Terroir 2014 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 International Terroir Conferences 9 Terroir 2014 9 Grape growing soils, topographic diversity 9 Terroir influence on growth, grapes and grenache wines in the AOC priorat, northeast Spain

Terroir influence on growth, grapes and grenache wines in the AOC priorat, northeast Spain


The Mediterranean climate of The Priorat AOC, situated behind the coastal mountain range of Tarragona, tends towards continentality with very little precipitation during the vegetation cycle. The soil is poor, dry and rocky, largely composed of slate schist, known as “llicorella”. Vines primarily grow on steep slopes and terraces.

To evaluate how the Priorat unique terroir influences the quality of its wines, two plots of Grenache were chosen, both grafted onto R110. In the study those two sites are referred to as: LO (in the township of Lloar) and EM (in the township of Molar), distinct topographic locations within the AOC. Grenache vines in LO are 14 years old growing in east-south facing terraces. Grenache vines in EM are 16 years old, and south-facing. Both vineyards feature VSP trellising with 2 wires (70cm height). The vines are pruned as bilateral cordon. During 2010 and 2011, leaf area (LA) at the phenological stages of pea size (PS), veraison (V), final ripening (RP) and post-harvest (PH) was measured. Berry phenolic maturity was monitored and the chemical analyses of the wine were carefully evaluated.

The 2010 vintage was characterized by a heterogenic distribution of rainfall and a lower vapor deficit pressure than 2011. Total leaf area (TLA) within parcels did not differ significantly in the temperate year. In the drier vintage, however, vines from LO developed more leaf area than those growing in the south-facing terraces at EM. Nevertheless, the total leaf area before harvest was similar. The heterogeneity in the soil profile at the LO location could likely induce a variation in the drainage capacity, affecting the vine growth (TLA). Small berries from EM produced the highest levels of anthocyanins. EM always has the highest content in ANT T, ANT E, IPT and DMACA in both years. Concerning the wines, the highest concentration of anthocyanin were found in the EM treatment, with greater differences that LO in 2010. Grenache vines growing under warm climate conditions (Priorat AOC), in heterogeneous-stony soils, showed notably variability in the wine composition in front of climate change.


Publication date: July 31, 2020

Issue: Terroir 2014

Type: Article


Montserrat NADAL and Antoni SANCHEZ-ORTIZ

Dept Bioquímica i Biotecnologia, Facultat d’Enologia de Tarragona, URV. Campus Sescelades, 43007 Tarragona, Spain.

Contact the author


Priorat, Grenache, vapor pressure deficit, stony soil, schist, phenolics


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2014


Related articles…

Physiological and growth reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt to row orientation and soil water status

Advanced knowledge on grapevine row orientation is required to improve establishment, management and outcomes of vineyards on terroirs with different environmental conditions (climate, soil, topography) and in view of a future change to more extreme climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological and viticultural reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.

Effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California

San Joaquin Valley accounts for 40% of wine grape acreage and produces 70% of wine grape in California. Fruit quality is one of most important factors which impact the economical sustainability of farming wine grapes in this region. Due to the recent drought and expected labor cost increase, the wine industry is thrilled to understand how to improve fruit quality while maintaining the yield with less water and labor input. The present study aims to study the interactive effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on yield and berry compositions of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California.

The effects of cane girdling on berry texture properties and the concentration of some aroma compounds in three table grape cultivars

The marketability of the table grapes is highly influenced by the consumer demand; therefore the market value of the table grapes is mainly characterized by its berry size, colour, taste and texture. Girdling could cause accumulation of several components in plants above the ringing of the phloem including clusters and resulting improved maturity. The aim of the experiments was to examine the effect of girdling on berry texture characteristics and aroma concentration.

Application of a fluorescence-based method to evaluate the ripening process and quality of Pinot Blanc grape

The chemical composition of grape berries at harvest is one of the most important factors that should be considered to produce high quality wines. Among the different chemical classes which characterize the grape juice, the polyphenolic compound, such as flavonoids, contribute to the final taste and color of wines. Recently, an innovative non-destructive method, based on chlorophyll fluorescence, was developed to estimate the phenolic maturity of red grape varieties through the evaluation of anthocyanins accumulated in the berry skin. To date, only few data are available about the application of this method on white grape varieties.

Different yield regulation strategies in semi-minimal-pruned hedge (SMPH) and impact on bunch architecture

Yields in the novel viticulture training system Semi-Minimal-Pruned Hedge (SMPH) are generally higher compared to the traditional Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). Excessive yields have a negative impact on the vine and wine quality, which can result in substantial losses in yield in subsequent vintages (alternate bearing) or penalties in fruit quality. Therefore yield regulation is essential. The bunch architecture in SMPH differs from VSP. Generally there is a higher amount but smaller bunches with lower single berry weights in SMPH compared to VSP.