Grapevine is one of the main crops in Italy. Although there are more than 500 registered grape varieties included in the Italian Catalogue, the intra-specific genetic erosion is very high, with 42% of the vineyard surface planted with only 10 cultivars. The varieties neglected and endangered to disappear are still about three times greater than those registered. Thanks to many years of recovery activity, the ex-situ collection of Grinzane Cavour (CN) currently maintains 600 accessions (about 400 varieties), whose most (about 70%) are minor, rare and neglected grape varieties mainly recovered in the regions of Piedmont, Liguria and Aosta Valley.
The research project Grape Rescue aims to contribute to the preservation of the biodiversity heritage of grapevine in Piedmont through the following expected results:
• to maintain in excellent vegetative state the approximately 600 accessions currently planted in the collection.
• to recover in scattered regional areas (Canavese, Basso Monferrato, Asti area, Roero, Cuneo valleys, Tortonese, Fraschetta plain, Val d’Ossola, Alto Vercellese, etc.) about 100 accessions not yet introduced in collection, planting them in a new section of the collection.
• production of fiches for 20 new grape varieties and relative accessions with genetic, morphological, agronomic and grape quality data, and their insertion on a on-line database.
• dissemination of the project results, as well as through the aforementioned database, also in a meeting with the public.