The Greek viticultural research of today


Graduate study programs in viticulture and oenology were launched by the University of Thessaloniki’s Faculty of Agriculture in 2001and by the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) in 2003, laying the basis for the Greek viticultural research of today. More specifically, AUA’s Inter-departmental Graduate Program is run jointly by the Department of Food Science & Technology and the Department of Crop Science. The Laboratory of Oenology, part of the Department of Food Science & Technology, is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment for wine research. An experimental winery has been set up where students train in vinification, studying the aromas of Greek grape cultivars, their anthocyanin content, as well as their polyphenolic components. The research also looks separately into the composition of the grape skin and pips in many varieties. These methods are also employed in research on the impact that the water may have on the various components of red grape cultivars. Additionally, experimentation is conducted on the impact leafing has on the composition of grape berries. The experiments are conducted in collaboration with the Laboratory of Viticulture of the University of Thessaloniki.

Within the framework of the Greek viticultural research of today, it is worth mentioning the significance of the research carried out by the Agricultural School of Thessaloniki into the conditions of alcoholic fermentation and yeast growth. The issue involved in the research is all too crucial for Greek wines since, owing to the warm climate of the country, musts often appear to be poor in assimilable nitrogen. Moreover, further research is conducted into exploiting winery by-products. This research is under the supervision of the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry at AUA, in collaboration with the School of Pharmacy of theUniversity of Athens. The program has gone so far as to put together a pilot program for the utilization of grape skins and pips, in collaboration with winery cooperatives. Research will continue in the same vein so that research centers may then essay to transfer to wineries the know-how involved in “green vinification” which is friendly to the environment, to nature, and to humans.