting in a diverse wine landscape.
Level 5: Harvest, Vinification – Technique and Vinification
The fifth level includes the harvest and vinification. The choice of harvest technique, vinification, and aging significantly influence the quality of the wine.
Level 6: Brand, Marketing, and Sales – Identity and Distribution
On the sixth level, brand, marketing, and sales take center stage. Here, brand identity, marketing strategy, distribution channels, and sales play a decisive role in market success.
Overall, this hierarchical approach illustrates that viticulture is a multidimensional industry, requiring careful considerations and adjustments at each level to ensure quality and competitiveness. A profound understanding of each level enables vintners to operate successfully in this challenging environment.
Energy transition in Viticulture – Summary of Participant Voices
- Need for Savings: There was unanimous agreement among participants that measures to save resources and energy in viticulture are inevitable.
- Reflection and Implementation Speed: It was emphasized that while much thought is given, faster implementation and more speed in deploying solutions are necessary.
- Future Investment: Participants saw adapting to sustainable practices as an investment in the future.
- Start-ups’ Need: There was a desire for more support from start-ups that can develop innovative solutions for winemakers.
- Focus on Wine Production: Participants stressed the importance of focusing on wine production and leaving technological solutions to others.
- Knowledge Source: The question of acquiring know-how was raised, emphasizing the need for more best-practice exchange and forums.
- Experimentation and Trying Out: The necessity to experiment with new approaches and technologies was underscored.
- Government Assistance: Politics were urged to assist in challenges such as slow approval processes, for example, for cables in the ground.
- Grid Adjustments: Criticism was voiced about mismatched grid structures, with a demand for improvements.
- Priority for PV Rooftops: Prioritizing photovoltaic rooftops was suggested.
- Profit Assurance for Winemakers: It was emphasized that sustainability measures should also serve to secure profit for winemakers, enabling the implementation of new concepts.
- Action over Words: There were multiple appeals not only to talk but to actively take measures. Exchange and collaboration were highlighted as key factors.
In conclusion, gratitude was expressed for insights from a different perspective that enriched the discussion.
Energy transition in Viticulture – Magility Summary
The digitalization and electrification in viticulture shape a sustainable future. From harvest to marketing, innovative technologies enable efficiency gains, quality improvements, and active support for the energy transition. Winemaking enterprises pursuing intelligent solutions are not only embracing eco-friendly practices but positioning themselves as pioneers in sustainable viticulture. A holistic examination across all levels – from harvest to marketing – creates a path to a future-oriented and environmentally conscious wine cultivation. In the coming days, our blog will delve into the different levels of action in viticulture. Look