In the current climatic context, with milder winters leading to earlier budburst in most wine regions, vines are exposed to the risk of spring frosts for a longer period. Depending on the year, frost can lead to yield losses of between 20 and 100 %, jeopardizing the economic survival of wine estates. In addition, by destroying young shoots, spring frosts can impact the following season’s production, by reducing the number of canes available for pruning, for example. Late pruning is one method to combat spring frosts.
Vine and soil management innovations
Foliar application of urea may be an efficient way to alter grape and wine composition without increasing vine vigor. However, we know little about the impact of this practice on phenolic compounds and yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN). Adequate YAN is required for an efficient and complete fermentation, while phenolics are particularly important for the sensory profile of red wines. The goal of this study is to test the impact of foliar urea application at veraison, compared to the traditional soil-applied nitrogen fertilization early in the season, on Syrah berry and wine composition in field conditions.
Comparing different vineyard sampling densities and patterns for spatial interpolation of intrinsic water use efficiency
The need to rationalize agricultural inputs has recently increased interest in assessing vineyard variability in order to implement variable rate input applications, so-called ‘precision viticulture’. In many viticultural areas globally, precision viticulture is already widely used such as for selective harvesting and variable rate application (VRA) of inputs such as irrigation and/or fertilizer. Robust VRA relies on having a geostatistically accurate map (of one or more vineyard attributes) requiring high sampling densities, which can be cost- and time-prohibitive to obtain. Previous work on spatial interpolation using kriging have upscaled ground-based measurements, but such upscaling strategies are applicable only when vineyard conditions are spatially continuous and satisfies the assumption of second-order stationary processes. Alternatively, mixed models that combine kriging and auxiliary information, such as the regression kriging (RK) method, are more instructive for spatial predictions. In order to improve prediction accuracies, it is therefore necessary to incorporate additional information to achieve accurate spatial patterns with low error.
Biomass carbon and nitrogen input from cover crops in an irrigated vineyard in Okanagan Valley, Canada
The use of cover crops in vineyards has been encouraged by positive effects on wine grape yield and sensory attributes, and improved soil function. This study examined the efficacy of three alleyway and three undervine cover crop treatments in an organic vineyard in the semiarid Okanagan Valley, Canada in 2021.
Grapevine nitrogen status: correlation between chlorophyll indices n-tester and spadGrapevine nitrogen status
Knowledge of the nitrogen nutrition status of grapevines is essential for the sustainable management of their nutrition for the production of quality grapes. The measurement of the chlorophyll index is a rapid, non-destructive and relatively inexpensive method that provides a good approximation of the nitrogen nutrition status of the vine during the season. Interpretation thresholds are currently insufficient or non-existent for some chlorophyll meters. Ideally, they should be available for each variety and each phenological stage. In order to popularize the use of chlorophyll-meters, measurements were carried out at Agroscope in Switzerland to establish the correlation between the indices obtained by the devices N-tester and SPAD 502.
In the Cognac region in France, Ugni blanc is the most planted grape variety (98% of the 80 500 ha). This vine region is in expansion due to the success of the associated well-known brandy and the need of high grape yield to guarrantee the production of base wine for distillation. About 2 to 3000 ha are newly planted each year and rootstocks are one powerfull tool for vineyard adaptation to soil or climate change. As rootstocks ensure water and mineral nutrient supplies to the scion, it is important to better understand their effect on berry compostionnal parameters such as sugars and nitrogen compounds, which are the main precursors for fermentary aroma metabolites, the latter being quality markers for Cognac after distillation.
Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) is a common viticultural practice for wine grape production. In addition to the potential improvement of water use efficiency, the adoption of this technique favors smaller canopies with higher levels of fruit sun exposure, enhancing quality attributes associated with red wine grapes such as smaller berries with higher tannins and anthocyanins. However, these quality attributes do not necessarily transfer to white wine grapes. The goal of this project was to assess whether partial rootzone drying (PRD) is more suited than RDI to grow high-end white wine grapes in arid climates, especially aromatic varieties, using Riesling as a model.
