Terroir is not only a geographical site, but it is a more complex concept able to express the “collective knowledge of the interactions” between the environment and the vines mediated through human action and “providing distinctive characteristics” to the final product (OIV 2010). It is often treated and accepted as a “black box”, in which the relationships between wine and its origin have not been clearly explained. Nevertheless, it is well known that terroir expression is strongly dependent on the physical environment, and in particular on the interaction between soil-plant and atmosphere system, which influences the grapevine responses, grapes composition and wine quality. The Terroir studying and mapping are based on viticultural zoning procedures, obtained with different levels of know-how, at different spatial and temporal scales, empiricism and complexity in the description of involved bio-physical processes, and integrating or not the multidisciplinary nature of the terroir. The scientific understanding of the mechanisms ruling both the vineyard variability and the quality of grapes is one of the most important scientific focuses of terroir research. In fact, this know-how is crucial for supporting the analysis of climate change impacts on terroir resilience, identifying new promised lands for viticulture, and driving vineyard management toward a target oenological goal. In this contribution, an overview of the last findings in terroir studies and approaches will be shown with special attention to the terroir resilience analysis to climate change, facing the use and abuse of terroir concept and new technology able to support it and identifying the terroir zones.
Soils in vineyards are recognized as complex agrosystems whose characteristics reflect complex interactions between natural factors (lithology, climate, slope, biodiversity) and human activities. To date, most of the unknown lies in an incomplete understanding of soil ecosystems, and specifically in the microbial biodiversity even though soil microbiota is involved in many key functions, such as nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. Soil biological properties are indicative of soil quality. Therefore, understanding how soil communities are related to soil ecosystem functioning is becoming an essential issue for soil strategy conservation. Here, we propose to assess the importance of land-cover history on the present-day microbiological and physico-chemical properties. The studied area was selected in the Burgundian vineyards (Pernand-Vergelesses, Burgundy, France) where land occupation has been reconstructed over the last 40 years. Soil samples were collected in five areas reflecting various land cover history (forest, vineyards, shifting from forest to vineyards). For each area, physico-chemical parameters (pH, C, N, P, grain size) were measured and DNA was extracted to characterize the abundance and diversity of microbial communities. The obtained results show significant differences in the five areas suggesting that present-day microbial molecular biomass and bacterial taxonomic is partly inherited from past land occupation. Over longer period of time, such study of land-uses legacies may help to better assess ecosystem recovery and the impact of management practices for a better soil quality and vineyards sustainability.
An analytical framework to site-specifically study climate influence on grapevine involving the functional and Bayesian exploration of farm data time series synchronized using an eGDD thermal index
Climate influence on grapevine physiology is prevalent and this influence is only expected to increase with climate change. Although governed by a general determinism, climate influence on grapevine physiology may present variations according to the terroir. In addition, these site-specific differences are likely to be enhanced when climate influence is studied using farm data. Indeed, farm data integrate additional sources of variation such as a varying representativity of the conditions actually experienced in the field. Nevertheless, there is a real challenge in valuing farm data to enable grape growers to understand their own terroir and consequently adapt their practices to the local conditions. In such a context, this article proposes a framework to site-specifically study climate influence on grapevine physiology using farm data. It focuses on improving the analysis of time series of weather data. The analytical framework includes the synchronization of time series using site-specific thermal indices computed with an original method called Extended Growing Degree Days (eGDD). Synchronized time series are then analyzed using a Bayesian functional Linear regression with Sparse Steps functions (BLiSS) in order to detect site-specific periods of strong climate influence on yield development. The article focuses on temperature and rain influence on grape yield development as a case study. It uses data from three commercial vineyards respectively situated in the Bordeaux region (France), California (USA) and Israel. For all vineyards, common periods of climate influence on yield development were found. They corresponded to already known periods, for example around veraison of the year before harvest. However, the periods differed in their precise timing (e.g. before, around or after veraison), duration and correlation direction with yield. Other periods were found for only one or two vineyards and/or were not referred to in literature, for example during the winter before harvest.
