One of the biggest challenges of agriculture today is maintaining food safety and food quality while providing ecosystem services such as biodiversity conservation, pest and disease control, ensuring water quality and supply, and climate regulation. Organic farming was shown to promote biodiversity and carbon sequestration, and is therefore seen as one possibility of environmentally friendly production. Consumers expect organically grown crops to be free from chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers and often presume that the quality of organically grown crops is different or higher compared to conventionally grown crops. Integrated, organic, and biodynamic viticulture were compared in a replicated field trial in Geisenheim, Germany (Vitis vinifera L. cv. Riesling). Amino acid profiles in juice, grape skin flavonoids, and hydroxycinnamic acids were monitored over three consecutive seasons beginning 7 years after conversion to organic and biodynamic viticulture, respectively. In addition, parameters such as soil nutrient status, yield, vigor, canopy temperature, and water stress were monitored to draw conclusions on reasons for the observed changes. Results revealed that the different sustainable management regimes highly differed in their amino acid profiles in juice and also in their skin flavonol content, whereas differences in the flavanol and hydroxycinnamic acid content were less pronounced. It is very likely that differences in nutrient status and yield determined amino acid profiles in juice, although all three systems showed similar amounts of mineralized nitrogen in the soil. Canopy structure and temperature in the bunch zone did not differ among treatments and therefore cannot account for the observed differences in favonols. A different light exposure of the bunches in the respective systems due to differences in vigor together with differences in berry size and a different water status of the vines might rather be responsible for the increase in flavonol content under organic and biodynamic viticulture.
Authors: Johanna Döring1, Frank Will2, Otmar Löhnertz3 and Randolf Kauer1
1Hochschule Geisenheim University, Institute of General and Organic Viticulture, Geisenheim, Germany
2Hochschule Geisenheim University, Institute of Beverage Research, Geisenheim, Germany
3Hochschule Geisenheim University, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Geisenheim, Germany
Keywords: integrated viticulture, organic, biodynamic