Under the pressure of global warming, several wine grape growing regions around the world are increasingly suffering from advanced and compressed phenology; endangering wine character while also creating serious logistic problems. From a physiological standpoint, the issue of delaying ripening is not simple as, in several instances, only a few processes must be delayed (i.e. sugar accumulation into the berries) while other events such as pigmentation and accumulation of other important phenolic compounds should proceed at a normal rate. Thus, the issue of decoupling technological maturity from phenolic maturity is another important consideration. Over the last decades, several research groups have endeavored to establish alternate cultural practices aimed at addressing this decoupling. In some cases, special applications of quite robust and well known practices regarding physiological principles have been utilized, however some completely new techniques are also being studied. In figure 1 of the review, we offer a panorama of the available tools and in the text we elaborate on those having provided most reliable and consistent results under an array of genotypes and environmental conditions. Among these, primary focus is given to post‐veraison—apical to the cluster—leaf removal (that can also be suitably replaced by applications of anti‐transpirants); the use of kaolin against multiple summers’ stresses; and a drastic version of late winter pruning having the potential to postpone ripening into a cooler period with improved grape composition and a limited negative impact on yield and storage reserves replenishment.
Context and purpose of the study ‐ Vine balance is a concept describing the relationship between carbon assimilation (usually estimated using a measure of vine vigour, e.g. pruning weight) and its utilisation for fruit production (usually estimated using harvest yield). Manipulating vine balance through leaf area or crop load adjustments affects the proportion of the vine’s total carbohydrate production required to mature the fruit. It is commonly considered that composition of the berry, and resulting wine, is strongly affected by vine balance.
Context and purpose of the study ‐ Crop load management by cluster thinning can improve ripening and the concentration of key metabolites for grape and wine quality. However, little work has been done on testing the impact of crop load management on terpene content of white grapes. The goal of the study was to assess if by reducing crop load via cluster thinning growers can increase terpene concentration of grapes, as well as to test if the timing of thinning application affects terpene concentration.
Is early defoliation a sustainable management practice for mediterranean vineyards? Case studies at the portuguese lisbon winegrowing region
Context and purpose of the study ‐ Recently early defoliation (ED) has been tested in several high‐ yielding grapevine varieties and sites aiming at reducing cluster compactness and hence, regulating yield and susceptibility to botrytis bunch rot infection. The reported results have been generally positive, encouraging growers to use this canopy management technique as an alternative for replacing the conventional time‐consuming cluster thinning and, simultaneously, as a sustainable practice to reduce the use of fungicides. However, ED increases berry sunburn risks and/or can induce carry‐over effects on vigor and node fruitfulness as shown in the two case studies reported in this work.
Context and purpose of the study ‐ An advancement of grapevine phenological development has been observed worldwide in the last two decades. In South Australia this phenomenon is even more accentuated since grapevine is often grown in a hot climate. The main consequences are earlier harvests at higher sugar levels which also result in more alcoholic wines. These are deemed undesirable for the Australian wine industry with consumer preferences shifting towards lower alcohol wines. Vineyard practices can be implemented to control and delay ripening. Amongst them, apical late leaf removal has been successfully applied in Europe to delay ripening by up to two weeks in Sangiovese, Aglianico and Riesling. In those studies, no negative effects were observed on grape colour, phenolics and on the carbohydrate storage capacity of the vines. To date, this technique has not been studied in Australia. In this study late leaf removal, apical to the bunch zone was applied to the variety Semillon for four seasons and compared to an untreated control.
Utility of leaf removal timing and irrigation amounts on grape berry flavonoids under climate change
Context and purpose of the study – The dormant and growing season temperatures in California USA have been increasing with more clear sky days. A consequence increasing temperatures and clear sky days is water deficit conditions. Viticulturists must determine appropriate balances of canopy management and irrigation budgeting to produce suitable yields without compromising berry chemistry. In response, a study designed to test the interactive effects of leaf removal timing and applied water amounts on Cabernet Sauvignon/110R in Napa Valley, CA.
Vitis v. corvina grapes composition and wine sensory profile as affected by different post harvest withering conditions
Context and purpose of the study - In Valpolicella area (Verona – Italy) Vitis vinifera cv. Corvina is the main wine variety to obtain, after grape withering, Amarone wine: this study was carried out in order to compare two different grape dehydration conditions with the aim of verifying the final composition of Corvina dried grapes and the organoleptic profile of corresponding Amarone wine.
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Sustainable viticulture’ the “semi‐minimal” pruned “hedge” system for grape vines long term experience on cv. Sangiovese (Vitis vinifera L.)
In previous experiments carried out in Bologna on Sangiovese grapevines raised with the Australian “Minimal Pruning” system, it has been shown that this system left an excessive burden of buds on the vine.
Knowledge of vine reaction to plant spacing under high potential soil conditions is restricted. This study was done to determine effects of vine spacing
Efficient irrigation strategies and water use reduction in the high quality production regions of Priorat and Montsant (Spain)
Priorat and Montsant Appellations of Origin are located in the south of Catalonia (North‐East Spain), under severe Mediterranean climatic conditions
Water potential in cv. Verdejo: response at different day times to the variation of water regime in the d.o. rueda (Spain)
Irrigation management is a critical aspect in grapevine cultivation to regularize grape production and quality in areas of clear water limitation.
Nutrients in municipal treated wastewater (N, P, K, mainly) are a particular advantage in this source over conventional irrigation water sources
Colored hail‐nets as a tool to improve vine water status: effects on leaf gas exchange and berry quality in Italia table grape
Protecting table grape vineyards with white hail‐nets is a common practice in Southern Italy. Hail‐nets result in shading effects of 10‐20 %, depending on their density
Ground water in the interior valleys of California is contaminated with nitrates derived from agricultural activities, primarily the over-fertilization of crops.