Qualitative and productive characterization of a minority variety: ‘Branco lexítimo’ in DO Ribeira Sacra (Spain)
The actual climate changes, together with the strong regulation of the European Union and Spanish government, in search of sustainable viticulture, have forced the recovery of minority varieties, expanding the range of grape varieties, as well as the possible development of wines with unique profiles. In the Ribeira Sacra DO (Spain), a comparative study of the agronomic and qualitative behavior of the ‘Branco lexítimo’ variety has been carried out, compared to the majority white variety in the DO: ‘Godello’, located in the same study plot, with identic soil and climatic conditions. The study contemplated the analysis of phenology and leaf water potential, as well as the productive results and the analysis of the must quality, during four seasons: 2018 – 2021. No significant differences in phenology were observed, despite a certain advance of the ‘Godello’ variety, on the contrary, a better leaf water potential has been observed in ‘Branco lexítimo’, even in dry years (2020). Results have shown that ‘Branco lexítimo’ (8,700 kg ha-1) obtain lower yield than ‘Godello’ (12,700 kg ha-1), mainly due to lower number of bunches per plant and average weight, except to 2018 season, where ‘Branco lexítimo’ obtain higher. Similar must quality results were obtained, with no significative difference to sugars, pH, total acidity, malic and tartaric acids. A tendency to greater total acidity, generated by the amount of malic acid, is observed for the ‘Branco lexítimo’ variety, except to 2020, the driest year of the study period. However, must yeast-assimilable nitrogen (YAN) and Free α-Amino Nitrogen (FAN), during the four study seasons, were always higher in ‘Branco lexítimo’, which facilitates a better wine fermentation, improving the expression of all the volatile compounds present in this variety. Despite the lower yields of the ‘Branco lexítimo’ variety, its qualitative improvement and its oenological potential make it a viable alternative in the DO Ribeira Sacra.
Issue: ICGWS 2023
1 GI-1716. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Campus Terra, Lugo, Spain
2 Adega Ponte da Boga. Castro Caldelas, Ourense, Spain
3 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas CSIC- Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (ICVV), Carretera de Burgos, Logroño, Spain
4 CropQuality: Crop stresses and their effects on Quality (USC), Unidad Asociada al CSIC-ICVV