Climate is the major factor influencing the dynamics of the vegetative cycle and can determine the timing of phenological periods. Knowledge of the phenology of varieties, their chronological duration, and thermal requirements, allows not only for the better management of interventions in the vineyard, but also to predict the varieties’ behaviour in a scenario of climate change, giving the wine producer the possibility of selecting the grape varieties that are best adapted to the climatic conditions of a certain terroir. In 2014, Symington Family Estates, Vinhos, established two grape variety libraries in two different places with distinctive climate conditions (Douro Superior, and Cima Corgo), with the commitment of contributing to a deeper agronomic and oenological understanding of some grape varieties, in hot climate conditions. In these research vineyards are represented local varieties that are important in the regional and national viticulture, but also others that have over time been forgotten — as well as five international reference cultivars. From 2017 to 2021, phenological observations have been made three times a week, following a defined protocol, to determine the average dates of budbreak, flowering and veraison. With the climate data of each location, the thermal requirements of each variety and the chronological duration of each phase have been calculated. During maturation, berry samples have been gathered weekly to study the dynamics of sugar accumulation, between other parameters. The data was analysed applying phenological and sugar accumulation models available in literature. The results obtained show significant differences between the varieties over several parameters, from the chronological duration and thermal requirements to complete the various stages of development, to the differences between the two locations, confirming the influence of the climate on phenology and the stages of maturation, in these specific conditions.
Grapevine yield is a key indicator to assess the impacts of climate change and the relevance of adaptation strategies in a vineyard landscape. At this scale, a yield model should use a number of parameters and input data in relation to the information available and be able to reproduce vineyard management decisions (e.g. soil and canopy management, irrigation). In this study, we used data from six experimental sites in Southern France (cv. Syrah) to calibrate a model of grapevine yield limited by water constraint (GraY). Each yield component (bud fertility, number of berries per bunch, berry weight) was calculated as a function of the soil water availability simulated by the WaLIS water balance model at critical phenological phases. The model was then evaluated in 10 grapegrowers’ plots, covering a diversity of biophysical and technical contexts (soil type, canopy size, irrigation, cover crop). We identified three critical periods for yield formation: after flowering on the previous year for the number of bunches and berries, around pre-veraison and post-veraison of the same year for mean berry weight. Yields were simulated with a model efficiency (EF) of 0.62 (NRMSE = 0.28). Bud fertility and number of berries per bunch were more accurately simulated (EF = 0.90 and 0.77, NRMSE = 0.06 and 0.10, respectively) than berry weight (EF = -0.31, NRMSE = 0.17). Model efficiency on the on-farm plots reached 0.71 (NRMSE = 0.37) simulating yields from 1 to 8 kg/plant. The GraY model is an original model estimating grapevine yield evolution on the basis of water availability under future climatic conditions. It allows to evaluate the effects of various adaptation levers such as planting density, cover crop management, fruit/leaf ratio, shading and irrigation, in various production contexts.
There is increasing scientific consensus that climate changeis the underlying cause of the prolonged dry and hot conditions that have increased the risk of extreme fire weather in many countries around the world. In December 2019, a bushfire event occurred in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia where 25,000 hectares were burnt and in vineyards and surrounding areas various degrees of scorching and infrastructure damage occurred. The ability to coordinate and plan recovery after a fire event relies on robust and timely data. The current practice for measuring the scale and distribution of fire damage is to walk or drive the vineyard and score individual vines based on visual observation. The process is time consuming, subjective, or semi-quantitative at best. After the December 2019 fires, it took many months to access properties and estimate the area of vineyard damaged. This study compares the rapid assessment and mapping of fire damage using high-resolution satellite imagery with more traditional ground based measures. Satellite imagery tracking vineyard recovery in the season following the bushfire is being correlated to field assessments of vineyard productivity such as canopy health and development, fertility and carbohydrate storage. Canopy health in the seasons following the fires correlated to the severity of the initial fire damage. Severely damaged vines had reduced canopy growth, were infertile or had very low fertility as well as lower carbohydrate levels in buds and canes during dormancy, which reduced productivity in the seasons following the bushfire event. In contrast, vines that received minor damage were able to recover within 1-2 years. Tools that rapidly and affordably capture the extent and severity of damage over large vineyard area will allow producers, government and industry bodies to manage decisions in relation to fire recovery planning, coordination and delivery, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their response.
