Two Palestinian students receive degrees from Edmund Mach Foundation

Foto-3-portaleAfter graduating in viticulture and oenology at the Edmund Mach Foundation (San Michele all’Adige, Trentino, Italy), two Palestinian students now offer an edge for strengthening and enhancing the vines of Cremisan Cellars (see photo of vineyards and workers) at the monastery of the Salesians, near Bethlehem. After four years in Trentino, the two Palestinian students, Fadi Batarseh and Laith Jamil Micheal Kokaly, have returned to their homeland and been integrated into the technical staff of a winery in the heart of an international cooperation initiative supported by the Autonomous Province of Trento. The project is under the technical supervision of the Mach Foundation with the collaboration of the Volunteers for International Development and the Italian Episcopal Conference.
The international journal Molecular Biotechnology has just published the results of Fadi Batarseh’s thesis, undertaken with 43 traditional grapevine samples from Palestine that were provided by the University of Hebron. The grape varieties until now have been cultivated locally for fresh consumption, but now are the subject of restoration and enhancement, even for wine-making.
The genetic group of vines of the Centre of Research and Innovation of the Mach Foundation has analyzed the DNA profile of these materials, identifying several synonymies and concluding that there are 21 different varieties of which only eight have already been described in the international databases. It is the first time that the genetic diversity of grape varieties has been analyzed from this region, which is of great historical importance for the spread of viticulture.

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