The MONTEVITIS project has recently held a webinar where it brought together experts from Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), João Santos and Helder Fraga along with other members of the project’s Consortium from University of Donja Gorica (UDG) and its students, to unravel the intricate relationship between climate change and viticulture. This enlightening webinar provided a wealth of knowledge and practical tools for researchers, students, and wine enthusiasts alike.

João Santos, from UTAD, initiated the webinar with a riveting presentation on the profound consequences of the climate crisis on viticulture. Santos meticulously navigated through the impacts of extreme events such as droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires, showcasing their global implications and their direct influence on the grape-growing industry. Key topics covered included cascading risks from extreme events, the interplay of pests and diseases, the undeniable reality of global warming, and the critical role of technology and international cooperation.

Following Santos, Helder Fraga (UTAD) took the virtual stage, demonstrating crop modelling applied to viticulture. Fraga showcased practical software tools that have the potential to revolutionize viticulture research. Highlights encompassed a visually impactful representation of grapevine cultivation, mapping grapevine concentrations to underscore the symbiotic relationship between climate conditions and successful grape cultivation. Fraga explored the concept of “Terroir,” delving into the natural environment’s impact on wine production, considering soil, climate, and cultural decisions. The presentation also emphasized the pivotal role of temperature in viticulture, offering a detailed climate analysis of Portugal as a concrete example.

Closing the webinar, João Santos provided participants with guidance on accessing and utilizing the discussed analyses. He shared a comprehensive file containing all necessary instructions and software tools. He reassured participants of the value of this investment, offering critical visual perspectives and insights into climate-related changes. Santos directed students to user-friendly tools with no licensing fees that could be used for these types of studies.

The webinar provided a pivotal platform offering a comprehensive discussion of the challenges and solutions in the face of climate change for the viticulture industry. UTAD webinar underscored the critical need for collaboration, technology, and awareness to secure a sustainable future for viticulture in a changing climate.  Notably, the MONTEVITIS project is actively applying these insights in Montenegrin vineyards, exemplifying a practical approach to adapting to a dynamically changing climate.