Swiss terroirs studies

A multidisciplinary approach aiming at studying the grape-growing areas also referred as “Terroir” was initiated a few years ago in Switzerland. Collaborative studies are carried out on soil characteristics (I. Letessier, Bureau SIGALES; S. Burgos, Ecole d’Ingénieurs de Changins), climatic parameters (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne) and aspects of the plant physiology (Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil). The study of the soil includes the collection of geological and pedological characteristics and viticulturalist’s practical knowledge. It emerged that a large diversity in type and composition of soils was found and highlighted the importance of the parameter of soil water holding capacity (SWHC). In order to evaluate the climatic component of the “Terroir”, a model was built resulting in a climatic index taking into account temperature, radiation and wind protection. Agronomical studies revealed a good correlation between the physiology of the plant (water status, vegetative growth, sugar accumulation in berries) and the water content present in the soil (SWHC). Current studies aim at determining the influences of pedo-climatic factors on the quality of the final product in wine-growing areas in Switzerland.

Authors: Vivian ZUFFEREY, Jean-Sébastien REYNARD, Karine PYTHOUD, Cristina MONICO, François MURISIER, Isabelle LETESSIER (1)

Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW, CH-1260 NYON (Suisse)
(1) Bureau SIGALES, F-38410 St Martin d’Uriage (France)


Keywords: terroirs, soils, climate, ecophysiology, grape quality

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