terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Amino nitrogen content in grapes: the impact of crop limitation

Amino nitrogen content in grapes: the impact of crop limitation


As an essential element for grapevine development and yield, nitrogen is also involved in the winemaking process and largely affects wine composition. Grape must amino nitrogen deficiency affects the alcoholic fermentation kinetics and alters the development of wine aroma precursors. It is therefore essential to control and optimize nitrogen use efficiency by the plant to guarantee suitable grape nitrogen composition at harvest. Understanding the impact of environmental conditions and cultural practices on the plant nitrogen metabolism would allow us to better orientate our technical choices with the objective of quality and sustainability (less inputs, higher efficiency). This trial focuses on the impact of crop limitation – that is a common practice in European viticulture – on nitrogen distribution in the plant and particularly on grape nitrogen composition. A wide gradient of crop load was set up in a homogeneous plot of Chasselas (Vitis vinifera) in the experimental vineyard of Agroscope, Switzerland. Dry weight and nitrogen dynamics were monitored in the roots, trunk, canopy and grapes, during two consecutive years, using a 15N-labeling method. Grape amino nitrogen content was assessed in both years, at veraison and at harvest. The close relationship between fruits and roots in the maintenance of plant nitrogen balance was highlighted. Interestingly, grape nitrogen concentration remained unchanged regardless of crop load to the detriment of the growth and nitrogen content of the roots. Meanwhile, the size and the nitrogen concentration of the canopy were not affected. Leaf gas exchange rates were reduced in response to lower yield conditions, reducing carbon and nitrogen assimilation and increasing intrinsic water use efficiency. The must amino nitrogen profiles could be discriminated as a function of crop load. These findings demonstrate the impact of plant balance on grape nitrogen composition and contribute to the improvement of predictive models and sustainable cultural practices in perennial crops.


Publication date: May 31, 2022

Issue: Terclim 2022

Type: Article


Thibaut Verdenal1, Ágnes Dienes-Nagy1, Vivian Zufferey1, Jean-Laurent Spring1, Jorge E. Spangenberg2, Olivier Viret3and Cornelis van Leeuwen4

1Agroscope Institute, Pully, Switzerland
2Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
3Direction générale de l’agriculture, de la viticulture et des affaires vétérinaires, Morges, Switzerland
4EGFV, Univ. Bordeaux, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, INRAE, ISVV, Villenave d’Ornon, France

Contact the author


crop thinning, nitrogen use efficiency, yeast assimilable nitrogen, amino acids, partitioning, reserve mobilization


IVES Conference Series | Terclim 2022


Related articles…

Advancing grapevine science through genomic research

The seminar will examine the complexities and prospects of genomic research on Vitis species, characterize by exceptionally high heterozygosity and common interspecific gene flow. The seminar will showcase case studies highlighting the critical role of diploid genome references in grape research, specifically in areas such as aroma development, disease resistance, and domestication traits. It will also address the emerging focus on pangenomes within the Vitis genus, particularly in the context of genetic studies on naturally interbreeding populations.

Caractérisation des terroirs viticoles champenois

The Champagne vineyard extends over 35,300 ha under the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, of which 30,000 are in production. It mainly covers 3 departments: in order of importance, Marne (68% of the appellation area), Aube (22%) and Aisne (10%), and more anecdotally Haute Marne and Seine and Mame. It is a young vineyard (for more than half of the surface, the winegrowers have the experience of only one generation of vines), and fragmented (more than half of the exploitations extend over less than 1 ha; the average size of a cadastral parcel is 12 ares).

Étude intégrée et allégée des terroirs viticoles en Anjou: caractérisation et zonage de l’unité terroir de base, en relation avec une enquête parcellaire

The terroir concept is presented as the basis of the A.O.C system, in the french vineyards. The “Anjou terroirs” programme aims at bringing the necessary scientific basisfor a rational and reasoned exploitation of the terroir. lt must lead to finalizing a lighter, more relevant integrated method of characterisation wich could be generally applied.

Tutela legale delle denominazioni di origine nel mondo (con aspetti applicativi)

Uno degli aspetti più importanti nel commercio internazionale dei vini a denominazione è quello del riconoscimento dei diritti di esclusiva garantiti sui e dal territorio geografico d’o­rigine. Al fine di cautelarsi nei confronti della sempre più agguerrita concorrenza mondiale, è opportuno adottare adeguate protezioni ufficiali e legali delle denominazioni che possono derivare sia dalla “naturalità” del prodotto stesso che dalla “originalità” più particolare.


In 2022, wine production was estimated at around 260 million hl. This high production rate implies to generate a large amount of by-products, which include grape pomace, grape stalks and wine lees. It is estimated that processing 100 tons of grapes leads to ~ 22 tons of by-products from which ~ 6 tons are lees [1]. Wine lees are a sludge-looking material mostly made of dead and living yeast cells, yeast debris and other particles that precipitate at the bottom of wine tanks after alcoholic fermentation. Unlike grape pomace or grape stalks, few strategies have been proposed for the recovery and valorisation of wine less [2].