The main results obtained in the research activity

The research conducted at Pietroasa over time has been carried out on a broad theme, which evolved according to the needs of viticulture in its various stages of development.
Initially, these researches referred to the study of varieties in order to establish the assortment of fruit vines and rootstocks, the production of vineyard material by the grafting method, the study of management forms and the cutting systems, and the control of the vine. Later, they extended to the problems of improving the vineyard assortment by creating new varieties and clonal selection, on vine ecology, on methods of culture and phytosanitary protection, on the production of wine specific to the area, first of all of the Tamaioase Romanian type and even on fruit growing problems.

In the field of vineyard assortment and improvement. The study of the varieties of fruit and rootstocks has been a basic problem of scientific research since 1893. This activity began for the first time in our country at “Pepiniera Pietroasa”, where it was founded in the period 1893-1895, a collection of 737 varieties of wine and table grapes coming from all continents, but especially from Europe, on the area of 10 hectares. The research aimed at choosing the most valuable varieties of vines for the restoration of the vineyards destroyed by the invasion of the philoxer and led to the establishment of first orientations on their technological potential and the way of adapting to our cultural conditions.

In 1929 an experimental plantation was set up at Pietroasa, comprising 24 varieties for wine (12 Romanian varieties and 12 foreign varieties), each variety being represented by 750 horns grafted on 10 rootstocks. Established under the direct guidance of Professor I.C. Teodorescu, this experimental plantation was the basis of further studies in Romania and represented the model used in the next period to create such new plantations.

In 1939, a new collection of 15 grape varieties grafted on 4 rootstocks was set up in Pietroasa, which was studied until 1964.

In 1993, at the 100th anniversary of its activity, the resort had a biological field of 7 hectares, comprising:

  • comparative plantings with clones of the Tămâioasă românească varieties, Grasă de Cotnari, Băbească neagră, Busuioacă de Bohotin, Muscat de Hamburg, Muscat de Adda, Cinsaut and others, with a number of 210 elite clones on a surface of 2 ha;
  • a test field with 24 clones and 34 perspectives hybrids, totaling 11,600 plants, with an area of 3.2 hectares;
  • a plantation plant with 74 new varieties and clones homologated for table, apiren and wine grapes, with an area of 2.5 ha;
  • plantation competition in the C.S.I.O.S. with new varieties and elite perspectives, representing their own creations and other resorts with an area of 0.8 ha;
  • a field of hybrids obtained from sex hybrids carried out in the years 1969-1972 in order to create the apirines;
  • the hybrid field made by interspecific sex hybrids from the 10 000-plant-resistant breeding program, of which 29 prospective elite, planted in the comparative field, were selected;
  • a hybrid field set up between 1986-1991 through the implementation of hybridization programs aimed at obtaining new varieties of aromatic wines.

Research conducted until 2010 led to the approval of new clones and varieties, as follows:

  • Grasă de Cotnari 4 Pt. (1975);
  • Băbească neagră 94 Pt.(1975);
  • Muscat de Hamburg 4 Pt. (1980);
  • Tămâioasă românească 36 Pt. (1982);
  • Tămâioasă românească 5 Pt. (1989);
  • Grasă de Cotnari 45 Pt. (1989);
  • Muscat de Adda 5 Pt. (1995);
  • Busuioacă de Bohotin 26 Pt. (2000);
  • Fetească neagră 10 Pt. (2009).

Activitatea de creare a soiurilor s-a concretizat cu omologarea următoarelor:

  • Otilia (1987);
  • Timpuriu de Pietroasa (1989);
  • Centenar Pietroasa (1991);
  • Istriţa (1995);
  • Alb aromat (1998).

In the field of ecology, viticulture and agrochemistry, the first researches carried out at Pietroasa concerned the preparation of the land before planting, the setting up of the vineyard plantations and their care until the entry into the fruit, the verification of the behavior of grafted vines on different rootstocks, the management and cutting of the calf living. Some problems have been studied and solved with the methods of filling gaps in vineyards, hole of grafted vines, installing the trellis, soil works, green operations, restoration of vines affected by drought and hail.

