Discriminant value of soil properties for terroir zoning

Environmental analysis (climate, vegetation, geomorfoloy-lanscape, lithology and soil) and its integration in a quality index taking the Appellation of Origin as the sole universe are used as general methodology for terroir zoning in Spain (Sotés and Gómez-Miguel, 1986-2005). This methodology is also applied to specific aspects of different Spanish Appellations of Origin (size, distribution and landscape peculiarities and vine occupation index).
In this work, the whole set of results of all Appellations of Origin is taken as the universe (2.323.094 ha of surface and 144.248 ha of vineyard) and the two higher taxonomic units (soil series), where more than 75 % of the vineyard is located, are taken as comparative elements.
Unit characterization is made with ninety soil variables and a multicriterion method, which explains behavior differences in these variables and in the vineyard quality index, is used for comparison.
This analysis shows how every compared unit has a more similar behaviour to different units of the same Appellation than to other units with the same soil taxonomy but from different Appellations, except for more closed Appellations with similar environmental characteristics.
The value of soil variables as discriminant elements for terroir classification in zoning studies can, then, be known. In the studied cases of this work, the overall statistic behavior of the variables set is related to the wine production specific characteristics of every Appellation.

Authors: Vicente GÓMEZ-MIGUEL and Vicente SOTÉS

Universidad Politécncia de Madrid
Avda Complutense s/n. 28040 Madrid, España

Emails: vicente.gomez@upm.es; vicente.sotes@upm.es

Keywords: terroir, soil, zoning, geomorphology, Spain

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