Society and regional strategies 5 min

Visit of the European Ministers of Agriculture and the European Commissioner for Agriculture

Within the framework of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Grand-Est - Colmar Centre received the visit of the 27 European Ministers of Agriculture and the European Commissioner for Agriculture, as well as Philippe Mauguin, Chair and CEO of INRAE on Monday 7 February 2022.

Published on 09 February 2022

illustration Visit of the European Ministers of Agriculture and the European Commissioner for Agriculture
© Xavier Remongin

The 27 European Ministers of Agriculture and the European Commissioner for Agriculture visited the INRAE Grand-Est - Colmar centre in the company of Philippe Mauguin, Chair and CEO of INRAE, Serge Kauffmann, President of the Colmar Centre, and researchers and technicians who work on site.

The theme of the visit was the reduction of pesticide use in vineyards by producing disease-resistant vines. A presentation was given of the RESDUR programme, aimed at reducing the use of pesticides in vineyards thanks to the production of disease-resistant grape varieties. This programme is developed in partnership with the Institut français de la vigne et du vin (IFV) and in the framework of broad European cooperation.

Speech by Julien Denormandie, French Minister of Agriculture and Food
Speech by Philippe Mauguin, Chair and CEO of INRAE
Presentation by Didier Merdinoglu, INRAE Research Director for the RESDUR programme
Visit of the cellar of the Colmar Centre and presentation of the microvinification process by Gregory Lemarquis, Cellar Master at INRAE
Presentation by Eric Duchêne, INRAE Research Engineer, in front of greenhouse B of the INRAE Colmar Centre
Visit of the ampelographic collection with Vincent Dumas, INRAE Research Engineer


The RESDUR programme: over twenty years of research

INRA launched the RESDUR (Durable Resistance) programme in 2000, led by Didier Merdinoglu, INRAE Research Director. The objective of RESDUR is to develop a range of varieties that are durably resistant to downy and powdery mildew, two diseases that account for most phytosanitary treatments carried out in winegrowing. The programme is based on crossing wild American and Asian grapevines (Vitis sp.) that possess resistance factors with European varieties (Vitis vinifera). To reduce the risk of resistance breakdown, each RESDUR variety carries at least two genes resistant to each of the two fungi that cause downy and powdery mildew.

This singular approach is based on a three-step selection process:
1/ early selection using MAS (marker assisted selection = PCR screening)

2/ intermediate selection based on a network of testing at INRAE experimental units
3/ final selection to assess the agronomic, technological and environmental value in collaboration with the IFV. The entire process takes 15 years.

Registration of 4 new resistant varieties

In 2018, RESDUR registered in the French catalogue the Artaban, Floreal, Vidoc and Voltis varieties, which are highly resistant to downy and powdery mildew. Artaban and Vidoc are co-owned with the Julius Kuhn Institute in Siebeldingen, Germany, an important partner, especially during the launch of the programme.

Result: over 90% reduction in phytosanitary treatments for these four varieties

Thanks to OSCAR, an observatory for the implementation of resistant grape varieties created in 2017, that tangible proof of this reduction in fungicides has been validated. OSCAR covers over 30 sites across France and involves chambers of agriculture, the IFV, agricultural high schools and winegrowing groups. The INRAE Centre in Colmar is host to one of the programme’s sites.

Now that this proof of concept is completed, researchers at the Colmar site, together with the IFV, are now making their expertise available to wine professionals for the development of new varieties with regional characteristics using emblematic grape varieties specific to each region, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewurztraminer or Chardonnay.


Learn more


Innovative grape varieties to revitalise vineyards

The first disease-resistant grapevines (Vitis vinifera) are now available, making it possible to reduce vineyard fungicide treatments by over 90%. Research and innovation are continuing to meet the challenges: new consumer expectations on the final quality of wine and table grape products; the agroecological transitioning of vineyards by minimising the use of crop protection products and fertilisers; adaptation to climate change, the effects of which are already very noticeable in most wine-producing regions, and participation in mitigating this change. Read on for a retrospective of an adventure anchored in long-term partnerships.

21 May 2021


Alternatives to chemical pesticides: 24 European research institutes undertake an ambitious roadmap

PRESS RELEASE - A strong demand from public authorities, agriculture professionals, and society in general, all over Europe, has spurred collaborative research in order to accelerate the agroecological transition. To face a challenge of this magnitude the joint declaration of intent “Towards a Chemical Pesticide-free Agriculture” aims to rethink the way research is carried out and develop new common research and experimentation strategies, not just at a national level, but throughout the whole continent. This declaration was signed today by 24 research organisations from 16 European countries. Driven by the French Institute INRAE and its German counterparts ZALF and JKI, this unprecedented endeavour has brought the European research community together around this ambitious vision of an agriculture free of chemical* pesticides. The declaration, formalised on 23 February at the Paris International Agricultural Show, with support of the french Mnistries in charge of Agriculture and Research, in presence of Amelie de Montchalin, The French State Secretary of EU Affairs, establishes a European research alliance, aiming to build a scientific roadmap that will soon be presented to the European Commission, as a contribution to the European Green Deal.

23 February 2020