The impact of sustainable management regimes on amino acid profiles in grape juice, grape skin flavonoids, and hydroxycinnamic acids
One of the biggest challenges of agriculture today is maintaining food safety and food quality while providing ecosystem services such as biodiversity conservation, pest and disease control, ensuring water quality and supply, and climate regulation. Organic farming was shown to promote biodiversity and carbon sequestration, and is therefore seen as one possibility of environmentally friendly production. Consumers expect organically grown crops to be free from chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers and often presume that the quality of organically grown crops is different or higher compared to conventionally grown crops. Integrated, organic, and biodynamic viticulture were compared in a replicated field trial in Geisenheim, Germany (Vitis vinifera L. cv. Riesling). Amino acid profiles in juice, grape skin flavonoids, and hydroxycinnamic acids were monitored over three consecutive seasons beginning 7 years after conversion to organic and biodynamic viticulture, respectively. In addition, parameters such as soil nutrient status, yield, vigor, canopy temperature, and water stress were monitored to draw conclusions on reasons for the observed changes. Results revealed that the different sustainable management regimes highly differed in their amino acid profiles in juice and also in their skin flavonol content, whereas differences in the flavanol and hydroxycinnamic acid content were less pronounced. It is very likely that differences in nutrient status and yield determined amino acid profiles in juice, although all three systems showed similar amounts of mineralized nitrogen in the soil. Canopy structure and temperature in the bunch zone did not differ among treatments and therefore cannot account for the observed differences in favonols. A different light exposure of the bunches in the respective systems due to differences in vigor together with differences in berry size and a different water status of the vines might rather be responsible for the increase in flavonol content under organic and biodynamic viticulture.
Barolo DOCG is an economically important wine producing region in Northwest Italy. It is a small region of approximately 70 km2 gross area. The topography is very complex with steep sloped hills ranging in elevation from below 200 m to 550 m. Barolo DOCG wine is made exclusively from the Nebbiolo grape. Bioclimatic indexes are often used in viticulture to gain a better understanding of broader climate trends which can be compared temporally and geographically. These indexes are also used for identifying potential phenological timing, growing region suitability, and potential risks associated with expected climatic changes. Understanding how topography influences bioclimatic indexes can help with understanding of mesoscale climate behaviour leading to improved decision making and risk management strategies. The average monthly maximum and minimum temperatures, the Cool Night Index, the Huglin Index, and the monthly diurnal range (from July to October) were calculated using data from 45 weather stations within a 40 km radius of the Barolo DOCG growing area between the years 1996 and 2019. Linear and multiple regression models were developed using independent variables (elevation, aspect, slope) extracted from a digital elevation model to identify significant relationships. Bioclimatic indexes were then kriged with external drift using independent variables that showed significant relationships with the bioclimatic index using a 100 m resolution grid. The maximum monthly temperatures and the Huglin Index showed consistent significant negative relationships with elevation in all years. The minimum monthly temperatures showed no relationship with elevation but in some months a small but significant relationship was observed with aspect. Due to the lack of a relationship between minimum monthly temperatures and elevation compared to the significant relationship between maximum monthly temperatures and elevation, monthly diurnal range had a negative relationship with elevation.
