California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and President of Chile Michelle Bachelet have witnessed the signing of an historic wine agreement.

The leading wine research bodies of Chile and California have joined forces to sign a wine accord to drive studies into a range of wine-related issues.

The agreement was signed last week by UC Davis and two Chilean research organisations, Vinnova and Tecnovid.

It covers joint studies into sustainability, energy efficiency, green winemaking, wine flavours and phenolics, as well as the economics of the wine industry.

‘This partnership between Vinnova SA, Tecnovid SA and the University of California, Davis will address some of the most critical issues facing the wine industry today,’ said Wines of Chile president Rene Merino.

‘The evolution of winemaking calls for greater attention to sustainable winemaking practices as energy usage, carbon footprints and climate change take on greater importance.’

California and Chile share broadly similar climatic conditions and grow the same principal grape varieties.

The agreement is part of a celebration of the 40-year-old Chile-California Partnership, a broader collaboration covering the academic, business and governmental spheres.

It was signed by Vinnova president Rafael Guilisasti, Tecnovid president Patricio Middleton and Neal Van Alfen, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis.

Written by Richard Woodard