Study of wine-growing land (“terroir”) characteristics in the canton of Vaud (Switzerland): ecophysiological behaviour of the vine (cv. Chasselas)

A study of the physiological and agronomical behaviour of the vine (cv. Chasselas) was conducted between 2001 and 2003 by the Swiss Federal Research Station for Plant Production at Changins (Agroscope RAC Changins) on various wine-growing farms (terroirs) in the Canton of Vaud (Switzerland), as part of a study project on Vaudois vines and vineyards in association with the firm I. Letessier (SIGALES) in Grenoble and the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL).
In order to identify the typical characteristics of Vaudois wine-growing plots or “terroirs”, the chosen working method attempted to integrate all factors susceptible of influencing “terroir” functions : on the one hand, natural parameters (geology, soil and climate), and, on the other hand, vine response, the most important indicator of ‘terroir” value.
The study of vine behaviour was carried out over a region comprising about fifty Chasselas plots spread out over four pilot zones (1000 ha approximately). The defined pedological units, which are representative of vineyards, led to pertinent plant responses, in particular concerning hydrous plant reactions in the vine, its vegetative outgrowth, in addition to qualitative characteristics of the harvest.

Authors: V. Zufferey and F. Murisier

Agroscope RAC Changins, Federal Research Station for Plant Production Changins, Viticultural Centre Caudoz, CH-1009 Pully (Switzerland)

Emails: vivian.zufferey@rac.admin.ch; francois.murisier@rac.admin.ch

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