International conference on climate-adapted and biodiversity-friendly viticulture in Europe on 19.04.2023 and 26.04.2023

Midterm workshop of the LIFE VineAdapt project

The LIFE VineAdapt project is now at the midterm stage. We therefore would like to invite you to the Midterm-Workshop on 19.04.2023 (presentation part, digital) and on 26.04.2023 (workshop part, at the Landesweingut Kloster Pforta in Bad Kösen). In the presentation part, experiences and findings from the project and beyond will be collected and networked. The presentations will be held in German and simultaneously translated into English (for English-speaking participants via a separate language channel). In the workshop part, the inputs from the presentations will be discussed and debated. The aim is to develop recommendations for sustainable viticulture. The workshop part in Bad Kösen will be held entirely in German. The other partner countries have their own dates for this second part of the event. Participation in only one of the two days is possible. 

Click here for the programme.

Registration is possible with this form.

After registration, we will send you a link to participate in the event. For this we need an e-mail address of the participant.

Under scrutiny: Mid-term results of the LIFE VineAdapt project presentedtellt

The partners and the steering group of the international project LIFE VineAdapt recently met for a monitoring meeting. The project partners from France, Austria, Hungary and Germany presented their mid-term results. Cornelia Schmitz from NEEMO EEIG - Particip GmbH, a consortium commissioned by the EU to advise on and monitor LIFE projects, was thus able to get a good overview of the project status.

After a lecture part, the guests went to the vineyards. First, the guests visited the Waladala vineyard in Bernburg, an experimental vineyard of the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences. Prof. Dr. Dieter Orzessek, retired rector of the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, manages it voluntarily. Another stop was a vineyard of the Born winery near Höhnstedt close to the Süßen See lake. Elisabeth and Jochen Born have been participating in the LIFE VineAdapt project since 2021. As part of the project, the vineyard alleys in the participating vineyards were greened.  Cichorium intybus, Papaver dubium, Centaurea jacea  and others create a colourful picture between the vines in summer. But these plants do not only look beautiful. They attract insects that kill pests and pollinate other plants. Through their roots, the plants strengthen the soil to prevent it from being washed away easily during heavy rain. In addition, a vegetation cover between the vines protects the soil from severe drying out.

First project results now show that biodiversity is significantly higher in vineyards planted with wild plants. The testing of alternatives to chemical-synthetic pesticides showed that mechanical treatment is the most effective and cheapest option. Mulchers are used to push back unwanted plants. Surprising interim results were obtained on the subject of irrigation. In irrigated vineyards, the cover of flowering plants was lower for the time being, as was the occurrence of some insects that depend on flowering plants. No clear findings have yet been made in the area of alternative fertilisation methods. Further studies with different fertilisers are necessary. The aim is to make vineyards more biologically diverse and fit for climate change.

The overall project will run until June 2025 and is funded by the EU through the LIFE programme. The Ministry of Economics, Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry of Saxony-Anhalt is providing the co-financing for the German partners Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, the State Winery Kloster Pforta and the Landgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH.

Future Forum on Rural Development

The LIFE project partners of the Landgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt visited the Future Forum on Rural Development, which took place during the International Green Week in Berlin.

The Future Forum was organised by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. A total of 32 expert forums took place under the general headline "Land.Kann.Klima. - Climate protection and climate adaptation in rural regions".

The forums were dealing with topics such as climate change, the creation of value through climate protection, digital support for climate adaptation and the strengthening of voluntary work for climate protection.

In addition to the expert presentations, there was also the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with various stakeholders from all over Germany and also to promote the LIFE VineAdapt project and its contribution to sustainability.

Welcome 2023

We wish everyone a good start into the new year 2023! We have produced a calendar of the LifeVineAdapt project for this year. The calendar contains impressive photos showing the diversity of flora and fauna in the project vineyards. 

Click here for the 2023 calendar.

Reporting on Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk

On 12 June 2022, the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) visited us at the vineyard "Eulauer Heideberg" near Naumburg and followed our work. It is high season for wild bees and other insects, which could be observed in large numbers in the flowering vine alleys. Lea Schubert (Anhalt University of Applied Sciences) and Jens Eckner (Kloster Pforta Winery) gave a short insight into our project. 

The article can be viewed here:  

First International Presence Event

Multi-day trip of the LIFE VineAdapt partners to Hungary

In the second year of the project, the international project partners were finally able to meet on site in a partner country. The goal of the three-day trip were the project sites in Hungary.

During the first tour, the two demonstration areas Hétszölö and Disznókö in Tokaj were visited. Afterwards, during a meeting at the Gróf Degenfeld Hotel, the upcoming tasks, deadlines and milestones as well as further financial planning were discussed. The day was rounded off with a guided tour of the wine cellar and a tasting of the sweet wine specialties of the von Degenfeld family, who runs a completely organic viticulture on their vineyard in Tarcal.

The following day gave the opportunity to visit the Eszterházy and Bence Soóváry demonstration plots in Eger. 

All participants took advantage of the opportunity and had a lively exchange about current research results and project-relevant news during the trip, or got into conversation with the local winemakers and scientists.

LIFE VinEcos wins LIFE Award 2022

The LIFE VinEcos project was named best project in the "Climate Protection" category of this year's LIFE Awards. 

