The use of rootstock as a lever in the face of climate change and dieback of vineyard

As viticulture faces challenges such as climate change or vineyard dieback, the choice of the variety and rootstock becomes more and more crucial. To study rootstock levers in the Bordeaux region, a parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon (CS) was planted with four rootstocks in 2014. Twenty repetitions of each of the following four rootstocks were set up: 101-14 MGt, Nemadex AB, 420A MGt and Gravesac. The number of bunches, yields and pruning weights of the vine shoots were measured individually on 240 vines from 2017 to 2021. Since 2020, nitrogen status assessed by assimilable nitrogen level, hydric status assessed by δ13C and berry maturity were measured on 80 samples taken from 20 repetitions of the four rootstocks. A lower yield was measured for CS grafted onto Nemadex AB due to the lower number of bunches and the lower weight of berries. The differences between the other three rootstocks are small, but CS grafted onto 420A MGt was the most productive. The CS grafted onto Nemadex AB had the lowest pruning weight while 101-14 MGt had the highest. In 2020, δ13C showed a more moderate water stress with 101-14 MGt and 420A MGt than with Nemadex AB. Surprisingly, the Gravesac was under more stress than the 101-14 MGt. The nitrogen status in the berries was better for Nemadex AB but this was perhaps due to the significantly lower weight of the berries.Rootstock 101-14 MGt attained the highest accumulation of sugars in the berries while 420A MGt allows to preserve higher acidity. The parcel is still young which may explain some of the results. These measures must therefore be continued over the next several years to fully assess the effects of these rootstocks on the development of the vines and the quality of the production under new climatic conditions.

Author: Coralie Dewasme1, Séverine. Mary2, Jean-Pascal Tandonnet1, Guillaume Darrieutort2, Jean-Christophe Barbe3 and Jean-Philippe Roby1

1EGFV, Univ. Bordeaux, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, INRAE, ISVV, Villenave d’Ornon, France
2Vitinnov, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, ISVV, Villeanve d’Ornon, France
3Univ. Bordeaux, UR oenologie EA 4577, USC 1366 INRAE, ISVV, Villenave d’Ornon, France


Keywords: berry composition, Cabernet-Sauvignon, climate change, rootstock, yield

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