Challenge description

Description of the Challenge Winemakers, from Douro Region, need cost-effective, adapted and robust agricultural machinery (or tools) for better soil and canopy management, mowing, spraying, harvesting operations. Machinery/Tools must work narrow terraces (no retain walls), on stony soils (eg. shale), with very high air temperatures (35º degrees), move in slopes between 20 to 50 % (11/12º to 27º).

The steep slope vineyards from all over Europe - approximately 10 to 12% of the European wine surface – produces high quality wines with high market value, creating highly valued landscapes and generating new tourism markets. Douro Demarcated Region, where Port and Douro Wines are made, is one of the biggest steep slope viticulture regions of the world (44.000 ha). However, this region has difficult orographic, harsh terrain and climatic conditions, with a high diversity of vineyard systems. These vineyards are installed on narrow terraces without retain walls (one row - planted in the outside part of the platform - or two rows, maximum 2 meters inter rows) or on vineyards planted following the slopes (1,7 to 2 meters between rows). Such vineyards are often organized in small plots with difficult access, creating impediments to mechanization increasing human labor and production costs

Fundamental requirements and constraints

Machinery and/or Tools must be cost-effective and robust adapted to:
- work on stony soils (eg. shale),
- work under very high air temperatures in Summer (more than 35º degrees),
- move through slopes between 20 to 50 % (11/12º to 27º)
- improve, at least one of, the next list of operations: soil and canopy management, mowing (eg. in the slope face of the terraces), spraying, harvesting.

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Contact informations

Name of the organisation ADVID – Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Viticultura Duriense Edifício Centro de Excelência da Vinha e do Vinho
Brief overview

ADVID (the Association for the Development of Viticulture in the Douro Region) is a non-profit organisation established in 1982 with the aim of contributing to the modernisation of viticulture, increasing profitability of vineyards in the Demarcated Douro Region and grapes quality Initial concerns were related to the need to produce continuous information for technical decisions regarding the new terracing systems, vineyard mechanisation, work rationalisation, and the best choice of plant material and quality of grapes produced. These concerns subsequently led to the implementation of “integrated protection” programs and, more recently, to “integrated production”, an essential tool for quality production and increasingly safer products for the consumer.
Research and field trials component, mainly at the pre-competitive stage of the value chain, continues to dominate a substantial part of ADVID activities. Whereas these production methodologies integrate all technical viticulture concepts, the research and field trials component represents a continuous source of knowledge and learning for the field of viticulture.
It should be noted that a substantial part of the recognition and success achieved by ADVID throughout its existence results from its members’ commitment, initially from that of the founders and full members, from the permanent contribution and commitment of it technicians and from training activities promoted by the association, and later from the enlargement of the association with new members, and from the cooperation establish between all.
Members’ contributions have enabled the formation of a working team that is increasingly able to meet the most demanding challenges in the field of viticulture.
The wine farms of the associates scattered throughout the Demarcated Douro Region and the equipment available at the respective machine fleets are used to perform the field trials.

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