Viticulture and Oenology Department (VOD), DLR-Rheinpfalz

The DLR Rheinpfalz is a teaching and research organization of the State Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany, which comprise 65% of the German wine production. It was founded in 1899 and hosts 700 students in the vocational training in viticulture & oenology as well as horticulture. In 2009, a dual B.Sc. program started in cooperation with 3 universities of applied science and more than 250 cooperating wine estates in Germany. Current enrollment s is up to 50 students per year. The Viticulture and Oenology department has 28 employees and includes its own full scale research winery of 22 ha of vineyards and an annual wine production of 150 000 L of wine.

Consulting to the industry ensures a close contact to a wide range of wine estates and wineries in Germany. Its research activities are organized in the center of wine research of the DLR Rheinpfalz, which includes 6 professors and more than 10 senior scientists in the fields of flavor chemistry, Microbiology, Sensory Science, Food technology, Oenology, Viticulture, Phytomedicine and Agricultural economics. Research focus is on flavor chemistry of grapes and wine, the role of microorganisms in wine flavor formation as well as analysis of the sensory properties of wines and their modulation by microorganisms, technology and terroir. The novelty of the group leans on the integration of viticulture, wine technology, flavor chemistry, microbiology and state of the art sensory analysis.

Role and key persons: 

ESR8 will be hosted and principally supervised by Prof. Ulrich Fischer, Prof. Maren Scharfenberger-Schmeer and Dr. Hans-Georg Schmarr.

Research facilities, infrastructure and equipment: 

VOD has direct access to a full scale research wine estate with 22 ha of vineyards as well as a micro vinification unit. It offers state of the art analytical equipment for flavor analysis (GC-MS, GCxGC–MS, GC-TQ-MS, GC-Olfaction, HPLC and HPLC-ToFMS). It is among the world leading sensory laboratories for wine, offering a wide range of sensory methodologies and multivariate statistical tools. The microbiology group utilizes the microvinification and monitors the dynmaics of the wine microbiota by qPCR and flow cytometry, using fluorescent FISH probes for wine microorganisms.