Grape must quality and mesoclimatic variability in Fruška Gora wine-growing region, Serbia
The Fruška Gora mountain is a traditional wine-growing region in Serbia situated in the Pannonian Basin. Due to such a position, the vicinity of the Danube River and the presence of concave configuration, it is suitable for grape production. This paper provides analyses of spatial variations in meteorological parameters and grape juice quality within Fruška Gora wine region over three consecutive vintages (2018-2020). The examined period can be defined as warm with cool nights during September (AVG 18,9°C; GDD 1918°C; CI 12°CF) and with the presence of mesoclimatic variability. The East part of the study area was somewhat drier and hotter compared to other parts of the region. The analyses of grape must samples (190 in total) of five cultivars (Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Grašac (Welschriesling)) commonly grown across the region (19 sites), were performed using Fourier Transform Infrared Technology (FTIR). Among all cultivars, Sauvignon blanc was harvested first in the East area (DOY=246±5, GDD at harvest=1552±74, 22.2±0.7 °Brix), while the latest harvest was recorded for Cabernet-Sauvignon in the West (DOY=283±5, GDD at harvest=1936±187, 23.4±1.0 °Brix ). Both the red and white cultivars had higher acidity and YAN in the grape must if the vines were grown in the North and East compared to South and West areas. According to PCA analysis, Grašac showed the lowest variation in grape must chemical composition. Thus, the results confirm that Grašac is the most stable cultivar in Fruška Gora. All monitored cultivars reached technological fruit ripeness by the end of the growing season. However, it was difficult to reach full ripeness of red cultivars, mostly beacuse of uncoupling of technolocical and phenolic ripeness. Thus, Cabernet-Sauvignon had higher variations in GDD sums at harvest compared to other cultivars, which probably increased variations in grape must quality.