The first MONTEVITIS Workshop took place between June 7th and 9th at Podgorica, Montenegro, organized by University of Donja Gorica (UDG), and addressing the consolidation of the EU approach in climate change mitigation and adaptation for the Montenegro viticulture context. The workshop provided an opportunity for the development of several Consortium activities in combination with open-to-the-public activities to engage with local stakeholders from a wide range of the viticulture industry. One of the high points was the MONTEVITIS Launch Event, a public event with an audience of over 100 people, which raised awareness about the relevance of climate change topics in viticulture and its potential effects on Montenegro’s viticulture sector.

On the first day, the Project Coordinator Marko Simeunović, from UDG, opened the workshop and extended a warm welcome to all participants, emphasising the importance of person-to-person
communication. Marko Simeunović expressed delight that, after nearly six months since the project’s start, partners were finally able to meet in person in Montenegro, after the MONTEVITIS kick-off meeting had taken place online in past February.

The Launch Event, which took place during the afternoon of the first day of the workshop, was held in Montenegrin (and translated to foreign visitors), and began with a speech from the rector of UDG, Veselin Veselin Vukotić, who emphasised the importance of partnership and successful cooperation. The rector expressed his appreciation for the cooperation between European partners and the wineries from Montenegro – “Wherever we are, we should always be aware of the fact and cherish that we should be responsible citizens of the global world,” added the rector, and concluded, “We are only as successful as we produce young researchers”.

During this session, Marko Simeunović of UDG also provided a concise overview of the Montevitis and emphasized the importance of collaboration with European partners to transfer knowledge and leverage UDG’s expertise. After, during a panel discussion with Sanja Radonjić (UDG), Milena Milonjić (Ministry of Science), João Santos (UTAD), and Marco Bindi (UNIFI), experts discussed the challenges of Montenegro’s viniculture, including temperature changes, increasing rainfalls, and extreme events, and the need for maintaining consistent quality by implementing adaptation strategies and models for predicting and reacting to climate challenges. Sanja Radonjić highlighted that the project’s results will lead to more precise vineyard management based on long-term collected data, and, considering Montenegro’s four distinct viticulture regions will be valuable for local wineries.

Milena Milonjić elaborated that “This project is crucial for our community. The UDG research team took the lead in project management and has already demonstrated why they were assigned that role. This Horizon project is important for future collaborations and the support that Montenegro will receive.”. The discussion concluded with the observation that debating climate change over the past decade has become increasingly challenging, as climate change is not just a problem of the present but also the future.



Veselin Vukotić, Rector of UDG, giving his Welcome speech at the Project launch event (top left). Marko Simeunović, UDG presenting Montevitis project activities (top right). Panel discussion (bottom) with Milena Milonjić (Ministry of Science), Sanja Radonjić (UDG), João Santos (UTAD), and Marco Bindi (UNIFI), and Kruna Ratković (UDG) (left to right).

Throughout the following days, MONTEVITIS partners participated in a series of debates regarding climate change challenges and repercussions in viticulture in the European and Montenegrin landscapes. The workshop also included social events including a visit to Zenta Winery, Vagan restaurant and a cruise in the Bay of Kotor, to foster networking among participants and provide them with a taste of various Montenegrin cuisine flavours and indigenous varieties of wine.



Christoph Menz, from PIK, presenting on the 2nd day of workshop, visit to Zenta winery and cruise in the Bay of Kotor.