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Project description

lHELLEOINOS will proceed with the assessment of the genetic resources of the vines in Greece and with the creation of the appropriate knowledge required for immediate and long-term development of the vine and wine sector. The cooperation among the different companies and institutions will ensure the rescue and documentation of the national collection of grape varieties focusing on the genetic diversity of the native varieties which comprise the National Catalogue. This is of strategic importance for the Greek wine sector. 250 native varieties will be selected and studied within the framework of this proposal creating thus an improved reference collection. These varieties will be genetically identified and screened for the presence of viruses in order to constitute the reference material for the evaluation of the clones in the future since this procedure is required by the relevant legislation. This proposal which includes virus screening, ampelographic and molecular identification of the grape varieties, will also focus on their assessment in order to be feasible in the future a clone selection program.

An important part of the project will focus on 25 Greek varieties which are of great interest for the Greek wine sector. These varieties will be analyzed and the metabolites which determine the sensory character of the grapes and of the respective wines will be specified. In this way, the typicity of each variety will be defined and it will be used as a reference in future studies aiming to improve the quality of the wines. The strength of this proposal is that the study of the varietal and organoleptic profile will be related with their genetic, transcriptional and metabolomic background.

Finally, five emblematic Greek varieties (Moshofilero, Agiorgitiko, Asirtiko, Xinomavro and Roditis) will be further studied by both ampelographic and molecular methods for their adaptation to the environmental conditions and viticultural practices. Moreover, the existing clones of these varieties (which have already been sanitized, certified and planted by the VNB private company) will be evaluated for their enological potential in order to be become available for use by the winemakers in Greece.

The main aim of this proposal is the development of innovative products and methods for rendering Greek wines more competitive through a holistic approach (“from the cell to the glass”) which will be achieved with:

  • The upgrade of the ampelographic collection of IELYA through the recording of the genetic diversity and the virus screening of the plants.
  • The primary and secondary metabolomic characterization of the grapes of the selected five emblematic varieties. Evaluation of the enological potential of the 25 grape varieties and their existing clones and assessment of their organoleptic profile.
  • The assessment of the adaptation to environmental conditions and viticultural practices of these five varieties and the functional characterization of the genes which control their response to the abiotic stress under the typical semiarid conditions of the Greek Vineyards.