The University of Montenegro (UDG) has launched a 3-year groundbreaking project called MONTEVITIS to strengthen research and collaboration capacities in the field of viticulture, funded by the European Union under the scope of the Horizon Europe Programme. With an overall budget of around 1.5 million euros, the project led by UDG, aims at incorporating an integrated and comprehensive European approach to tackle climate change in viticulture, enhancing UDG research capabilities both within Montenegro and across Europe.

To do so, UDG, as the Coordinator institution, will collaborate with its European partners Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD, Portugal), the Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK, Germany), Universita degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI, Italy), Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST, Luxembourg) and Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI, Portugal), and Montenegrin partners Zadov za Hidrometeorologiju i Seizmologiju (IHMS), Rajkovic Rade (RAJ), Buk Winery (BUK), Milovic Vinarija, Kruna (KRU) and Vinjarija Vucinic (ZNT).

The EU partners comprising the consortium are in countries renowned for their viticulture expertise and recognized demarcated areas, bringing valuable knowledge and innovation from their experience in viticulture and climate studies, whereas the several partners from Montenegro amplify its impact within the local viticulture community.

The project will use existing analytical and modelling tools to assess the regional effects of climate change and adapt these tools to suit the local context to gain a deeper understanding of the impact on physiological processes on grape yield, ripening, and wine quality across different varieties. The project will also explore the use of emerging ICT technologies to enhance mitigation and adaptation measures in vineyards, defining a precision viticulture framework for effective vineyard management in Montenegro.

Overall, MONTEVITIS strives to create a more resilient and adaptive viticulture sector, equipping researchers and stakeholders with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the challenges posed by climate change. The project’s outcomes are expected to have a lasting impact on viticulture practices, sustainability, and innovation, ultimately contributing to the preservation and advancement of the viticultural heritage in Montenegro and Europe as a whole.