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CSIRO Waite Campus Seminar: Samuel Barros

Jan 16, 4:00 pm

The following seminar will take place at 4pm on Tuesday 16th January in the Wine Innovation West upstairs seminar room.

CHILE: a Snapshot of the French Vineyards from the mid 1800’s and the largest Germplasm Repository in the world

Samuel Barros, Head of the Wine Grapes program | UNIVIVEROS Nursery, Chile


Chile, sort of an island isolated by the driest desert in the world in the North, the Pacific Ocean on the West, the Andes Mountains on the East and the Ice Fields on the South, is one of the few countries still 100% free of phylloxera. With a wine area spanning 2.500 miles from Arica (18,5 °S) to Chile Chico (46,53°S) wine grapes are grown in a variety of different soils and climates.

The history of winegrowing is as old as the history of the country. Vines arrived with the Spanish conquerors as early as 1541 when Mission grapes were brought to make wine for Mass. In the mid 1800’s wealthy families put their eyes on the French Culture and brought wine grapes, winemakers and the architecture to establish their own vineyards and wineries. That plant material was the foundation of the Chilean Wine Industry and meant a tremendous pool of varieties and clones that was partially lost in Europe due the phylloxera attack. Today, some Chilean vineyards are considered natural germplasm reservoirs. There is a growing interest from wineries and growers in rescuing those old vineyards as a source of diversity for making wines. Researchers are also interested in this material as a source of germplasm to face the challenges climate change is imposing in our viticulture.

UNIVIVEROS is currently working with three wineries to identify interesting material to establish mother blocks and develop clones for the wine industry. This work has been done in collaboration with local and foreign researchers such as M. Andrew Walker at UC Davis and Jean-Michel Boursiquot at Montpellier Supagro.

The purpose of this presentation is to show the diversity of the wine grape growing areas in Chile, statistics on production, varieties, planted hectares, and the results of almost a decade of work rescuing varieties from this old vineyards.


Samuel Barros has a Bachelor’s Degree from Universidad Católica de Chile as an Agricultural Engineer specialising in Viticulture and Enology. He also has a Master’s from UC Davis in Horticulture and Agronomy, where he was based in the Viticulture and Enology Department with Andy Walker working on Root-knot nematodes resistance. He has worked as a Viticulturist in several companies in California and Chile. Since 2014 he has been the Head of the Wine Grapes program at UNIVIVEROS Nursery in Chile and also worked as an irrigation consultant for several wineries.

Enquiries to Christine.Bottcher@csiro.au | 08 8273 8126


Jan 16
4:00 pm
Event Category:


CSIRO, Wine Innovation West, Upstairs Seminar Room
Hartley Grove
Urrbrae, SA 5064 Australia

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