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IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 A worldwide perspective on viticultural zoning

A worldwide perspective on viticultural zoning

Abstract

[English version below]

Cet article répertorie les intérêts et problèmes du zonage viticole dans une perspective mondiale. Le zonage est un besoin pour chacun des vignobles mondiaux où il correspond à des applications, définitions et approches variées. Les objectifs du zonage changent de concert avec les besoins du marché mondial du vin, qui ne cesse de croître. De plus en plus de régions et de pays viticoles sont impliqués dans les études de zonage, et bien qu’un grand nombre des travaux correspondants aient été initiés en Europe, les besoins en zonage vont bien au delà des pays dotés d’une longue histoire viticole. La délimitation des Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée ou des indications géographiques protégées est l’un des objectifs, parmi tous ceux du zonage, le plus patent, qui remonte à la fin du XIXe siècle en Europe, et concerne à présent les pays les plus récemment viticoles. D’autres objectifs importants, non nécessairement reliés aux opérations de délimitation, consistent en la segmentation d’un territoire viticole en portions homogènes susceptibles de coïncider avec la gestion des maladies, le remembrement, la restructuration du vignoble, la gestion de la qualité des vendanges, ou encore le choix de sites nouveaux pour l’implantation de vignobles.
Les unités homogènes obtenues à travers le zonage viticole sont fréquemment désignées sous le nom de « terroirs », néanmoins leurs échelon spatial, caractéristiques, matériels et méthodes d’obtention diffèrent notablement selon les auteurs et les régions viticoles, ce qui rend les comparaisons inaisées entre les zonages au niveau mondial. Le zonage viticole peut en réalité être dissocié en 2 principaux groupes : d’un côté, celui insistant sur la différenciation géographique des vins, des raisins ou de caractéristiques de la plante ; de l’autre, celui focalisé sur la différenciation géographique des aptitudes des terres ou des potentialités viticoles, pour lesquelles le sol et le climat sont le plus souvent invoqués en tant que variables clés, mais avec des significations variées et différents référentiels taxonomiques de sols.
Le zonage viticole n’est pas toujours synonyme de cartographie et d’analyse spatiale : cela est en train de changer à travers l’essor de la géomatique. Les méthodes de cartographie numérique et les techniques de télédétection renouvellent le zonage viticole à tous les échelons, de la parcelle à la région. Les approches de potentialités à l’échelon parcellaire ou local, y compris la viticulture de précision, sont pour la plupart dirigées vers le fonctionnement écophysiologique de la plante. A l’échelon global ou régional, qui recouvre des surfaces plus étendues, ces approches sont surtout focalisées vers la caractérisation des motifs d’organisation spatiale et se heurtent au problème de la mise en relation de ces motifs avec les sites échantillonnés à l’échelon de la parcelle. Les critères d’analyse spatiale, incluant le champ spatial, la résolution, l’échelle, le schéma d’échantillonnage, de même que les critères de durée, d’outils, de validation, de cépages et de modes de conduite, sont à même de permettre les comparaisons de zonages à l’échelon mondial. Quelques exemples sont donnés dans l’article.

This article reviews viticultural zoning concerns and issues in a worldwide perspective. In every vineyard in the world, zoning is needed and corresponds to varied applications, definitions and approachs. Zoning aims have been changing together with the needs of the ever-expanding international wine market. There are more and more wine-producing regions and countries involved in zoning studies, and although many of the corresponding works were initiated in Europe, zoning needs go far beyond the countries endowed with centuries-old viticultural history. Demarcating registered designations of origin or protected geographical indications is one of the most obvious of all zoning aims, which originates from the XIXth century in Europe, and now addresses most recent wine-growing countries. Other important zoning aims, not necessarily related to demarcating operations, consist in segmentating a vineyard territory into homogeneous units that are likely to be consistent with either pest management, reparcelation, vineyard restructuring operations, grape harvest quality management, or site selection for new vineyards.
The homogeneous units obtained through viticultural zoning are frequently referred to as “terroirs”; however their scale, characteristics, materials and methods may greatly vary depending on authors and vine-growing regions, making international zoning comparisons uneasy. Viticultural zoning can actually be separated into 2 main groups: on the one hand, that insisting on the geographical differentiation of wines, grapes, or plant characteristics; on the other hand, that focused on the geographical differentiation of land capabilities or vineyard suitabilities, for which soil and climate are mostly referred to as key variables, but with varied significations and the use of distinct soil classifications.
Viticultural zoning is not always synonymous with mapping and spatial analysis: this is changing through the enhanced use of geomatics. Digital mapping methods and remote sensing techniques are renewing viticultural zoning at all scales, from plot to region. Suitabilities approaches at the field scale or local level, including precision viticulture, are mostly directed towards the understanding of plant ecophysiological functioning. At the global or regional scale, encompassing wider areas, suitabilities approaches are oriented towards the characterization of land geographical patterns and face the problem of relating these patterns to sample sites described at the field scale. Spatial analysis criteria, including spatial extent, resolution, map scale, sampling design, all together with duration criteria, tools, validation, plant varieties and training systems are likely to enable zoning comparisons at the international level. Some examples are given in this paper.

DOI:

Publication date: January 12, 2022

Issue: Terroir 2004

Type: Article

Authors

Emmanuelle Vaudour

Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon, UMR INRA/INA P-G “Environnement et Grandes Cultures” – Equipe Sol-DMOS, Centre de Grignon BP 01, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France

Contact the author

Keywords

Terroir, viticultural zoning, worldwide perspective, scale

Tags

IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2004

Citation

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