A wide-ranging themes in the field of vine cultivation technology have been dealt with since 1957. During the period 1961-1970, a large-scale study was carried out at Pietroasa on the high-quality vine culture.

The researches made a real turning point in the wine-making practice and led to the introduction of a new concept regarding the exploitation of the plantations, that of the intensive viticulture. The results obtained from these researches showed that the system of vine cultivation at large distances and high forms can be practiced with positive effects in the climatic and soil conditions specific to the Pietroasa Wine Center.

Solutions have been established to achieve the leading and cutting of stems of strains.

For plantations with smaller distances of 2 – 2.2 m between the rows, the anatomy of the management of the vines on semi-high stems (0.7 m), expressed by production increases, improved the quality of the crop and facilitated the execution of the plant works.

Research on the rationalization of cuts in the dry land through the use of fruit-bearing caps has demonstrated the suitability for this type of cutting of Grasă de Cotnari, Tămâioasă românească, Riesling italian and Chasselas doré.

The research topic included researches on the establishment of agrotechnology of new varieties introduced in culture: Perlette, Cardinal, Busuioacă de Bohotin, Burgund mare, etc. They have been finalized by highlighting plant-protection measures that can be used for these varieties, with particular regard to the management and cutting systems.

Another group of experiments focused on special green operations performed on table grape varieties, with particular emphasis on normalizing the grape load on the hump by reducing the number of inflorescences or their size, grading the grapes, partially deflating, and sawing, pinching and kneading operations.

The study of soil maintenance systems in vineyards with the use of green fertilizers, long grass and herbicides has led to the conclusion that in ecological ecosystems with poor water regime, any other way of maintaining the soil apart from the black field has negative repercussions on growth and fructification processes.

In the field of vine protection the first researches carried out at Pietroasa were related to the fight against the filoxer and mana. The hand of the vine was reported at the end of the 19th century (1887) in the large Dealu Mare. The Plasmopara viticola fungus, identified by G. Nicoleanu in the vineyards of Policiori village, Scorţoasa commune, near Buzău, has rapidly expanded, becoming the most damaging disease of the vine in Romania. As a result, in 1927, one year before the establishment of the Institute for Agronomic Research of Romania, Professor Traian Săvulescu initiated, for the first time in the country, systematic studies on mushroom biology and warning of fighting therapies in Pietroasa.

In 1928, the first 3 resorts for warning of the vine in Romania, among which the one near Vine Experimental Pietroasa, are set up.

The research carried out here was the basis for establishing a method of warning of maneuvering prevention treatments, and after that, there were organized warning stations in the main vineyards in the country.

Since 1957, with the establishment of the Institute of Horticultural Research and the passage of the Pietroasa Resort under its subordination, extensive research has been undertaken on the cultivation of the vine and the control of the vine. There were elaborated: the warning method and the prevention and control measures, both in the Podgoria Dealu Mare and in the other vineyards of the country, where the disease causes damage.

As far as equipment and appropriate investigative tools are available, research has been done on chlorosis control, the study of nematodes, the study of the spread of viruses and mycoplasma diseases.

An important concern was also the study of the elements to ensure integrated pest and disease pest control.

Every year, the disease and pests evolution is correlated with ecological factors in order to establish the optimal moments of intervention to prevent and combat them.

Research has been carried out on new pests and pathogens reported on grapevine (Perivatodes rhomboidaria, excorioza – Phomopsis viticola), and specific pest technologies have been developed.

In the field of winemaking and wine chemistry, the first researches carried out at Pietroasa refer to the determination of the chemical composition of wines obtained from experimental plantations that were set up in 1895 at Via Pietroasa: 29 indigenous varieties and a collection of 737 vinifera, varieties from different countries.

In the “Introduction à l’ampelographie roumaine”, Gh. Nicoleanu refers to the chemical composition of wine in Buzău County, based on the analysis made at Pietroasa by P. Rădulescu, a chemist and viticultural inspector.

