Enhancement of Sicilian Viticultural Biodiversity BI.VI.SI.

Tender notice
Support for the establishment and management of EIP operational groups on agricultural productivity and sustainability

Financing body
Regional Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Mediterranean Fishing
Regional Department of Agriculture
Service 5 Research, technical assistance, agricultural promulgation, and other services to companies


Duration of the project
34 months
September 2022 – June 2025

Consorzio di tutela vini DOC Sicilia capofila
Università degli Studi di Palermo SAAF
Università degli Studi di Milano DiSAA
Aziende Agricole Planeta Società Semplice
Conte Tasca d’Almerita srl soc.agr.
Mario di Lorenzo Impresa Agricola
Società Agricola Santa Tresa srl
Tenute di Donnafugata srl soc.agr.
Vivai Giacomo Mannone srl soc.agr.

The project aims at enhancing the Sicilian viticultural biodiversity in the wake of innovation regarding
procedures and products, with the aim of providing regional companies with substantial and long-lasting
competitive advantages.
Specifically, the choice was to become devoted to the enhancement of some native vines as well as
ancient vines to affirm the profound connections between the ancient vine and the culture of the place
that selected and cultivated it and to strengthen the contribution that these additions can give to the
agricultural development and economy of the regional territory.
The activities aim at introducing substantial innovations that allow the definition of agronomic and
enological strategies whose purpose is to create new wines, activities which include: the diffusion of the
forced water procedure in the production of grafted rooted vines; the assessment of a new planting
material (specifically the barbatellone (a kind of rooted vine) for early production or the replacement of
the failures during the first years of planting); the transfer of the best agronomic practices for the
management of the biotypes, minor vines and ancient vines covered by the programme; the identification
of suitable pedoclimatic environments; the transfer of the most appropriate procedures of enological
All this will be possible thanks to the close connection between agricultural enterprises and the world of
research inherent in the Operational Group set up to implement this project. In fact, the Partnership, in
which the Consortium of Sicily DOC wines has assumed the role of leader, includes the University of
Palermo and the University of Milan, as well as five enological companies and a nursery.
Finally, the role of the transfer of innovation to companies along the supply chain is fundamental, to be
implemented through demonstration days in the experimental fields and tastings of wines produced with
the micro-vinifications of native vines and ancient vines, with the hope that companies can draw
inspiration for the creation of new products in which the historical-territorial aspect is present, capable of
representing a competitive advantage to be translated into greater added value and profitability.



January 2023

Start of agronomic activities with the preparation of the grafted vines obtained by the forced water procedure and the new so-called "barbatelloni" planting materials at the Mannone Nursery

February 2023

Identification of native varieties and ancient vines at partner companies.

April 2023

Planting of the different grafting combinations; start of agronomic characterization of biotypes and ancient vines at the partner companies; start of laboratory arrangement on the premises of the University of Palermo in the Bosco district of Marsala

June 23

Development of methods of analysis


Press meeting for the presentation of the project

August/September 2023

Study of the composition of the grapes and the wine-making from the vines involved in the project

September 2023

1st day of campaign – demonstration fields

October 2023

2nd day of the campaign – demonstration fields

August/September 2024

Study of the composition of the grapes and the wine-making from the vines involved in the project

June 2024

3rd day of the campaign – demonstration fields

Data da definire
June 2025

5th day of the campaign – demonstration fields

June 2025

Final seminar of the project

The Enhancement of the Sicilian Viticultural Biodiversity project is a concrete example of an alliance

among the productive world, scientific research and institutions, inherent in the very essence of SUB-
MEASURE 16.1 RDP SICILY 2014-2020

The model suggested by the regional administration, in the wake of European policies, is set up in a
permanent and dynamic process of co-design where the partners are, on the one hand, the public
administration and, on the other, a wide variety of territorial actors: universities, research centers,
companies, local authorities. Specifically, a decisive role is assumed by the Consortium for the Protection
of Sicily Doc wines as coordinator of the activities and “innovation broker” that manages the relationships
among the actors involved in order to reach the objectives of the project, which are related to the
introduction of significant innovations in the regional wine supply chain so as to promote an increase in
business competitiveness. The presence of the Universities of Palermo and Milan guarantees the
scientific quality of the chosen path towards innovation and contributes to the enhancement of young
resources that will be involved in the project activities through scholarships and work contracts with
partner companies, in the hope that the experience of work in the dynamic and innovative context of the

partnership thus established can in turn help stimulate new projects for the benefit of the Sicilian agri-
food system; this system is characterized by a natural competitive advantage that is difficult to

reproduce, and that is linked to the geographical location of the productions, to the significant natural
biodiversity, to the varietal and productive diversification and finally to the peculiarities of origin and
production, but it still has much to develop in the phases of transformation and of processing, to render it
capable of generating higher added value in the area (see Regional Strategy of Innovation for Intelligent
Specialization for the period 2014-2020).


Catarratto A


Catarratto B


Frappato A

frappato B (1)

Frappato B


Grillo A


Grillo B




Nero d'Avola A


Nero d'Avola B


Nero d'Avola B1


Nero d'Avola B2




Perricone A


Perricone B



The direct involvement in the project of leading Sicilian wineries and a nursery company, together with
two universities, fully responds to the “bottom-up” principle of research and innovation which the
European Union considers an indispensable condition for funding research applied to agriculture. The
Enhancement of the Sicilian Viticultural Biodiversity project was born from the bottom, from needs
expressed by the production base via the stimulus of some leading companies. The transfer of
innovation that the project intends to achieve was created for the universe of Sicilian viticulture, but it
could be an example for other viticultures, especially those of the Mediterranean area. The Sicilian
viticultural heritage is vast and substantially unique in the world: the indigenous varieties are not found
elsewhere; at most, only for some of them was there a genetic relationship found with other Italian island
varieties, but no identification. The ampelographic heritage of the island belongs only to Sicily and it
largely represents a treasure chest still to be explored. The Enhancement of the Sicilian Viticultural
Biodiversity project intends to make Sicilian viticulture take a further step forward in this sense. The
varieties of which there is a potential enological and market interest must still be better investigated, from
a viticultural and enological point of view, also in order to optimize the techniques that allow for their best
expression and to possibly identify the areas most suited to their cultivation. We are looking for new

market opportunities, new possibilities for creating value, and new evidence of the peculiarity and
uniqueness of an island that is a milestone in the history of world viticulture.
In this regard, the part of the project that concerns innovative nursery techniques is part of a tradition that
today needs to be remembered and valued more than ever before: Straddling the 19th and 20th
centuries, following the phylloxera crisis, Sicily was the beacon of research for the reconstruction of
vineyards through its government nursery, with extraordinary figures of scientists such as Federico
Paulsen and Antonio Ruggeri: names familiar to all the winegrowers of the world as they have “baptized”
several series of rootstocks created from crossings with American vines, resistant to phylloxera, which
has made the rebirth of world viticulture possible. As part of this exchange and transfer of knowledge,
this section of the project website hosts an area of a “knowledge archive” from which it will be possible to
download articles, images, videos, presentations relating to the topics covered by the project and related
topics. An archive destined to grow over time, filling up with new contents. In fact, the goal is not to end
the tasks with the conclusion of the project, but to create and animate a method of sharing knowledge
that can continue in the future as well, assigning the Consortium the role of interface among companies,
professionals, research and professional training. They will have their meeting place here.