Organic mulches slightly influence wine phenolic composition and sensorial properties
Grapevines have traditionally been grown in semi-arid areas, but viticulture is now compromised by climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to implement environmentally friendly viticulture practices to adapt grapevines to current climatic conditions. In this context, organic mulches offer many benefits, such as reduced soil erosion and increased organic matter, soil water content and crop productivity. However, these practices must not compromise grape and wine quality. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect on wine physicochemical and phenolic composition and sensorial properties of different soil management practices on the vine row. Over four years, five soil treatments were examined in two different vineyards. Three treatments involved organic mulches (grape pruning debris (GPD), straw (STR), and spent mushroom compost (SMC)). The other two treatments involved conventional soil management methods (interrow tillage (TILL) and herbicide (HERB)). The implanted organic mulches affected wine physicochemical parameters although they remained within acceptable ranges for optimal wine elaboration. In general, wines from organic mulches, especially SMC, exhibited higher pH, potassium and hue and lower acidity values compared to bare soils. Differences were likely due to higher soil moisture and fertility. The phenolic profile showed minimal differences among treatments, except for SMC wine, which had lower total flavonols content. Additionally, no differences in wine sensorial properties were observed. Therefore, organic mulches, especially STR and GPD, could serve as alternative practices to mitigate climate change impacts without compromising wine sensory properties and with minimal impact on wine physicalchemical and phenolic composition.
Acknowledgements: The authors thank Pernod Ricard and D. Mateos for sharing their vineyards. This study was jointly supported by the FEDER Funds and the RTI2018-095748-R-I00 Project (Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades).
Issue: ICGWS 2023
Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (CSIC, Gobierno de la Rioja, Universidad de La Rioja), 26007, Logroño, Spain