Pagos de Araiz coordinates a European project to mitigate biological diseases in the vineyard

Nov 2, 2021 | Pagos de Araiz Wineries

Taking advantage of the use of technology and innovation, the Navarran winery Pagos de Araiz, belonging to Bodegas Masaveu, has been making a strong commitment to sustainability with the development of several research projects aimed at respecting and improving the ecosystem that surrounds winemaking activities .

Along these lines, Pagos de Araiz coordinates the Oivina project , which proposes the development of a predictive model to combat powdery mildew, caused by the fungus Uncinula necator and which is one of the most serious diseases that causes significant crop losses 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.

Bodega Pagos De Araiz Entrada

To deal with this situation, Oivina proposes the development of a predictive model for powdery mildew not only specifically adapted to the particular agroclimatic conditions of Navarra, but also taking into account for the first time factors such as the cultivation practices carried out in the vineyard.

In this way, the project implements and combines precision agriculture technologies such as agroclimatic information systems based on sensors and technology that facilitate the collection of data from the plots under study to obtain relevant information. In addition, it incorporates the model developed into a comprehensive crop monitoring tool (DSS), so that the end user can have not only information about the risk of powdery mildew but also other potential diseases.

The Oivina project is funded by the European Union and the Government of Navarra, which, through the Department of Rural Development and Environment, is organizing, from November 3 to 14 at the Congress Palace and Auditorium of Navarra, Baluarte, an exhibition with information panels of the pilot projects of measure 16.2 of the Rural Development Plan of Navarra 2017-2021, among which is Oivina. This project is developed in collaboration with the Union of Farmers and Ranchers of Navarra, Bodega Otazu Sau and Bodega Cirbonera Sociedad Cooperativa.

Effects of climate change on the vineyard

Currently, Pagos de Araiz owns 32 hectares of vineyards according to the criteria of Organic Agriculture and 210 according to the criteria of Integrated Production with the aim of transforming them into organic in the medium-term future. In addition to the Oivina project, the winery has been developing other actions in accordance with the sustainability strategy common to the entire Masaveu Bodegas wine group.

In collaboration with the University of Navarra, Pagos de Araiz began to develop an R&D project in 2020 to study the effects of climate change on the vineyard. In this way, it has been working on the integrated application of new viticultural and enological techniques to achieve a better balance in the grape between the compounds of physiological ripening and those of phenolic ripening, since the decoupling of these compounds is one of the most important negative effects caused by climate change in viticulture.

This project determines a series of actions to deal with climate change, such as, for example, oenological measures to correct acidity, microbiological techniques to reduce the alcoholic strength, adaptation measures on already established vineyards or cultural measures to delay the ripening of pulp.

Bodega Pagos De Araiz Olite

Reforestation, planting of hedges and shrubs and water control

Other measures adopted to improve sustainability on the farm include reforestation and the planting of pine trees in uneven areas of the farm to prevent soil erosion and increase plant and forest mass, thereby reducing the carbon footprint. Hedges and shrubs have also been planted to allow, for example, the proliferation of pollinating insects and predators, reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides. Regarding the control and use of water, the winery prioritizes the optimization of irrigation water by monitoring it through humidity probes.

About Bodega Pagos de Araiz

With the acquisition of the Pagos de Araiz estate in Olite/Erriberri by the Masaveu family in 2000, a fresh and daring project germinated in the traditional D.O. Navarra. This venture began with the construction of an ultra-modern 14,000-m2 château-style winery situated just outside the medieval town of Olite/Erriberri. Over the following three years, 240 hectares of family-owned vineyards, with several grape varietals (Tempranillo, Graciano, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah,) were planted on the 400-hectare estate.

Their innovative management method and the wide variety of wine tourism activities on offer connect the historical, natural and winemaking importance of the area to art and gastronomy. The ideal scenario for a brilliant and promising future, linked to the values of Navarra, a classical yet emerging winemaking territory.

The painstaking care taken in the vineyard and the winery award winemaking success, combining our vineyards with the latest state-of-the-art technology which, together with pioneering monitoring procedures, award an average annual production of 500,000 bottles.