Vineyards and clay minerals: multi-technique analytical approach and correlations with soil properties
Purpose of this research is to quantitatively assess the mineral component of vineyard soils, with particular attention to the mineralogical analysis of clays, which represent an element of high importance in the vineyard culture as well as in general agriculture. An X-ray diffraction (XRD) / thermogravimetric (TG) multi-technique analytical approach was developed, tested on soil samples taken from vineyards around the world. This codified analytical procedure was necessary to obtain precise qualitative and quantitative mineralogical data, globally comparable to distinguish the geopedological identity of the vineyards. Soil samples from vineyards of various locations were analysed, in very different geological conditions. The bulk-rock quantitative phase analysis (QPA) was obtained by the Rietveld method while the detailed composition of the clay-sized fraction was determined by modelling of the oriented X-ray diffraction patterns. The research provided a precise classification of the mineral component of soils, distinguishing the mineral phases of the clays and the so-called mixed-layer clay minerals. We found that the content in mixed layers can be directly correlated with the water retention and the cation exchange capacity of the soil, while the presence of other clayey minerals and phyllosilicates in this research did not affect this CEC parameter, which codes the fertility level of the soils. The study demonstrates that terroir, in particular soils formed in complex or very different geological conditions, can only be effectively interpreted by properly analysing its mineral phases, in particular the mixed-layer clay component. These are characteristic abiotic ecological indicators, which may have specific eco-physiological influences on the plant.
A blueprint for managing vine physiological balance at different spatial and temporal scales in Champagne
In Champagne, the vine adaptation to different climatic and technical changes during these last 20 years can be seen through physiological balance disruptions. These disruptions emphasize the general grapevine decline. Since the 2000s, among other nitrogen stress indicators, the must nitrogen has been decreasing. The combination of restricted mineral fertilizers and herbicide use, the growing variability of spring rainfall, the increasing thermal stress as well as the soil type heterogeneity are only a few underlying factors that trigger loss of physiological balance in the vineyards. It is important to weigh and quantify the impact of these factors on the vine. In order to do so, the Comité Champagne uses two key-tools: networking and modelization. The use of quantitative and harmonized ecophysiological indicators is necessary, especially in large spatial scales such as the Champagne appellation. A working group with different professional structures of Champagne has been launched by the Comité Champagne in order to create a common ecophysiology protocol and thus monitor the vine physiology, yearly, around 100 plots, with various cultural practices and types of soil. The use of crop modelling to follow the vine physiological balance within different pedoclimatic conditions enables to understand the present balance but also predict the possible disruptions to come in future climatic scenarios. The physiological references created each year through the working group, benefit the calibration of the STICS model used in Champagne. In return, the model delivers ecophysiology indicators, on a daily scale and can be used on very different types of soils. This study will present the bottom-up method used to give accurate information on the impacts of soil, climate and cultural practices on vine physiology.
Organic recycled mulches in sustainable viticulture: assessment of spontaneous plants communities and weed coverage
In recent years, developing more efficient and sustainable viticulture management has been essential due to the impact of climate change in semiarid regions. For this reason, the use of recycled organic mulching (ROM) in the vineyard has become an interesting strategy to cope with water stress, isolated soil from extreme temperatures and improving soil humidity, control the presence of weeds and therefore reduce the inputs of herbicides and improve soil fertility. This work aimed to analyse the effect of three different organic mulches [straw (S), grape pruning debris (GPD) and spent mushroom compost (SMC)] and two traditional soil management techniques [herbicide (H) and interrow (IN)] on weed coverage and the spontaneous plant communities’ presence. Data sampling was collected throughout the vine vegetative cycle of 2021 in La Rioja, Spain. The different soil management techniques had a clear effect on weed coverage and his development during the vine vegetative cycle. SMC and H were the treatments with the highest and the lowest coverage percentage, respectively. IN had a delayed weed emergence at the beginning of the vine vegetative cycle, but finally it reached maximum values nearby SMC. GPD and S had similar effects on weed emergence, reaching 25-30% of the maximum coverage values. A total of 29 herbaceous species were identified during the vegetative cycle, some of them very isolated and occasional. Principal component analysis (PCAs) showed a good association between spontaneous species and treatments, furthermore, specific species-treatment associations were found. Moreover, three clear groups of herbaceous communities were identified by cluster analysis. This study provides interesting information about the effect of different alternative soil management on herbaceous plant coverage and weed species communities which could contribute to making more sustainable viticulture.