Vine water status has a significant influence on vineyard yield and berry composition (Williams and Matthews, 1990; Williams et al., 1994). It has been hypothesized that the response of plants to soil water deficits may be due to some sort of “root signal” (Davies and Zhang, 1991). This signal probably arises due to the roots sensing a reduction in soil water content or an increase in the mecanical impedance as the soil dries out.
An irrigation study currently is being conducted in the Napa Valley of California. This offers an opportunity to determine the relationship between various measures of vine water status and soil water content and ambient weather conditions. Future goals of this study are to correlate vine water status with wine quality.
Author: L. E. WILLIAMS
Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California – Davis, CA 95616
Keamey Agriculture Center, 9240 South Riverbend Avenue, Parlier, California 93648