Description of the effect of the practical management in the characterization of « terroir effect »

The characterization of « the soil effect » in vine growing is often limited to the description of the physical components of the terroir. Many works were done in this direction and corresponded to geological, pedological or agronomical approaches. However, if the physical environment influences the vine and its grapes, its effect becomes limited at the scale of exploitation. Thus, it could be important to consider how the viticulturist « translated » the potential. The object of this study is to assess the importance of the vine management in a study about the « terroir effect ». With a network of 14 plots representing 5 different soils, two approaches were carried out during the year 2005. An experimental approach with equivalent and controlled practices, and an approach where each winegrower applied a vine-management according to the type of wine that they wished to obtain. This experimentation had showed the influence of precocity and vigour, in interaction with the water status, in the characterization of the potentials. It had also highlighted a « unforeseeable » dimension in the construction of the product. This study had showed the importance for the characterization of « the terroir effect » to consider the vine management carried out by the viticulturists in a system in motion. Finally the limits of a physical and agronomic approach was discussed.

Authors: Nicolas BOTTOIS, Yves CADOT and Gérard BARBEAU

Unité Vigne et Vin, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Centre de Recherches d’Angers,
42 rue Georges Morel, 49071 Beaucouzé Cedex, France


Keywords: vineyard terroir, Vitis vinifera, viticultural management, indicators of state of the vineyard

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