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IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 International Congress on Grapevine and Wine Sciences 9 2ICGWS-2023 9 The use of δ13C as an indicator of water use efficiency for the selection of drought tolerant grapevine varieties

The use of δ13C as an indicator of water use efficiency for the selection of drought tolerant grapevine varieties


In the context of climate change with increasing evaporative demand, understanding the water use behavior of different grapevine cultivars is of critical importance. Carbon isotope discrimination (δ13C) measurements in wine provide a precise and integrated assessment of the water status of the vines during the sugar accumulation period in grape berries. When collected over multiple vintages on different cultivars, δ13C measurements can also provide insights into the effects of genotype on water use efficiency. More specifically, cultivars with more negative values of δ13C (indicating later stomatal regulation) in non-limiting conditions could reveal higher vulnerability to drought [1]. Thus, selecting varieties with less negative δ13C values in non-limiting conditions could be a potential lever for adaptation to climate change.

A 2-hectare parcel was planted with 84 red and white cultivars in 2013, in the Haut Médoc wine region (Bordeaux, France) within a commercial wine-growing estate. Among those 84 cultivars, 7 were vinified over 5 vintages, 19 over 4 vintages and 24 over 3 vintages, resulting in a dataset of δ13C of 50 different cultivars over 3 to 5 vintages. The varieties included all the traditional Bordeaux varieties, some common varieties of Spain and Portugal, as well as other widely planted French varieties.

The vintage effect was clearly shown in the analyses, with the wettest vintages expressing more negative values of δ13C than drier vintages. δ13C values were also significantly different depending on the cultivar, allowing for a characterization of the 50 cultivars for their water use efficiency in limiting and non-limiting conditions. These results provide insights in the strategy of the cultivar’s water use and could help identifying potential drought tolerant varieties.

  1. Plantevin, M., Gowdy, M., Destrac-Irvine, A., Marguerit, E., Gambetta, G. A., & van Leeuwen, C. (2022). Using δ13C and hydroscapes for discriminating cultivar specific drought responses. OENO One56(2), 239–250. https://doi.org/10.20870/oeno-one.2022.56.2.5434


Publication date: October 11, 2023

Issue: ICGWS 2023

Type: Poster


Marc Plantevin1, Yoann Merpault1, Mark Gowdy1, Gregory A. Gambetta1, Elisa Marguerit1, Julien Lecourt2, Cornelis van Leeuwen1

1EGFV, Univ. Bordeaux, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, INRAE, ISVV, F-33882 Villenave d’Ornon, France
2Pôle Scientifique, Bernard Margez Grands Vignobles, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Contact the author*


climate change, δ13C, water use efficiency, drought tolerance, Vitis Vinifera


2ICGWS | ICGWS | ICGWS 2023 | IVES Conference Series


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