terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 GiESCO 9 GiESCO 2023 9 Carry over effect of shoot trimming and deficit irrigation on fruit yield and berry total soluble solids

Carry over effect of shoot trimming and deficit irrigation on fruit yield and berry total soluble solids


Context and purpose of the study – The increase in air temperature that is occurring in many important wine-growing areas around the world is resulting in the decoupling between the phenolic and the technological maturity of grapevine berries. This new ripening pattern leads to the production of light-bodied high alcoholic wines, but this is in countertendency with the increasing consumers’ demand for wines with low-to-mid alcohol concentrations. The oenological techniques proposed to reduce wine alcohol content are often very expensive and lead to detrimental effects on wine quality. Many viticultural practices have been proposed to slow down sugar accumulation the berry. One possible strategy that was previously found to be suitable for Aglianico grapevine is post-veraison shoot trimming. The aim of this work was to assess the carry over effects on the following year of shoot trimming and vine water status on yield and total soluble solids because the expected reduction in vine fertility could lead to a reduction in the effectiveness of shoot trimming. 

Material and methods – The trial was carried out over four years (from 2017 to 2020) in a commercial vineyard located in Mirabella Eclano (Avellino, Italy). Vines were 13-year-old Aglianico grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) grafted onto K5BB, spaced 2.5 × 1.0 m, trained to a bilateral spur cordon with a N-S row orientation. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with nine treatments and four blocks; The treatments resulted from the combination of three levels of shoot trimming with three different irrigation strategies applied when the total soluble solids (TSS) were 12 °Brix. Shoot trimming treatments consisted in the removal of 30% and 60% of leaf area (respectively T30 and T60) and a untrimmed control (T0), whereas irrigation treatments replaced 0%, 50% or 100% of Etc (I0, I50, and I100, respectively). The harvest was performed when all the treatments reached phenolic maturity and yield and berry composition were measured.

Results – The results showed how severe shoot trimming can lead to a reduction in vine yield in the following years. This effect was manifested starting from the second year of the trial in rainfed vines exposed to severe trimmed, whereas this effect appeared later in irrigated and severely trimmed vines (3rd year of experiment). We found a negative relationship between yield and the intensity of water stress in the previous year, but this relationship is affected by the intensity of shoot trimming applied. However, yield reduction did not cause an increase in TSS as compensating effect in T60 vines. Severe shoot trimming reduced TSS content each year but the effect was found to be greater for dryer years. Mild shoot trimming conversely increased TSS in berry juice in particular during mild seasons.


Publication date: June 23, 2023

Issue: GiESCO 2023

Type: Article


Alessandro MATAFFO1, Pasquale SCOGNAMIGLIO1, Maurizio TEOBALDELLI1, Carlo MOLINARO1, Antonio DENTE2, Boris BASILE1*

1Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Viale Italia, 83100 Avellino, Italy
2Mastroberardino Winery, 83042 Avellino, Italy

Contact the author*


Aglianico, canopy management, climate change, water stress, Southern Italy


GiESCO | GIESCO 2023 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…


Climate change has brought several impacts that are becoming increasingly intense during the last few years and put at risk the quality of the berries or even the plant’s sustainability. Such extreme climatic events impact the composition of the wine while modulating its quality and the consumer preferences (Tempère et al., 2019). The three most important changes that take place in the must are: 1) decrease acidity, 2) increase of the concentration of sugar, hence increase of alcohol in the wine, and 3) modification
of the sensory balance and the development for example of cooked fruit aromas.


In Italy, in the past two decades, the rate of temperature increases (0.0369 °C per year) was slightly higher compared to the world average (0.0313 °C per year). It has also been indicated that the number and intensity of heat waves have increased considerably in the last decades. (IEA, 2022). Viticultural zones can be classified with climatic indexes. Huglin’s index (HI) considers the temperature in a definite area and has been considered as reliable to evaluate the thermal suitability for winegrape production (Zhang et al., 2023).

A synthesis approach on the impact of elevated CO2 on berry physiology and yield of Vitis vinifera

Besides the increase in global mean temperature the second main challenge of a changing climate is the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in relation to physiology and yield performance of grapevines. The benefits of increasing CO2 levels under greenhouse environment or open field studies have been well investigated for various annual crops. Research under free carbon dioxide enrichment on field-grown perennial plants such as grapevines is limited to a few studies. Further, chamber and greenhouse experiments have been conducted mostly on potted vines under eCO2 conditions.

Microbial ecosystems in wineries – molecular interactions between species and modelling of population dynamics

Microbial ecosystems are primary drivers of viticultural, oenological and other cellar-related processes
such as wastewater treatment. Metagenomic datasets have broadly mapped the vast microbial species
diversity of many of the relevant ecological niches within the broader wine environment, from vineyard
soils to plants and grapes to fermentation. The data highlight that species identities and diversity
significantly impact agronomic performance of vineyards as well as wine quality, but the complexity
of these systems and of microbial growth dynamics has defeated attempts to offer actionable
tools to guide or predict specific outcomes of ecosystem-based interventions.

Searching for the sweet spot: a focus on wine dealcoholization

It is well known that the vinification of grapes at full maturation can produce rich, full-bodied wines,
with intense and complex flavour profiles. However, the juice obtained from such grapes may have very
high sugar concentration, resulting in wines with an excessive concentration of ethanol. In addition, the decoupling between technological maturity and phenolic/aromatic one due to global warming, exacerbates this problem in some wine-growing regions. In parallel with the increase of the mean alcohol content of wines on the market, also the demand for reduced alcohol beverages has increased in recent years, mainly as a result of health and social concerns about the risks related to the consumption of alcohol.