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.
Estimation of plant hydraulics of grapevine in various «terroirs» in the Canton of Vaud (Switzerland)
The study of the physiological behaviour of the grapevine (cv. Chasselas), and of plant hydraulics in particular, was conducted on various « terroirs » in the Canton of Vaud (Switzerland) between 2001 and 2003 by Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW, in collaboration with the firm I. Letessier (SIGALES) in Grenoble and the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL). An evaluation of the vine plant hydraulics was made by means of physiological indicators (leaf and stem water potentials, transpiration and leaf stomatal conductance, carbon isotope discrimination and a model of transpirable soil water), in relation to estimations of the soil water reservoir and climatic factors.
Grapevine sensitivity to fungal diseases: use of a combination of terroir cartography and parcel survey
In front of the economic interest and seeking to respect their environment, the wine growers move gradually towards a policy of reasoning their plant health protection. This is why, starting from epidemiologic studies on grapevine pathogens, forecasting models of the risks are developed by research and experimentation bodies.
Vine water status was measured on 96 plots of three vines inside a vineyard block of 0.28 ha during three years: 2003, 2004 and 2005. Three physiological indicators were implemented: stem water potential, carbon isotope discrimination measured on grape sugars at ripeness (δ13C) and canopy temperature measured by high resolution remote sensing. For stem water potential, measurements were taken on every single vine of each plot.
Within a research project for simulating the nitrogen turnover in vineyard soils and the nitrogen uptake by the grape vine, a previously developed plant growth model (Nendel and Kersebaum 2004) had to be evaluated. A dataset was obtained from a monitoring experiment at three vineyard sites with different soil types, conducted in the years 2003 and 2004.
A Syrah/R99 vineyard in the Stellenbosch area was used. The vineyard is vertically trained and spaced 2.75 x 1.5 m in north-south orientated rows on terroir with Glenrosa soil and west-facing slope. Irrigation (to 100% field water capacity) treatments were applied at different development stages [all stages (including berry set stage); pea size; véraison; post-véraison]. Combined effects of water status and ripeness level were investigated. Preliminary results are presented.
The use of viticultural and oenological performance of grapevines to identify terroirs: the example of Sauvignon blanc in Stellenbosch
Identification and characterisation of terroirs depends on knowledge of environmental parameters, functioning of the grapevine and characteristics of the final product. A network of plots of Sauvignon blanc was delimited in commercial vineyards in proximity to weather stations at 20 localities and their viticultural and oenological response was monitored for a period of seven years. These experimental plots were further characterised with respect to climate, soil and topography.
Field irrigation experiments were performed on young « Nonpareil » almond trees, mature « Bartlett » pear trees and mature « Pinot Noir » grapevines, to determine the relation of a number of alternative measures of plant water status (predawn and midday stem and leaf water potential), to a number of indices of plant physiological activity (leaf conductance, vegetative growth and fruit growth and composition).
The effect of cover crop on the water relations, yield and grape composition of Pinot noir vines was investigated during two seasons (2003 and 2004) in a gravely soil located in Tarragona (Spain). Seventeen-year-old vines, grafted onto R110 and trained onto a Ballerina training system, were used.