Under-vine cover crops as a management tool for irrigated Mediterranean vineyards: agronomic implications and changes in soil physical and biological properties
Cover crops are increasingly considered in Mediterranean climate vineyards due to a combination of agronomic and regulatory considerations. However, the soil under the vines themselves is typically kept free of vegetation by mechanical plowing or herbicide spraying. Taking into account that these practices may convey a number of non-favourable economic and environmental implications, and the fact that drip irrigation can ease the use of cover crops under the vines, the aim of this work was to evaluate the agronomic implications and the changes in soil physical and biological properties caused by an under-vine cover crop in a Mediterranean area.
Relative impact of crop size and leaf removal on aromatic compounds and phenolic acids of Istrian Malvasia wine
Although several studies investigated the impact of crop size or fruit zone microclimate on aromatic or phenolic composition of wines, the effects of these two practices were not assessed and compared in the same study through a technological experiment within the same vineyard. Therefore, their relative effectiveness is hard to compare, which in turn is essential for providing producers with valuable information as a basis to choose adequate approach in yield and canopy management. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of two crop sizes and two different fruit zone microclimate conditions obtained by leaf removal in a two-factorial experiment, in order to assess and compare their relative impact on Istrian Malvasia (Vitis vinifera L.) white wine aroma and phenolic composition.
After some decades sunk into oblivion, pruning has recently recovered the focus of grape growers and viticulturists worldwide. Attention is now being paid to the respect the sap flow continuity and to pruning wounds, as they may affect the general performance and longevity of the plant. The longevity and profitability are strongly affected by the increasing incidence of grapevine wood diseases (GWD), intensified by the omission of good pruning practices and leading to an increasingly aggressive pruning. The purpose of this study is to provide an objective evaluation of the short- and mid-term implications of different pruning practices that differ in the degree of observation several of pruning principles.
An overview of the impact of clone, environmental factors and viticultural techniques on rotundone concentration in red wines
Rotundone is the main aroma compound responsible for peppery notes in red wine. This positive and very potent molecule has an odor threshold of 8 ng/L in water and 16 ng/L in red wine. It has been detected in several grape varieties with some of the highest concentrations recorded in Syrah, Duras, Tardif and Noiret, an interspecific hybrid grown in the North-East of the USA. If several winemaking practices have been identified to lower rotundone in wine, up to date, no enological solution has proved its efficiency to maximize it. This means that efforts to produce high rotundone wines must be undertaken in vineyards. This work provides practical ways that can be used by winegrowers to modulate rotundone levels in their wines.
Preliminary results of the effect of post veraison pre-pruning on grape and wine composition in Tannat and Merlot
The seasonal’s climatic conditions determine the composition of grapes at harvest as they affect the vine's physiology and development. High temperatures during the grape ripening period cause a high accumulation of sugars and degradation of fruit acidity ,and alter the synthesis of polyphenols. Therefore, some vineyard management can be applied in order to modify grapevine impact on climate variability. One example is the pre-pruning at the beginning of grape ripening, which can delay the ripening period and modify the composition of the grapes at harvest. This work aims to evaluate the pre-pruning field technique on yield components and alcohol content in wines of Tannat and Merlot varieties.
Vintel: a single decision support system for irrigation, fertilization and disease management of grapevine
Vine growers face an increasing number of decisions, both tactical and strategic, in a context where available data and constraints are on the rise, such as resources, societal, environmental, climatic, and economic factors. This has led to a growing supply of decision support systems (DSS) and softwares to manage vineyards. Facing this new complexity, growers must now consider several options: giving up the use of DSS, using systems that are compatible with each other but may limit their options, or using a single system that may be too complex to use effectively. In this context, itk has expanded its Vintel® tool, which was originally designed for grapevine water status management (irrigation, inter-row, cover-crop, etc.), to include fertilization and disease management.
First characterization of Torrontés Riojano in la Rioja, Argentina: impact of pruning intensity on vine vigor and grape production
Pruning is one essential vineyard management activity whose main purpose is to regulate plant growth and vigour, modulating berry size, and consequently, wine quality. In Chilecito, La Rioja Province, Argentina, Torrontés Riojano stands as the only autochthonous variety for winemaking, yielding golden and aromatic berries and distinctive muscatel-tasting wines. This white cultivar, resulting from the natural cross between Moscatel de Alejandría x Criolla Chica, is traditionally trained in “parral” (horizontal trellis system), aimed to manage vigorous canopies. This project constitutes the first study on the influence of pruning intensity on Torrontés Riojano growth habit and berry quality.