Response of Graciano (Morrastel) and Tempranillo varieties at different elevations and under different weather conditions in Rioja DOCa (Spain)

The aim of this work was to analyze the differences in the response of two red varieties (Tempranillo and Graciano) under the present climate conditions and under projected climate change scenarios in Rioja DOCa. Phenological dates and grape composition of both varieties (berry weight (BW), total soluble solids (PVAD), titratable acidity (AcT), malic acid (AcM), anthocyanins (AntT) and total phenolics (TPI), were analyzed in areas located between 325 and 560 m.a.s.l. during the period 2008-2020. Climate characteristics were analyzed by considering the information recorded, for the same period in meteorological stations close to the plots. A cluster analysis was performed including grape composition and climate parameters related to temperatures and precipitation recorded along the growing season. A later phenological timing of Graciano vs. Tempranillo were confirmed with additional differences between zones located at different elevation. For a given PVAD, the final AcT reached in Graciano were higher than in Tempranillo, and the decrease of AcT was slowly for Graciano than for Tempranillo when the PVAD increased. The acidity presented an increasing gradient with elevation for both AcT and AcM for Graciano. For Tempranillo, however, that behavior in AcM was observed in Rioja Oriental, but the highest values were recorded in the plots located in Rioja Alta. The average concentrations of AntT and TPI, were also higher in Graciano than in Tempranillo, and higher in Rioja Oriental than in Rioja Alta, for both varieties. The gradient in the levels of AntT between locations were in agreement with the sugar contents reached. In addition to the direct effects of the climatic conditions on acidity and on the phenolic composition, a significant effect on the decoupling between anthocyanins and sugar might be remarked associated to elevated temperatures. That decoupling could be smaller for Graciano than for Tempranillo. The results confirmed the potentiality of Graciano under warmer scenarios. 

Authors: María Concepción Ramos1 and Fernando Martínez de Toda2  

1Department of Environment and Soil Science, University of Lleida-Agrotecnio, Lleida, Spain 
2ICVV (Universidad de La Rioja, CSIC, Gobierno de La Rioja), Logroño, Spain


Keywords: grape composition, Graciano, Tempranillo, temperature, water availability

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