What was the challenge/ problem addressed?

ESCA is a vine disease, which causes severed damages to the plant. At the beginning, the disease is not visible: the fungi are destroying the wood within the vine plant. After several year the plant shows symptoms. The leaves could show tiger stripes or the plant show death symptoms. It brings severe economics’ problems to the wineries, because of the luck of healthy grapes which can be harvested. Furthermore, the death plants must be replaced one after one. Thie disease is due to wood-destroying fungi. Nowadays it is not possible to combat the fungi through preparations neither in the organic viticulture nor in the conventional farming. Those disease is already known since Middle-Age in the mediterranean areal. Due to global warming, the disease has expanded to the Luxembourg wine region. Because the disease appears to be pretty new in the region, it is a new challenge for the winegrowers which needs to be solved. It was not known, which needs the winegrowers have and how they could be helped through advisory organisations.

How did you solve the problem?

The project has two parts: monitoring of the disease through UAV (through the partner LIST) and dissemination of current viticulture methods to prevent the disease and to heal the sick vines. Those methods could be used as for organic wineries as well as for conventional farmers and are already practiced in other regions in Europe, for example, Germany, Italy, France.
IBLA did a questionnaire at the beginning of the projects, in order to have better knowledge and to know experiences of the winegrowers and the needs of advisory they have. Several types of courses were offered during the time of the project: gentle pruning, vine surgery and Reset-method.

What are the success factors in solving the problem?

The problem disease “ESCA” is not so easy to solve in anyway. But the project raises awareness for this disease in the whole wine region and uses new methods of prevention and monitoring. The most important success factor is involving the winegrowers from the beginning. Some of them are a part of the monitoring part of the project. Many of them have participated to the various courses.

Unexpected fails, if any


Lessons learned

In such a project, it is very important to tackle the issue through various approaches and to combine the theoretical research with a wide dissemination for the winegrowers. It is important to get instructors with high quality: the participants are willing to register for courses (and to pay for them) if they consider, that the content and the instructor are interesting. A good cooperation between all the stakeholders (winegrowers and winegrower’s organisations, administrations, research institutes, applied research institute, Ministry etc…) is very important. It is not so easy to coordinate the various interests of each partner. It is also necessary to have a partner as a coordinator between each group.

What role does the advisor or advisory service play within the practical case?

The advisor from IBLA is between the research institute (LIST), the instructors and the winegrowers themselves. In the frame of advisory it is possible to deepen the topic of ESCA and to motivate the winegrowers to participate in the courses.

Can your approach be transferred and/or adapted for other innovation challenges and regions?


Estimated transferability on a scale from 1 to 5
(where 1 is easy and 5 very difficult)


For sharing the experience on the good practice, please contact Ségolène CHARVET (charvet@ibla.lu)