The R&D project Olivina, coordinated by the Navarra winery Pagos de Araiz, belonging to Masaveu Wineries, has been successfully completed. The outcome being the development of a predictive model to fight powdery mildew, caused by the fungus Uncinula necátor. And so, the Project has managed to halt one of the most serious diseases in the vineyard, a disease that causes significant losses in the harvest and economic impacts. Chemical fungicides are generally systematically applied without taking into account the real risk level when, in many cases, the use of this type of product is dispensable, generates unnecessary economic expense and accumulates in the soil and filters into aquifers, damaging the environment and human health.

In order to combat this situation, Oivina aimed at developing a predictive model for powdery mildew, not only adapted specifically to the typical agroclimatic conditions in Navarra, but also taking into account, for the first-time ever, factors, such as crop management, that are carried out in the vineyard.

Los The data obtained and displayed on 13 December last, the day that the Project Results were Presented, in Evena (Olite), states that: the tool developed in recent months for the early detection of the powdery mildew plague works..

And so, we can safely say that all of the targets have been reached: to obtain a device adapted to each location capable of sustainably predicting powdery mildew, a disease which causes significant losses in harvests as well as economic impacts. This tool is in keeping with the Europe 2030 strategy and the project is also in accordance with the Navarra Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, funded by the Europan Union and the Government of Navarra. This Project has been developed in collaboration with the Navarra Union of Farmers and Livestock Owners, the Department of Rural Development and Environment – Vinegrowing and Oenology Section, Otazu Sau Winery and Cirbonera Sociedad Cooperativa Winery.

Effects of climate change on the vineyard

Pagos de Araiz currently owns 32 hectares of vineyards according to the criteria for Organic Farming and 210 according to Integrated Production, with the aim of making them organic in the medium term.

One of the measures adopted in order to improve sustainability on the estate is reforestation to avoid soil erosion, reduce the carbon trail and promote the proliferation of pollinating and predator insects, reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides. Regarding control and use of water, the winery prioritizes the optimization of irrigation water by monitoring using humidity probes.

The Pagos de Araiz Winery, in collaboration with the University of Navarra, is carrying out a study on climate change in the vineyard through an R&D project, and also the application of new techniques both in the vineyards and in the winery which enable them to reduce the alcohol content, correct acidity or delay ripening, in short, to combat the possible negative effects of climate change in the vinyard and the wines.

Furthermore, this winery has recently obtained the Wineries For Climate Protection (WFCP) stamp that certifies that this winery is environmentally sustainable, only fifty wineries in Spain hold this certificate.

Pagos de Araiz Winery

With the acquisition of the Finca the Pagos de Araiz in Olite, by the Masaveu family in 2000, a fresh and daring project germinated in the traditional DO Navarra. This commitment began with the construction of an absolutely avant-garde 14,000 m 2 château-style winery located on the outskirts of the medieval town of Olite.

Over the following three years, on the 300-hectare estate, 240 hectares of family-owned vineyards were planted with several grape varietals (tempranillo, graciano, grenache, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and syrah). Its innovative form of management and a wide range of wine tourism, connects Pagos de Araiz to the historical, natural and wine-producing weight of the environment with art and gastronomy. The ideal scenario for a brilliant and promising future, linked to the values of Navarra, a classical yet emerging winemaking territory.