The UAS Changins has its own experimental and demonstration cellar, which makes it something of an exception among universities that offer training in the fields of grapegrowing and winemaking.
It allows us to:
- Carry out vinification programmes where our students are able to do all the work of a cellar, including the sensorial and analytic tasks, from the reception of grapes to bottling
- Undertake research and development projects
- Carry out mandates and offer services to others
- Provide the required support for bachelors degree theses
- Produce high quality wines that are at home among the best.
This work tool is used several times a week to illustrate and demonstrate, in practice, what is taught academically by professors who have a solid on-the-ground knowledge of the field.
The UAS Changins has the necessary machinery and cellar materials to do this work; they are regularly upgraded to keep pace with technological developments.
In addition, the UAS Changins cellar:
- Produces small volumes of120 different products
- Vinifies 13 grape varieties: Chasselas, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Solaris, Gewürztraminer, Johaniter, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Gamaret, Merlot, Regent, Léon-Millot, Garanoir
- Works with 13 growers from several cantons ( Geneva, Vaud, Valais, Neuchatel, Ticino)
- Sells a line of five white and red wines under the name of the UAS Changins.
The UAS Changins vineyard
The school has created a vineyard in order to produce grapes for the school’s wine and to have a teaching tool that can be used for practical work and research purposes. Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil has made available to the school a vine parcel of 6,000m2 in Prangins, part of the Rives domain. The vines were planted in 2002 and 2003 and are designed for carrying out tests in the fight against disease and pests and for soil maintenance tests. It has three sections:
- An area planted with Chasselas for soil maintenance studies
- An area planted with different grape varieties for phytosanitary studies
- And an area planted with table grapes.
The Rivers vineyard is planted with two varieties traditionally grown in French-speaking Switzerland, Chasselas (clone 800) and Pinot Noir (clone 9-18), as well as four inter-specific varieties: Johanniter, Solaris, Regent eand Léon Millot. Two varieties of table grapes, of Hungarian origin, are also planted: Lilla and Nero.
Soil and stock
The vine parcel is on an intermediate CALCOSOL rédoxique base of compact gravel moraine. The soil texture is average to heavy (25-30% clay) and silty. The soil and sub-soil are very chalky with an alkaline pH. Fercal is the stock used.
Natural flora covers the vine parcel’s space between rows. It is cut back regularly, depending on growth. The rows are cared for without resorting to herbicides. The toils and techniques used by the school are a “Clemens” intercep cutter, a “Humus” rotary intercep cutter and gas torches for heat-treatment weeding.
A test soil maintenance programme was started in 2006 as an alternative to working the soil, with several variants: worked soil, wood chips or resinous sheets, natural plants with mowing, planting épervières piloselles (Hieracium pilosella), a plant with allelopathic qualities. The first results of this experiment were presented as part of the work for a degree (Marseille, 2008).
The vineyard’s use
The Rives vineyard has been used since the beginning for several activities:
- Practical work: pruning, disbudding, leaf-thinning and balancing the load
- Practical work and demonstration: machines used for soil maintenance
- Practical work: regulating sprayers
- Demonstration: harvest machine
- Practical work: pedology
- Exercises in identifying weeds
- Exercises: phytosanitary checks and recognizing symptoms
- Exercises: measuring vegetative vigour and expression
- Experimental space HES degree work (Maurice, 2006), (Utzinger, 2007), (Marseille, 2008)
- Vine parcel that is part of the Agrométéo network.
Les formations d'ingénieur HES_SO en Oenologie et Agronomie ont une partie des cours en commun, comme le montre les schémas des formations. De plus, certains cours ont lieu sur le site de Changins ou de Lullier