The second largest agricultural research body in the world*, Inra relies on numerous partnerships in the wine-making industry.
In France
Inra's research prioritizes a deeper understanding of vine biology, the development of sustainable growing techniques, the control of wines' quality, and the analysis of strategies within the sector. Conducted with a sustainable development perspective, this research concerns the Institute's three main fields of activity: agriculture, food and the environment. The three main vine and wine research centres are in Bordeaux, Montpellier and Colmar.
In Bordeaux
Inra is primarily concerned with the quality and environmental aspects of vineyard operation. The objective is to understand how the vines' use of available resources affects the quality of the grapes produced and how vines adapt to environmental constraints and threats. The goal is to then propose new growing techniques and ways of combating threats. The research also seeks to propose new grape varieties that are resistant to the main pathologies and rootstock whose growth behaviour is well understood. Inra also participates in work on improving the quality of wines through the control of fermentation and knowledge of the compounds associated with quality. In addition to Château Couhins, research teams carry out work at the Domaine du Grand Parc (AOC Premières Côtes de Bordeaux) which has a unique conservatory of genetic resources and is part of the network of agronomic evaluation of new genotypes resistant to two vine diseases: downy mildew and powdery mildew.
Strengthening of research collaboration
In Bordeaux, the close links between Inra, the universities and Enita have been strengthened by the creation of the Institute of Vine and Wine Science (ISVV) on the Inra site in Villenave d'Ornon. The institute will be able to use the tools and methods developed by Inra in Bordeaux for plant biology (for example, the characterization of fruit quality) and its experiment facilities. Inra's research also relies on various well-developed partnerships with the ITV, interprofessional R&D structures, and both professional and public organizations (Cemagref, Viniflhor, INAO, VCI, chambers of agriculture, etc.).
Jean-Pascal Goutouly
Research engineer
Joint ecophysiology and functional vine genomics research unit (Inra, Enita, University of Bordeaux 2, Isvv)
"Our research helps us to understand how vines obtain their main resources (carbon, nitrogen and water) and distribute them to meet their requirements and ensure their survival. In this context, we assess the impact of viticultural practices (vine management, pruning, thinning, fertilization, soil maintenance) on the oenological qualities of the harvest and the vines' sensitivity to diseases".
Nathalie Ollat
Research engineer
Joint ecophysiology and functional vine genomics research unit (Inra, Enita, University of Bordeaux 2, Isvv)
"Following the outbreak of phylloxera (an aphid that lives in the soil) researchers discovered that in order to resist it, all grape varieties (Cabernet, Merlot, etc.) need to be grafted and they selected the first vine rootstock, which constitutes the part of the vine below the ground. Today we are studying how the rootstock and the grape variety interact and exchange information to control the plant's growth and production. The studies will enable us to create new rootstock that is more resistant to parasites and suited to different soil types. These will provide an alternative to the chemical disinfection of soil, while at the same time maintaining the quality of the wine".
Laurent Delière
Research engineer
Joint research unit for plant health
"We carry out research into the protection of vines from diseases and pests with a reduced use of phytosanitary treatments, with a view to obtaining healthy, good quality grapes and improved respect for the environment".