According to the jury, the project made an outstanding contribution to environmental, economic and social progress. It was also outstanding in terms of impact, replicability, policy relevance, cross-border cooperation and cost-effectiveness.

Prof. Anita Kirmer (Anhalt University of Applied Sciences) and Lydia Hohlstein (Landgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH) accepted the award and once again highlighted the relevance of biodiversity for the viticulture ecosystem. 

The winner of the category "Nature" was the project LIFE-Kedros from Cyprus, in the category "Environment" the Italian project Clean Sea LIFE won. Furthermore, a LIFE Citizens' Prize as well as a LIFE and Natura 2000 award were given. 

Here are some more links: 



Nomination LIFE VinEcos

The LIFE VinEcoS project is nominated as a finalist at the 30th LIFE Awards 2022!

The LIFE VinEcos project (2016-2020) has done valuable preparatory work for the current LIFE VineAdapt project and is now once again in the spotlight, as it has been nominated as one of the 12 finalists for the LIFE AWARDS 2022 and is also the only project in Germany to have made it to the finalists! The LIFE Award is a very special award for outstanding projects within the EU-wide LIFE funding programme. You can find more information at 

What was the LIFE project VinEcoS about?

Extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall and long periods of drought are becoming increasingly common as a result of climate change and are also affecting viticulture. With the LIFE VinEcoS project, the Landgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt, the Landesweingut Kloster Pforta, the JENA-GEOS® engineering office and the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences set themselves the goal of significantly increasing biodiversity in vineyards in the Saale-Unstrut wine region by planting drought-resistant wild plant species in vineyard alleys and thus significantly strengthening the resilience of this ecosystem. Compared to conventional grass seeding, the diverse vegetation ensures more effective erosion control and represents less water competition to the vines. The flower-rich vegetation provides nectar and pollen sources for wild bees and other beneficial insects and delights vintners and recreationists with its colourful flowering aspect.  

Until 29 May 2022, you can cast your vote for our LIFE VinEcos project under the link

Thank you very much for your support! 

Sustainable Viticulture Within Reach

Excursion in the Framework of the Project LIFE VineAdapt

Recently, project managers of the Landgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt, the Landesweingut and the Hochscule Anhat met with Gert Zender, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy, Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry Saxony-Anhalt, winegrowers and representatives from politics and administration to inform about the current status of the project LIFE VineAdapt in the Eulau vineyard of the Landesweingut Kloster Pforta. 

The State Secretary, coming from the Moselle, emphasized in his greeting the importance of the wine project for the Saale-Unstrut region. "The project, financially supported by the state of Saxony-Anhalt, is dedicated to current issues of the day. Adaptation to climate change and the preservation of biodiversity are playing an increasingly important role in the state's viticulture as well" emphasized Zender. He praised the international cooperation in the EU project and expressed his pleasure about the active participation of 20 regional winegrowers in the project.

Subsequently, the state winery Kloster Pforta and the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences informed about first promising results. For example, the number of plant species within the biodiversity vineyards has more than doubled and the number of selected species is also significantly higher in the biodiversity vineyards than in the conventionally planted control vineyards.

In addition to interesting technical presentations, there was also time for a walk-through of the demonstration plots and for various discussions on the sidelines.

Exchange of experience among colleagues - the region becomes more colorful

The LIFE project "Sustainable Viticulture for Adaptation to Climate Change" (LIFE VineAdapt) has now been able to convince 14 winegrowers from the Saale-Unstrut wine region to sow species-rich and regional wild plant seed mixtures in their vineyards and thus contribute to more biodiversity and climate protection.

After one year of the project, the Landgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt, the Landesweingut Kloster Pforta and the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences invited the winegrowing colleagues of the Saale-Unstrut wine region to an exchange of experiences. Also present was the viticulture consultant of the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture, Mr. Lolies. The meeting on 7.09.2021 took place on very historical ground: the EULAU Heideberg was first mentioned in 890 in the Hersfeld tithe register.

The meeting served to exchange experiences so far in the project on viticulture methods adapted to climate change, to present initial results and to jointly discuss the way forward.

In addition to the technical discussions on wild bees, flowering mixtures, care dates and yields this year, the result of a survey conducted with all participating winegrowers on a joint marketing strategy in the project was presented.

The project is co-financed with funds from the European environmental program LIFE and the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Energy.

1 year LIFE VineAdapt: a short interim report

Time is flying by. The first 12 months of LIFE VineAdapt are already behind us. While the first weeks were mainly characterized by preparatory measures, we were able to really get started with the field trials at the beginning of the current vegetation period.

In the meantime, site-adapted wild plant mixtures have been sown in the trial vineyards in Germany, Austria and Hungary, and France will soon follow. The first rounds of the necessary vegetation and faunistic studies have largely been completed.

With a view to developing biodiversity-friendly understory management, Austrian colleagues have begun testing different forms of treatment: mechanical brushing, spraying of acetic and pelargonic acid. Germany will follow next year.

To use resource-efficient fertilization methods, the block trial was set up in Germany. Fertilization has now been carried out in 4 variants.

Trials on resource-efficient irrigation have also started successfully. The block trial has been installed in Germany; experimental vineyards have been selected in both Germany and France. The first analyses on vegetation, fauna and soil are available.­­­

Welcome to the website of LIFE VineAdapt!

Here you can follow how our project develops in the coming years and what results we achieve! Feel free to check back regularly and contact us.