Extreme canopy management for vineyard adaptation to climate change: is it a good idea?

Climate change constitutes an enormous challenge for humankind and for all human activities, viticulture not being an exception. Long-term strategic changes are probably needed the most, but growers also need to deal with short-term changes: summers that are getting progressively warmer, earlier harvest dates and higher pH in musts and wines. In the last 10-15 years, a relevant corpus of research is being developed worldwide in order to evaluate to which extent extreme canopy management operations, aimed at reducing leaf area and, thus, limiting the source to sink ratio, could be useful to delay ripening. Although extreme canopy management can result in relevant delays in harvest dates, longer term studies, as well as detailed analysis of their implications on carbohydrate reserves, bud fertility and future yield are desirable before these practices can be recommended. 

Author: Luis Gonzaga Santesteban1* 

1 Dpt Agronomy, Biotechnology & Food Science, Public University of Navarre, 31006 Pamplona, Spain 

2 Institute for Multidisciplinary Research in Applied Biology (IMAB-UPNA), 31006 Pamplona, Spain 

Keywords: leaf removal, shoot trimming, global warming, carbohydrates 

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