Terroir 2012 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Geostatistical analysis of the vineyards in the canton of Geneva in relation to soil and climate

Geostatistical analysis of the vineyards in the canton of Geneva in relation to soil and climate


Soil and climate maps at the 1:10000 scales exist for more than 12’000 ha of Swiss vineyards. The use of these maps as consulting tools for growers remains difficult due to the complexity of the relationship between terroir and the large number of grape varieties planted. The current distribution of varieties and rootstocks is the result of a long optimization process. This study aims at analyzing the relationships between grape varieties, soil characteristics and climatic conditions.
The study was performed on the 1365 ha of Geneva’s vineyards with 3885 digitalized parcels. The 19 grape varieties planted on at least 5 ha were matched with the soil and potential radiation maps. The surface of each variety-soil combination and the mean radiation were calculated for each parcel.

The analysis showed that grape varieties were primarily planted according to meso-climatic conditions. Late ripening varieties, like Syrah or Merlot, were always planted on parcels receiving higher amounts of radiation than those planted with Pinot noir or Gamaret. Minimum radiation was calculated for each variety. Traditional grape varieties (e.g. Gamay or Chasselas) were planted in all meso-climates, indicating that the warmest plots were not judged to be too warm for early varieties. Regarding soil characteristics, early varieties were more present on BRUNISOL, which mainly represented flatter areas of the vineyards (10 % mean slope) and late varieties on steeper areas (mainly CALCOSOL with 16 % mean slope).
The present study revealed actual practices and criterions used by growers to make planting decisions. It might indicate minimum climatic and soil requirements for a given variety in the canton of Geneva. Continued monitoring may show the adjustments made by the growers to correct unsuccessful planting decisions. The analysis of these adjustments provides useful information for vineyard consultants.


Publication date: October 1, 2020

Issue: Terroir 2012

Type: Article


Stéphane BURGOS, Elisabeth FORTIER

École d’Ingénieurs de Changins, rte de Duiller 50, 1260 Nyon

Contact the author


grape varieties, soil, climate, terroir, SIG, geostatistic, Geneva


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.