The adverse effects of increasingly warm and dry growing conditions are already pushing traditional and new-world wine-growing regions to their limits,. Since the grape-growing potential of their long-established cultivated grape varieties - and consequently the often strictly regulated quality and typicity of their wines - relies on the mesoclimate of their terroir sustaining a high temporal stability, climate change becomes a major threat. Among the adaptation measures considered, the most urgent is the adoption of climate-resilient grapevine varieties. Certain indigenous varieties found on the island of Cyprus, a natural “open lab” of warm and dry climate viticulture, have been reported to have a very high heat and drought tolerance and deserve consideration for cultivation outside their native region of production. However, their resilience remains yet to a large extent scientifically unexplored. To this end, the researcher will carry out a fellowship to investigate the underlying resilience and physiological adaptive response of the bona fide Cypriot indigenous grape cultivar cv. ‘Xynisteri’ to climate change, with an aim to support with sound scientific data its suitability as a variety to be used as a long-term adaptation measure, from countries where their viticulture is already negatively impacted by increasingly warm and dry growing conditions. The fellowship will be carried out in Zambartas Wineries Ltd as the Host Institution, a pioneering SME tightly aligned with regional Research Units, with targeted secondments at leading in the field Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, France and University of Tuscia, Italy. The interdisciplinarity and intersectionality of the proposed project will provide the researcher with a unique opportunity to broaden her knowledge/skills and acquire a truly multidisciplinary methodological scientific perspective of an emerging field like viticulture, allowing her to seek a permanent senior position in viticulture R&D.
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