COPPEREPLACE, an international project aimed at reducing the use of copper in vineyards

17 February 2021

A total of 13 Spanish, French, and Portuguese organizations and companies in the wine industry – including the Familia Torres and Jean Leon wineries – have joined forces to significantly reduce the use of copper in viticulture, as well as its environmental impact.

The COPPEREPLACE RDI project is led by the Plataforma Tecnológica del Vino, and its funding has been approved by the Interreg Sudoe Programme. This innovative initiative places Europe at the centre of finding integrated, sustainable solutions in line with environmentally-friendly production methods.

To this end, COPPEREPLACE will run from November 2020 to February 2023, relying on a strong international consortium comprised of Plataforma Tecnológica del Vino, Associaçao para o Desenvolvimento da Viticultura Duriense (ADVID), Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin (IFV), Centro de Valorización Ambiental del Norte (CVAN), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC-UMA), Vignerons Bio Nouvelle Aquitaine (SVBNA), Fundación EURECAT, Universidade do Porto (GreenUPorto), Universidad de Vigo, and the wineries Sogrape Vinhos, LBS (Gérard Bertrand), Familia Torres, and Jean Leon. In addition, the consultancy firm Artica Ingeniería e Innovación (artica+i) has come on board to assist the consortium and provide the project with technical services and support during the design and development stage of the proposal, as well as in the monitoring and technical and financial justification of COPPEREPLACE.

Reducing the use of copper will help foment biodiversity in both the vineyard and the soil, which is a key aspect for Familia Torres and Jean Leon. Specifically, Familia Torres's participation in the project consists of conducting trials with products that offer an alternative to copper. Jean Leon, meanwhile, will carry out trials that focus on the use of variable dose treatments based on vineyard vigour maps generated from satellite images, as well as analysing the benefits of cover crops in the vineyard.

Furthermore, COPPEREPLACE will create a network of stakeholders, which will not only include winegrowers, but also other representatives from the international wine world. The goal is to involve all actors with an interest in the project so that they can contribute their knowledge and expertise.

The project, whose complete title is ‘Development and full implementation of new technologies, products, and strategies to reduce the application of copper in vineyards and remedy contaminated soils in the SUDOE region’, has a budget of more than 1.6 million euros. Over one million euros in funding has been provided by the Southwest European Territorial Cooperation Programme (Interreg Sudoe).