Spatiotemporal patterns of chemical attributes in Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in Central California

Spatial variability of vine productivity in winegrapes is important to characterise as both yield and quality are relevant for the production of different wine styles and products. The objectives were to understand how patterns of variability of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit composition changed over time and space, how these patterns could be characterised with indirect measurements, and how spatial patterns of the variation in fruit compositional attributes can aid in improving management. Prior to the 2017 vintage, 125 data vines were distributed across each of four vineyards in the Lodi American Viticultural Area (AVA) of California. Each data vine was sampled at commercial harvest in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Yield components and fruit composition were measured at harvest for each data vine, and maps of yield and fruit composition were produced for eight ‘objective measures of fruit quality’: total anthocyanins, polymeric tannins, quercetin glycosides, malic acid, yeast assimilable nitrogen, β-damascenone, C6 alcohols and aldehydes, and 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine. Patterns of variation in anthocyanins and phenolic compounds were found to be most stable over time. Given this relative stability, management decisions focused on fruit quality could be based on zonal descriptions of anthocyanins or phenolics to increase profitability in some vineyards. In each vineyard, dormant season pruning weights and soil cores were collected at each location, elevation and soil apparent electrical conductivity surveys were completed, and remotely sensed imagery was captured by fixed wing aircraft and two satellite platforms at major phenological stages. The data collected were used to develop relationships among biophysical data, soil, imagery, and fruit composition. The standardised and aggregated samples from four vineyards over three seasons were included in the estimation of ‘common variograms’ to assess how this technique could aid growers in producing geostatistically rigorous maps of fruit composition variability without cumbersome, single season sampling efforts.

Authors: Brent Sams1,2, Rob Bramley3, Mahyar Aboutalebi2, Luis Sanchez2, Nick Dokoozlian2, Chris Ford1 and Vinay Pagay

1School of Agriculture, Food, and Wine, University of Adelaide, Urrbrae, SA, Australia
2Department of Winegrowing Research, E&J Gallo Winery, Modesto, California, USA
3CSIRO, Waite Campus, Urrbrae, SA, Australia


Keywords: vineyard variability, objective measures of fruit quality, remote sensing of vegetation, precision viticulture, Vitis vinifera (cv. Cabernet Sauvignon)

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