Teaching and Research Operations in Viticulture
Viticulture Research Group
The Viticulture Research Group operates a vineyard on the Au peninsula in Wädenswil which is used for experimental purposes by researchers and as a source of demonstration and teaching opportunities for students at ZHAW and at Wädenswil’s Strickhof Vocational Training Centre. The vineyard also produces grapes for ZHAW’s winery. Some of the vines are cultivated in line with integrated production (IP) principles, whereas others are organically farmed. Homogeneously planted areas are also available for researchers and those completing bachelor’s and master’s theses. Vines are cultivated using 42 different pruning and training systems in a training garden used for educational and demonstration purposes. A variety collection containing over 250 vine varieties from Switzerland and Europe is accessed on a regular basis by experts in the field and contributes to the preservation of varieties under the National Action Plan for the Preservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Nutrition and Agriculture (NAP-PGREL).
|Height above sea level||420-460 m|
|Aspect||South-south-east to south-south-west|
|Incline||45 - 60 % (steep slope, mostly in terraces)25 - 35 % (above the path)|
|Precipitation||1275 mm (average)|
|Staff||Vineyard manager and two qualified winegrowers Temporary staff (vineyard workers and interns)|
Historical records prove that the Au peninsula has housed winegrowing operations since 1484, and trees were cleared in 1824 in order to increase the vineyard’s area to 4.56 ha. By 1912, however, all of the vines had been removed. Dr. Boller-Baer (who owned the land), the Au Consortium and Dr. W. Eggenberger of the former Wädenswil Technical School for Fruit and Winegrowing led an initiative to reestablish a vine plantation on the Au peninsula in 1950. The Boller family leased the vineyard to the Technical School in 1952, and the “Boller” plot is now owned by the city of Wädenswil, with a long-term lease having been concluded with the Au Consortium for the vineyard’s central and western sections. Land owned by Dr. E. Von Schulthess, which was replanted with vines in 1974, was handed over to the Canton of Zurich in 1989, and the University has also leased the “Schlossgutreben” since 1992. The grapes produced at the vineyard were sold to the Canton of Zurich’s Staatskellerei for many years, but have been pressed at the University’s winery since 2004.
Grapes grown on the Au peninsula are pressed at the ZHAW winery in Wädenswil. For wine sales, please contact Thomas Flüeler.