Terroir 2012 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Vine nitrogen status and the terroir effect: a study on cv. Doral in the Vaud vineyard (Switzerland)

Vine nitrogen status and the terroir effect: a study on cv. Doral in the Vaud vineyard (Switzerland)


A 3-year study was conducted in the Vaud vineyard (Switzerland) to evaluate the effects of « terroir » on the ecophysiology and fruit compostion of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Doral and the characteristics of the wine made therefrom. The impact of soil on the vine-fruit-wine continuum was evaluated at 13 locations in the Vaud during the 2007-2009 seasons. Except for soil, the vineyards presented almost identical climatic characteristics and used similar cultivation techniques. The aim of this chapter was to assess whether soil might be a major environmental factor explaining the terroir effect through its effect on vine nitrogen status. We monitored the nitrogen status of the vines by measuring yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) in the must. The soil modulated vine nitrogen status by its fertility and rooting depth. Low vine nitrogen status induced a highly-soluble solids content, low malic acid content and high pH in fruits, resulting in small berries and low vine vigour. Wines were produced in a standardised manner from each location; then, they were subjected to sensory and chemical evaluation. YAN in musts was the parameter that best explained the variation in sensory characteristics of the wine made from grapes from the different locations. Wines made from grapes with low YAN values had negative sensory characteristics such as astringency and low aroma complexity scores. Therefore, vine nitrogen status was a key parameter contributing to the terroir effect. Furthermore, this work provides evidence of how geopedology can influence vine nitrogen status, fruit composition and sensory attributes of wines.


Publication date: October 1, 2020

Issue: Terroir 2012

Type: Article


Vivian ZUFFEREY, Jean-Sébastien REYNARD, Geneviève Clara NICOL, François MURISIER

Station de recherche Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW, CH-1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Contact the author


soil categories, rooting depth, leaf and must nitrogen status, wine characteristics


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2012


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.