Grapevine varietal diversity as mitigation tool for climate change: Agronomic and oenologic potential of 14 foreign varieties grown in Languedoc region (France)

Climate change effects in Languedoc include an expected rise in temperatures, increased evapotranspiration as well as more severe and frequent climatic hazards, such as frost, drought periods and heat waves. For winegrowers theses phenomena impact both yield and quality, resulting in more frequent unbalanced wines. Research on identified mitigation tools for vineyard management is necessary to improve resilience of grapevine agrosystems. Varietal assortment is one of them. This study focuses on agronomic and oenologic potential of 14 foreign varieties grown in Languedoc French region. Fourteen grapevine varieties were monitored during 2021 from June until harvest on eight different sites, some of which occurring on more than one site adding up to 21 different modalities: 7 white varieties Alvarinho B, Assyrtiko B (2), Malvasia Istriana B, Parellada B, Verdejo B, Verdelho B, Xarello B, and 7 black varieties Saperavi N (2), Touriga nacional N, Baga N, Aleatico N, Montepulciano N (2), Primitivo N (3), Calabrese N (3). Varietals were compared through the following parameters: phenology was assessed by using the information collected in the Database Network of French Vine Conservatories (INRAE-SupAgro-IFV, 2005-2015). The number of inflorescences for shoots from secondary buds and bourillons and suckers were observed to assess post-bud break frost tolerance potential. Grapevine water status was studied through stem water potential measurement, observation of foliage symptoms of drought, and 𝛿13C on must. Frequencies and intensities of downy mildew, powdery mildew, and black rot attacks were estimated before harvest on leaves and clusters and botrytis at harvest to assess disease susceptibilities. Berry composition was monitored from end of veraison until harvest. Yield and mean bunch weight were also calculated. Varieties were then ranked on a 1-4 scale for each parameter and compared through PCA. Forty two stations of the Mediterranean basin were compared by PCA with the Multicriteria Climatic Classification indicators in order to confront the collected information during 2021 campaign to the hypothesis that plants coming from dry and hot regions are genetically adapted to such climatic conditions.

Authors: Eric Cheylus1,2, Jacques Rousseau1, Lucile Pic1, Thierry Lacombe3

1Groupe ICV, Lattes, France 
2Montpellier SupAgro, Montpellier, France 
3Montpellier SupAgro, UMR AGAP, Montpellier, France

Email: jrousseau@icv.fr

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