Water deficit differentially impacts the performances and the accumulation of grape metabolites of new varieties tolerant to fungi
The use of resistant varieties is a long-term but promising solution to reduce chemical input in viticulture. Several important breeding programs in Europe and abroad are now releasing a range of new hybrids performing well regarding fungi susceptibility and producing good quality wines. Unfortunately, insufficient attention is paid by the breeders to the adaptation of these varieties to climatic changes, notably to the increased climatic demand and water deficit (WD). Thus, prior to the adoption of such varieties by the wine industry in Mediterranean regions, there is a need to consider their suitability to WD. This study aimed to characterize the different drought-strategies adopted by 6 new resistant varieties selected by INRAE in comparison to Syrah. To allow the assessment of long-term impacts of WD, field-grown vines were exposed to contrasted WD from 2018 to 2021 under a semi-arid Mediterranean climate. A gradient of WD was applied in the field and controlled through plant measurements at the single plant level. Grape development was non-destructively monitored to determine the arrest of berry phloem unloading. The impacts of WD on berry composition, including water, primary metabolites (sugars, organic acids), secondary metabolites (anthocyanins, thiols precursors) and main cations contents, were assessed at this specific stage. Results showed different varietal responses during the year and inter-annual acclimation in terms of plant water use efficiency, biomass accumulation, as well as yield components and berry composition. WD differentially reduced the accumulation of primary metabolites at plant and berry levels, but it little changed their concentrations in the fruits at the ripe stage. Moreover, WD differentially impacted the accumulation of secondary metabolites and major cations between the varieties. In the talk, we’ll present the main results regarding the WD impacts on fruit metabolites and enlarge the reflection about the practical assessment of the grapevine acclimation to WD.
Excell laboratory has initiated the development of an analytical method based on electrochemistry to evaluate the ability of wines to undergo or resist to oxidative phenomena. Electrochemistry is a powerful tool to probe reactions involving electron transfers and offers possibility of real-time measurements. In that context, the laboratory has implemented electrochemical analysis to assess oxidation state of different wine matrices but also in order to evaluate oxidative or reduced character of leaf and soil. Initially, our laboratory focused on dosage of compounds involved in responses of plant stresses and we were also interested in microbiological activity of soils. These analyses were compared with the measurement of redox potential (Eh) and pH which are two fundamental variables involved in the modulation of plant metabolism. Indeed, the variation of redox states of the plant reflects its biological activity but also its capacity to absorb nutriments. The Eh-pH conditions mainly determine metabolic processes involved in soil and leaf and our goal is to determine if this combined analytical approach will be sufficiently precise to detect biological evolutions (plant health, parasitic attack…).
With the aim of producing premium wines, it is admitted that moderate environmental stresses may contribute to the accumulation of compounds of interest in grapes. However the ongoing climate change, with the appearance of more limiting conditions of production is a major concern for the wine industry economic. Will it be possible to maintain the vineyards in place, to preserve the current grape varieties and how should we anticipate the adaptation measures to ensure the sustainability of vineyards? In this context, the question of the responses and adaptation of grapevine to abiotic stresses becomes a major scientific issue to tackle. An abiotic stress can be defined as the effect of a specific factor of the physico-chemical environment of the plants (temperature, availability of water and minerals, light, etc.) which reduces growth, and for a crop such as the vine, the yield, the composition of the fruits and the sustainability of the plants. Water stress is in many minds, but a systemic vision is essential for at least two reasons. The first reason is that in natural environments, a single factor is rarely limiting, and plants have to deal with a combination of constraints, as for example heat and drought, both in time and at a given time. The second reason is that plants, including grapevine, have central mechanisms of stress responses, as redox regulatory pathways, that play an important role in adaptation and survival. Here we will review the most recent studies dealing with this issue to provide a better understanding of the grapevine responses to a combination of environmental constraints and of the underlying regulatory pathways, which may be very helpful to design more adapted solutions to cope with climate change.
