The 3rd edition of the OIV International Ampelography Course took place in Chile from 4 to 8 December 2023. A milestone for this course organised jointly by the OIV and the R&D Consortium Vinos de Chile, as it was the first time to be conducted in South America since its launch in the early 1990’s.
Twenty-seven students from nine different nationalities participated in the five-day training program. A program led by internationally renowned professors and specialists from prestigious research centers focusing on viticultural genetic resources in Chile, Spain, and France.
Learning from grapevine varieties with renowned specialists
The opening ceremony took place at the Vinos de Chile headquarters and was hosted by Alejandro Fuentes Espinoza (OIV Head of Economy and Law Unit), Solange Slack (OIV Project Manager), Patricio Parra (Managing Director of the R&D Consortium Vinos de Chile) and by the course’s professors: Thierry Lacombe (Institut Agro Montpellier - France), Laurent Audegin (Institut Agro Montpellier - France), Gregorio Muñoz (IMIDRA - Spain), and Yerko Moreno (University of Talca – Chile / Grape and Wine Technology Centre).
Accompanied by these specialists, the international students had the opportunity of visiting three main Chilian regions: Santiago (Metropolitan area), O’Higgins, and Maule. They conducted the fieldwork in Santa Rita vineyard, Santa Carolina vineyard, Campos Viveros Guillaume, and Morandé vineyard. It concluded with an evaluation of the insights gained at Vina Las Veletas.
This course allowed students to acquire in-depth knowledge in the recognition and understanding of grapevine varieties, helping them to be better prepared for future challenges in the vitivinicultural sector, including the latest trends in genetic resources, climate change and environment societal expectations.
Chile Carmenère’s case study
Chile is known for its preservation of Carmenère after the phylloxera epidemic, which constitutes the perfect field to transmit the knowledge about its vine varieties throughout history. It was actually thanks to ampelography, that Carmenère variety was "rediscovered" in the 1990s, which was believed to be extinct since 1860. Professor Jean-Michel Boursiquot, who served as Vice President of the OIV and initiated the OIV ampelography course in the early 1990s, was one of the main responsible for this discovery.
Next edition for 2025
Due to its success and in line with the Organisation’s scientific and technical objectives of international scope, a fourth edition of the OIV Ampelography course has already been confirmed for July 2025 in Germany.