Evaluation of phenology, agronomic and oenological quality in minority wine varieties in Madrid as a strategy for adaptation to climate change
The main phenological stages (budburst, flowering, veraison, and ripeness) and the fruit composition of 34 Spanish minority varieties were studied to determine their cultivation potential and help winegrowers adapt their production systems to climate change conditions. In total, 4 control cultivars, and 30 minority varieties from central Spain were studied during a period of 3 campaigns, in the ampelographic collection “El Encín”, in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid. Agronomic and oenological characteristics such as yield, and total soluble solids concentration have been monitored.
Periods of expression of the main phenological stages were identified; sprouting, for 3 to 4 weeks; 9 days of flowering, appearance of veraison for 4 weeks and a sprouting period to harvest that occurs between 20 and 30 weeks. The results allow us to classify the varieties, according to the moment of their maturation (early, medium, and late in all varieties, plus very early and very late, in red varieties only) and with an average yield per plant (low, medium, and high) ranging from 200 to 1,200 g/plant.
The reduction of the usual phenology periods and decrease in the acidity of musts, increase in pH, and concentration of sugars early, are considered negative effects of climate change . The composition of the fruit is reflected in the concentration of ºBrix, which ranged from 15.8 – 27.1 ºBrix; pH, from 2.90 and 4.19; total acidity between 1.48 and 6.83 g/L of tartaric acid and malic acid between 0.16 and 3.70 g/L. Minority varieties tend to thrive in increasingly warm conditions, with periods of late sprouting and early ripening, which can help combat the risk of late frosts .
It is suggested that late or very late ripening varieties, which currently manage to ripen in warm conditions, with a sufficient accumulation of total soluble solids (20-22 ºBrix), high acidity values, and yields higher than 0.5 kg/plant, can be cultivated as new plant material for the mitigation of the effects of climate change in the viticulture of central Spain.
Acknowledgments: Project RTI2018-101085-R-C31 (MINORVIN) funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by ERDF A way of making Europe. F.E.E-R. has received a grant (PRE2019-089073) funded by MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033 and ESF Investing in your future.
1) Muñoz-Organero, G. et al. (2022). Phenological Study of 53 Spanish Minority Grape Varieties to Search for Adaptation of Vitiviniculture to Climate Change Conditions. Horticulturae 2022, 8, 984. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8110984
2) Clingeleffer, P.R. & Davis, H.P. (2022). Assessment of phenology, growth characteristics and berry composition in a hot Australian climate to identify wine cultivars adapted to climate change. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research., 28: 255-275, DOI: 10.1111/ajgw.12544
Issue: ICGWS 2023
1Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural Agrario y Alimentario (IMIDRA), Finca El Encín, 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
2ICVV (Universidad de La Rioja, CSIC, Gobierno de La Rioja), c/ Madre de Dios, 51, 26006 Logroño, Spain
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phenology, climate change, minority grape varieties, ripeness