Water is the main limiting factor for yield in viticulture. Improving drought adaptation in viticulture will be an increasingly important issue under climate change. Genetic variability of water deficit responses in grapevine partly results from the rootstocks, making them an attractive and relevant mean to achieve adaptation without changing the scion genotype. The objective of this work was to characterize the rootstock effect on the diurnal regulation of scion transpiration. A large panel of 55 commercial genotypes were grafted onto Cabernet Sauvignon. Three biological repetitions per genotype were analyzed. Potted plants were phenotyped on a greenhouse balance platform capable of assessing real-time water use and maintaining a targeted water deficit intensity. After a 10 days well-watered baseline period, an increasing water deficit was applied for 10 days, followed by a stable water deficit stress for 7 days. Pruning weight, root and aerial dry weight and transpiration were recorded and the experiment was repeated during two years. Transpiration efficiency (ratio between aerial biomass and transpiration) was calculated and δ13C was measured in leaves for the baseline and stable water deficit periods. A large genetic variability was observed within the panel. The rootstock had a significant impact on nocturnal transpiration which was also strongly and positively correlated with maximum daytime transpiration. The correlations with growth and water use efficiency related traits will be discussed. Transpiration data were also related with VPD and soil water content demonstrating the influence of environmental conditions on transpiration. These results highlighted the role of the rootstock in modulating water deficit responses and give insights for rootstock breeding programs aimed at identifying drought tolerant rootstocks. It was also helpful to better define the mechanisms on which the drought tolerance in grapevine rootstocks is based on.
Probably one of the most counterintuitive impacts of climate change on vine is the increased frequency of late frost. Champagne, due to its septentrional position is historically and regularly affected by this meteorological hazard. Champagne has therefore developed a strong experience in frost protection with first experiments dating from the end of 19th century. Frost protection can be divided in two parts: passive and active. Passive protection includes all the methods that do not seek to modify the vine’s environment or resistance at the time of frost. The most iconic passive protection in Champagne is the establishment of the individual reserve. This reserve allows to stock a certain quantity of clear wine during a surplus year to compensate a meteorological hazard like frost during the following years. Other common passive methods are the control of planting area (walls, bushes, topography), the choice of grape variety, late pruning, or the impact of grass cover and tillage. Active frost protection is also divided in two parts. Most of the existing techniques tend to modify vine’s environment. Most of the time they provide warmth (candles, heaters, windmills, heating cables…), or stabilise bud’s temperature above a lethal threshold (water sprinkling). The other way to actively fight is to enhance the resistance of buds to frost (elicitors). The Comité Champagne evaluates frost protection methods following three main axes: the efficiency, the profitability, and the environmental impact through a lifecycle assessment. This study will present the results on both passive and active protection following these three axes.
The purpose of this study is to examine the changing mix of winegrape varieties in Australia so as to address the question: In the light of key climate indicators and predictions of further climate change, how appropriate are the grape varieties currently planted in Australia’s wine regions? To achieve this, regions are classified into zones according to each region’s climate variables, particularly average growing season temperature (GST), leaving aside within-region variations in climates. Five different climatic classifications are reported. Using projections of GSTs for the mid- and late 21st century, the extent to which each region is projected to move from its current zone classification to a warmer one is reported. Also shown is the changing proportion of each of 21 key varieties grown in a GST zone considered to be optimal for premium winegrape production. Together these indicators strengthen earlier suggestions that the mix of varieties may be currently less than ideal in many Australian wine regions, and would become even less so in coming decades if that mix was not altered in the anticipation of climate change. That is, grape varieties in many (especially the warmest) regions will have to keep changing, or wineries will have to seek fruit from higher latitudes or elevations if they wish to retain their current mix of varieties and wine styles.
How does aromatic composition of red wines, resulting from varieties adapted to climate change, modulate fruity aroma?