In the plantation established in 1928 with 24 varieties, researches were started on the obtained wines, the results being published in the work Experimental Vines in Romania (1943), conducted by I.C. Teodorescu, Gh. Constantinescu, S.S. Gogalniceanu, C.V. Oprea.

The researches regarding the technological potential of the varieties pursued at Pietroasa led to the obtaining of a large volume of data, then capitalized on by the Ampelography of Romania.

The working and research conditions for winemaking have been improved by creating a vinification center in Pietroasa in 1940, equipped with modern equipment imported from Italy.

Wine-making research has been followed in a more organized way since 1957, when Vine Pietroasa became a unit of the Institute of Horticultural Research in Bucharest.

Research has resulted:

  • knowing the technical potential of the varieties, in order to establish the assortment and production directions for the Pietroasa Viticulture Center and the Buzău County area;
  • determining the types of wine, the optimum time of grapes harvesting and the area delimited for their production;
  • specification of the most important technological processes for the primary winemaking stage in the elaboration of different types of wines;
  • establishing solutions for improving the technical lines of primary vinification.

After 1972 the issues were solved:

  • the establishment of the primary winemaking means, which determines the enrichment of aromatic wines in volatile constituents of the flavor, under the conditions of use of metallic rotary tanks;
  • the study of the oenological potential of the Tămâioasă românească variety in order to establish the strictly defined area of wine production with a designation of origin;
  • to know the technological potential of newly created clones of Grasă and Tămâioasă românească, in order to establish the strictly defined area of the production of wines with a designation of origin;
  • establishing the oenological potential and the technology of obtaining the type of wine Busuioacă de Bohotin;
  • specification of the technological conditions for the obtaining of special licoric wines of the oxidative type.

The primary winemaking segment was improved after 2005, the year of taking over the unit by the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest, with a process of clarification of the fermented must, through a cooling plant and a float (for the destruction of musts). These have led to the increase of the quality of the must submitted to fermentation and, implicitly, of the quality of the wines obtained. Enzyme is also applied constantly with the latest oenological products.

Fruit growing research. Since the first years after its establishment, Pepiniera Pietroasa had the purpose of collecting and studying “fruit trees that would agree well with neighboring regions” (Gh. Nicoleanu, 1898). In 1895, at Pietroasa there was a fruit collection consisting of 327 varieties of 13 species, among which the apple (110 varieties), the hair (91 varieties), the plum (26 varieties), the cherry and the cherry (22 varieties), the peach 39 varieties) and so on.

Among the tested species, peaches and almonds found conditions closer to their requirements.

Research on these species has highlighted the special advantage of the area for their culture, the efficiency of these crops, the possibility of increasing the income from the peach and almond crops, for which Pietroasa has a vocation not found in many other areas of the country.

The research activity of S.C.D.V.V. Pietroasa continued in the last 15 years with the HORIZON 2000 Program, after which the team of researchers participated with projects at national competitions. Thus, the following research themes have been carried out in the AGRAL Program:

  • Vine culture systems for the production of wines with a registered designation of origin;
  • Vine recovery technology affected by heat and water stress;
  • Evaluating the potential for practicing organic viticulture.

In partnership with the Buzău Research and Development Center for Vegetables, the project “Integrated system of dissemination of scientific research results in horticulture”, financed by the World Bank, was carried out and in partnership with the Research and Development Institute for Winegrowing and Winery Valea Călugărească, The project “Optimization and Implementation of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Wine Cultivation Technology for Producing Grapes of High Quality” was carried out under the same funding.

The project “Verification of ecological viticulture principles in ecosystems representative of Romanian viticulture in order to develop an accreditation methodology” was carried out in the CEEX program, in partnership with the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Bucharest, with I.C.D.V.V. Valea Călugărească and S.C.D.D.V. Odobeşti.

The projects ensured, within the limits of the funds, the salaries of the researchers, the increase of the material base of the unit, the acquisition of equipment and the accumulation of a database of Pietroasa-controlled wines.

At the same time, they allowed the certification of an organic planting with the Fetească neagră variety, established at S.C.DVV.V. Pietroasa, as well as the dissemination of information processed from the experiments carried out, through the articles published by the researchers, during the course of the projects.