The plantation frame as a measure of adaptation to climate change

The mechanization of vineyard work originally led to a reduction in planting densities due to the lack of machinery adapted to the vineyard. The current availability of specific machinery makes it possible to establish higher planting densities. In this work, three planting densities (1.40×0.80 m, 1.80×1 m and 2.20×1.20 m, corresponding to 8928, 5555 and 3787 plants/ha respectively) were studied with four varieties autochthonous of Galicia (northwestern Spain): Albariño and Treixadura (white), Sousón and Mencía (red). The vines were trained in a vertical shoot positioning system using a single Royat cordon, and pruned to spurs with two buds each. Agronomic data (yield, pruning wood weight, Ravaz index) and oenological data in must were collected. The higher planting density (1.40×0.80 m) had no significant effect on grape yield per vine in white varieties, although production per hectare was much higher due to the greater number of plants. In red varieties, this planting density resulted in a significantly lower production per vine, compensated by the greater number of plants. In addition, it significantly reduced the Brix degree in the must of the Albariño, Treixadura and Sousón varieties, and increased the total acidity in the latter two and Mencía. It also caused an increase in extractable and total anthocyanins and IPT in red grapes. The effects of high planting density on grapes are of great interest for the adaptation of varieties in the context of climate change. In the future, it could be advisable to modify the limits imposed by the appellations of origin on the planting density of these varieties in order to obtain more balanced wines.

Authors: María Dolores Loureiro Rodríguez, Ángela Díaz Fernández, Yolanda Bouzas Cid, María José Graña Caneiro, María Rodríguez Romero, Carmen Saborido Díaz and Emilia Díaz Losada 

Axencia Galega da Calidade Alimentaria (AGACAL)-EVEGA. Leiro, Ourense, Spain

Email: maria.dolores.loureiro.rodriguez@xunta.gal

Keywords: plantation frame, acidity, yield, climate change

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