The development of fertigation could be a possible solution to adapt PGI Côtes de Gascogne (south-western France) wine production to climate change. The goal would be to limit the negative effects of water stress on yield performance expectation (around 15 tons per hectare) and to make the use of fertilizers more efficient. This study aimed to compare the effects of three strategies of water and minerals supply on grapes and wines qualities. Two fertigation practices were compared to a rainfed control which is the current standard of the local grape growing production. The fertilizers (nitrogen and potassium) were (i) fully brought by irrigation pipe during the season, (ii) partially brought by irrigation pipe and partially on the soil or (iii) fully brought on the soil at the beginning of the season for the non-irrigated control (local standard). The trial was run on cv. Colombard trained on spur pruned with vertical shoot positioning system on a sandy-silty-clay soil over the 2020 vintage which was particularly hot for the region. Moderate to strong water deficit appeared during the growing period of the berries and held on after veraison. Irrigation strategies allowed for maintaining grapevine without water deficit and being significantly different from the control water status. Grapevine with fully or partial fertigation strategies produced 25% more yield mainly due to the increase of the bunch weight. Also, the fully fertigation showed the best ratio between yield and maturity and brought 30% less of fertilizers (both nitrogen and potassium) than the two other strategies. Finally, the analysis of aromatic compounds in Colombard wines, varietal thiols family, showed the same level of concentrations for the 3 treatments, confirming that the yield performance did not impact the aromatic potential in this trial.
Authors: Thierry Dufourcq1,2, Frédéric Lopez2, Alicia Thomas2, Paul Katgerman1 and Eric Serrano1
1IFV Sud-ouest V’Innopole, Lisle/Tarn, France
2IFV Sud-ouest, Caussens, France
Keywords: fertigation, maturity, yield, Colombard, varietal thiols