Upscaling the integrated terroir zoning through digital soil mapping: a case study in the Designation of Origin Campo de Borja

The Integrated Terroir Zoning methodology entails the demarcation of a region into homogeneous zones by intersecting several partial zonings of major factors that influence vineyard growth. Each of them follows specific process from their corresponding disciplines. Soil zoning specifically refers to a Soil Resource Inventory map that has traditionally been generated by conventional soil mapping methods. These methods have shortcomings in reaching fine cartographic and categorical details and involve significant expenses, which undermines their applicability. A new framework named Digital Soil Mapping has introduced quantitative models by statistical techniques to establish soil-landscape relationships and is able to provide intensive scale cartography. 

In the present study, a microzoning at 1:10.000 scale is generated from an initial zoning, where the conventional soil map with polytaxic map units is replaced by a new one from digital techniques that disaggregates them. The comparison between the zonings considers a quantitative evaluation of capability for each Homogeneous Terroir Unit by means of the Viticultural Quality Index and its categorization based on its distribution by map. The spatial intersection of both maps gives rise to a confusion matrix in which the flows of class variations after the substitution are assessed.

The results show a five-fold increase in the number of Homogeneous Terroir Units identified and a larger differentiation among them, evidenced by a wider range in the capability index distribution. Both elements are accompanied by an increase in the detection of areas of higher potential within previously undervalued uniform zones.These features are a direct effect of the improvements brought by Digital Soil Mapping techniques and would verify the advantages of their implementation in the Integrated Terroir zoning. Eventually, such new highly detailed terroir units would benefit precision viticulture and sustainable management practices.

Authors: Alberto Lázaro-López1, Joaquín Cámara Gajate2, María Luisa González-SanJosé1 and Vicente Gómez-Miguel3

1Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Science, University of Burgos, Burgos, Spain
2DIAGNOTERRA SL, Madrid, Spain
3Departamento de Producción Agraria, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Madrid, Spain


Keywords: integrated terroir zoning, digital soil mapping, spatial disaggregation, homogeneous terroir unit, terroir capability

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