Grapevine physiology and production are challenged by forecasted increases in temperature and water deficits. Within this scenario, photoselective overhead shade films are promising tools in warm viticulture areas to overcome climate change related factors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the vulnerability of ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ grape berry to solar radiation overexposure and optimize shade film use for berry integrity. A randomized complete block design field study was conducted across two years (2020-2021) in Oakville, Napa Valley, CA, with four shade films (D1, D3, D4, D5) differing in the percent of radiation spectra transmitted and compared to an uncovered control (C0). Integrals for gas exchange parameters and mid-day stem water potential were unaffected by the shade films in 2020 and 2021. By harvest, berries from uncovered and shaded vines did not differ in their size or primary metabolism in either year. Despite precipitation exclusion during the dormant season in the shaded treatments, yield did not differ between them and the control in either season. In 2020, total skin anthocyanins (mg/g fresh mass) in the shaded treatments was greater than C0 during berry ripening and at harvest. Conversely, flavonol concentrations in 2020 were reduced in shaded vines compared to C0. The 2020 growing season highlighted the impact of heat degradation on flavonoids. Flavonoid concentrations in 2021 increased until harvest while flavonoid degradation was apparent from veraison to harvest in 2020 across shaded and control vines. Wine analyses highlighted the importance of light spectra to modify wine composition. Wine color intensity, tonality and anthocyanin values were enhanced in D4 whereas antioxidant properties were enhanced in C0 and D5 wines. Altogether, our results highlighted the need of new approaches in warm viticulture areas given the impact that composition of light has on berry and wine quality.
Authors: Lauren Marigliano1, R. Yu1, N. Torres1, M. Battany2 and S. Kaan Kurtural1
1Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis, USA
2University of California Cooperative Extension, San Luis Obispo, USA