One of the major issues for the wine sector is the impact of climate change linked to the increasing temperatures which affects physicochemical parameters of the grape varieties planted in Bordeaux vineyard and consequently, the quality of wine. In some varietals, the attenuation of their fresh fruity character is accompanied by the accentuation of dried-fruit notes . As a new adaptive strategy on climate change, some winegrowers have initiated changes in the Bordeaux blend of vine varieties . This study intends to explore the fruitiness in wines produced from grape varieties adapted to the future climate of Bordeaux. 10 commercial single–varietal wines from 2018 vintage made from the main grape varieties in the Bordeaux region (Cabernet franc, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot) as well as from indigenous grape varieties from the Mediterranean basin, such as Cyprus (Yiannoudin), France (Syrah), Greece (Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro), Portugal (Touriga Nacional) and Spain (Garnacha and Tempranillo), were selected among 19 samples using sensory descriptive analyses. Both sensory and instrumental analyses were coupled, to investigate their fruity aroma expression. For sensory analysis, samples were prepared from wine, using a semi preparative HPLC method which preserves wine aroma and isolates fruity characteristics in 25 specific fractions [3,4]. Fractions of interest with intense fruity aromas were sensorially selected for each wine by a trained panel and mixed with ethanol and microfiltered water to obtain fruity aromatic reconstitutions (FAR) . A free sorting task was applied to categorize FAR according to their similarities or dissimilarities, and different clusters were highlighted. Instrumental analysis of the different FAR and wines demonstrated variations in their molecular composition. Results obtained from sensory and gas chromatography analysis enrich the knowledge of the fruity expression of red wines from “new” grape varieties opening up new perspectives in wine technology, including blending, thus providing new tools for producers.
The potential of multispectral/hyperspectral technologies for early detection of “flavescence dorée” in a Portuguese vineyard
“Flavescence dorée” (FD) is a grapevine quarantine disease associated with phytoplasmas and transmitted to healthy plants by insect vectors, mainly Scaphoideus titanus. Infected plants usually develop symptoms of stunted growth, unripe cane wood, leaf rolling, leaf yellowing or reddening, and shrivelled berries. Since plants can remain symptomless up to four years, they may act as reservoirs of FD contributing to the spread of the disease. So far, conventional management strategies rely mainly on the insecticide treatments, uprooting of infected plants and use of phytoplasma-free propagation material. However, these strategies are costly and could have undesirable environmental impacts. Thus, the development of sustainable and noninvasive approaches for early detection of FD and its management are of great importance to reduce disease spread and select the best cultural practices and treatments. The present study aimed to evaluate if multispectral/hyperspectral technologies can be used to detect FD before the appearance of the first symptoms and if infected grapevines display a spectral imaging fingerprint. To that end, physiological parameters (leaf area, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic rate) were collected in concomitance to the measurements of plant reflectance (using both a portable apparatus and a remote sensing drone). Measurements were performed in two leaves of 8 healthy and 8 FD-infected grapevines, at four timepoints: before the development of disease symptoms (21st June); and after symptoms appearance (ii) at veraison (2nd August); at post-veraison (11th September); and at harvest (25th September). At all timepoints, FD infected plants revealed a significant decrease in the studied physiological parameters, with a positive correlation with drone imaging data and portable apparatus analyses. Moreover, spectra of either drone imaging and portable apparatus showed clear differences between healthy and FD-infected grapevines, validating multispectral/ hyperspectral technology as a potential tool for the early detection of FD or other grapevine-associated diseases.
‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ (Vitis vinifera L.) berry skin flavonol and anthocyanin composition is affected by trellis systems and applied water amounts
Trellis systems are selected in wine grape vineyards to mainly maximize vineyard yield and maintain berry quality. This study was conducted in 2020 and 2021 to evaluate six commonly utilized trellis systems including a vertical shoot positioning (VSP), two relaxed VSPs (VSP60 and VSP80), a single high wire (SH), a high quadrilateral (HQ), and a guyot (GY), combined with three levels of irrigation regimes based on different crop evapotranspiration (ETc) replacements, including a 25% ETc, 50% ETc, and 100% ETc. The results indicated SH yielded the most fruits and accumulated the most total soluble solids (TSS) at harvest in 2020, however, it showed the lowest TSS in the second season. In 2020, SH and HQ showed higher concentrations in most of the anthocyanin derivatives compared to the VSPs. Similar comparisons were noticed in 2021 as well. SH and HQ also accumulated more flavonols in both years compared to other trellis systems. Overall, this study provides information on the efficacy of trellis systems on grapevine yield and berry flavonoid accumulation in a currently warming climate.
