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Setting up a “good” experimentation: the case of vine varieties testing in Languedoc

Abstract : The vine breeding of varieties resistant to two major pathogens (mildew and powdery mildew) underpins the promise of a pesticide-free viticulture. Numerous questions appear while professionals try to plant these varietal innovations in their vineyard: what is a good grape variety? Can we produce good wines with these ‘new’ varieties that fit our expectations for taste, quality, their capacity to adapt to our terroirs, etc.? Going faster is a challenge for growers who want to test new production methods associated with new markets. In that context, testing these varieties is a necessity. This paper focuses on one of these specific tests conducted in the Languedoc Wine Region (France). Technicians, scientists and economic players in this sector all together organise the testing in order to distribute the first experimental plants through regional winegrowers. To analyse what qualifies a good experimentation, I follow how actors formulate their concerns and what they take into account in such situations. Using a theoretical framework derived from the Science and Technology Studies (STS), I describe how relations between professionals and objects are transformed as they face uncertainties in their efforts to achieve the promise of a more sustainable viticulture.
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Sophie Tabouret. Setting up a “good” experimentation: the case of vine varieties testing in Languedoc. Open Agriculture, De Gruyter, 2019, 4 (1), pp.275-283. ⟨10.1515/opag-2019-0026⟩. ⟨hal-02176437⟩



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