Esca is a complex chronic disease and the most worrying of grapevine today. The Esca complex is the biggest problem in the modern global vineyard and many characterize it as the new "Phylloxera" of the 21st century. According to recent studies, its economic impact translates into 50 liters of wine per hectare per year even in the most famous European vineyard regions.
Grapevine plant material is a decisive source of infection for the transmission of the fungi involved in the Esca complex. Many studies and researches continuously prove an over-transmission of the fungi during the processing and propagation of the plant material in the nurseries. Nurseries therefore, have a primary role in limiting the intensity and frequency as well as reducing the spread of the pathogens.
VNB, as the largest and most qualitative company in the production and propagation of grapevine material in the country, aims to continuously optimize its production. Thus, from 2019, in collaboration with two research bodies, the Phytopathology Laboratory of the Agricultural University of Athens and the Phytopathology Laboratory of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, we designed the IMPROVITO project.
The IMPROVITO project is a unique and pioneering program for the country. It is an effort that combines on the one hand all the latest scientific data, and on the other hand all the know-how in propagating material, experience and innovative ideas of VNB.
The IMPROVITO project deals with:
• The study and research of propagation methods that will reduce the transmission of fungi during the production process in nurseries.
• The detection - isolation of biological agents potentially competitive with the fungi of the isca, which will be able to be inoculated in the plants.
• The creation of "special products" in the nursery that will be "healthy" from a large group of fungi involved in the Esca complex.
• The creation of unique propagation material, free from the complex of ascomycetes Phaeomoniella, Phaeoacremonium and Ilyonectria to which the disease is due to a large percentage.
VNB's goal through the IMPROVITO project is to create a scientifically recognized protocol for the promotion of a range of products with guaranteed plant health and "free" from wood diseases. Thus VNB will contribute to the creation of longer-lived and more economically viable vineyards.