Terroir 2008 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 The role of the environmental factor as a component of the terroir in Spain (A.O. Cigales, NW Spain)

The role of the environmental factor as a component of the terroir in Spain (A.O. Cigales, NW Spain)


The components and the methodology for characterization of the terroir in Spain have been described by Gómez-Miguel et al. (2003) and Sotés et al. (2003), taking into account the full range of environmental factors (i.e: climate, vegetation, topography, soils, altitude, etc.), landscape variables (derived from photo-interpretation and a digital elevation model) and specific variables of the country’s viticulture (i.e: size and distribution of vineyards, varieties, phenology, productivity, quality, designation regulations, etc.). This paper describes: the integration of the resulting database in a Geographic Information System (GIS) that allows the spatial and statistical analysis of all variables; the parametric system of variable quantification; the selection of main endogenous and exogenous variables for terroir characterization; and the role of the variables that describe the landscape in the final results. The analysis has been carried out over 2.4 million ha. This paper presents the results of a case studied in the Cigales region (A.O. Cigales) that expands on 62,210.5 ha and includes 2,351.5 ha of vineyards. The observed distribution of vineyards in this region is ¿well? correlated to the integrated landscape-terrain classification and productivity but does not depend on the total available area for cultivation. It is significant that a subset of geological formations that accounts for 59 percent of the total area sustains over 95 percent of the vineyards.
The results of the study have general implications for landscape-terrain classification in Spain and define a set of methodological guidelines: a) definition of the set of variables that define the landscape (characterization of the lithological and morphological components; homogenization of lithological units; cartography of the geological formations; integration of a digital elevation model to derive altitude, orientation, exposure and slope. The spatial scale should be at least 1:25,000); b) definition of the Homogeneous Land Units (UHM) (The parameter characterization was carried out from the units which were previously defined from the data of the environmental analysis); c) experimental design (Selection of Homogeneous Land Units and characterization within the units); d) final zoning: integration of the Homogeneous Land Unit with the plant (variety and rootstock) and the product (must and wine).


Publication date: December 8, 2021

Issue: Terroir 2008

Type : Article


V. GOMEZ-MIGUEL (1) and V. SOTES (2)

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Avda Complutense s/n. 28040-Madrid, Spain

Contact the author


terroir, zoning, landscape, climate, soil, GIS


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2008


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.