As in nearly any cultivation we observe a reduction in biodiversity in vineyards. In the second half of the 19th century, most European vineyards have been destroyed by phylloxera, a parasite, which came from North America. After this vineyards were replanted with the american "Vitis" resistant to the parasite. But many old grape types got lost. This loss of diversity was increased by the change of wine production (to specialized grapes) in the last 30 years.
Defending biodiversity is important! for having fun and many different wines. But also to increase resilience against pests or climatic change. The project "viti vicciute"collected grape samples from wild or abandoned grape stocks in 8 municipalities in the North of Orvieto with the participation 10 wineries.
The project resulted it 60 different germplasm samples. 46 of this corresponded to 19 already known and described varieties. 14 were new!! This is an astonishing result taken into consideration the small area in which samples were taken.
The next step will be to grow the grapes and to examine their potential economic and ecological potential!