With contemporary climate change, cultivated Vitis vinifera L. is at risk as climate is a critical component in defining ecologically fitted plant materiel. While winegrowers can draw on the rich diversity among grapevine varieties to limit expected impacts (Morales-Castilla et al., 2020), replacing a signature variety that has created a sense of local distinctiveness may lead to several challenges. In order to sustain wine identity in uncertain climate outcomes, the study of intra-varietal diversity is important to reflect the adaptive and evolutionary potential of current cultivated varieties. The aim of this ongoing study is to understand to what extent can intra-varietal diversity be a climate change adaptation solution. With a focus on early (Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Grolleau, Pinot noir) to moderate late (Chenin, Petit Verdot, Cabernet franc) ripening varieties, data was collected for flowering and veraison for the various studied accessions (from conservatory plots) and clones. For these phenological growing stages, heat requirements were established using nearby weather stations (adapted from the GFV model, Parker et al., 2013) and model performances were verified. Climate change projections were then integrated to predict the future behaviour of the intra-varietal diversity. Study findings highlight the strong phenotypic diversity of studied varieties and the importance of diversification to enhance climate change resilience. While model performances may require improvements, this study is the first step towards quantifying heat requirements of different clones and how they can provide adaptation solutions for winegrowers to sustain local wine identity in a global changing climate. As genetic diversity is an ongoing process through point mutations and epigenetic adaptations, perspective work is to explore clonal data from a wide variety of geographic locations.
Climate has a significant impact in the success of any agricultural system, with a direct influence on the crops suitability to a given region, interfering on yield and quality and also with the economic sustainability of the productive activity. In the Douro Demarcated Region (RDD), as in most regions of the Mediterranean climate, the scarce precipitation (33% has less than 600 mm per year), and your high variability, associated with high rates of evapotranspiration during the summer, is usually one of the fundamental factors that limit the grapevine development, as well as the production and quality of the harvest. Thus, facing the scenario in temperature changes for the next decades (1.5-2.5°C) and confirming the predictions of precipitation decreases and/or great variability in the occurrence of heat waves and intense rainfall, the consequences for slope stability in mountain viticulture and sustainability of all operations involved, are risks to be taken into account. In this way, a deepest and sustained knowledge regarding the adaptation measures to adverse environmental conditions is of a crucial importance, enabling a more efficient adaptation of plant growth conditions and the optimization of production and quality of the grapevines. The development of this work, carried out in two commercial vineyards, one located in Soutelo do Douro, São João da Pesqueira, Cima Corgo sub-region, and another located in Numão, Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Douro Superior sub-region, it seeks to establish a relationship between climatic elements and physiological, productive and qualitative parameters, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation measures, including different types of deficit irrigation (2002-2019) and the application of shading nets (2019-2020) in the physiological, viticultural and oenological behavior in the Touriga Nacional and Moscatel Galego Branco varieties, respectively. The results showed that the application of deficit irrigation allowed to significantly reduce the impact of the adverse weather conditions at key moments in the development of the grapevine, particularly in the period immediately before veráison and maturation, reducing the negative effects on the physiological processes and productivity, without compromise the must quality parameters. On the other hand, the application of shading nets significantly reduced de leaves temperature, allowing to increase the water potential, stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate of grapes, which was reflected in the yield increase in the 2nd year of the study. For the maturation indicators, higher levels of total acidity, malic acid and assimilable nitrogen were obtained. The last measure presents a huge potential, being essential to carry out more years of trials to obtain stronger conclusions in terms of production parameters, but also in characteristics as important as the grape ripening components and the organoleptic characteristics of wines.
Elucidating vineyard site contributions to key sensory molecules: Identification of correlations between elemental composition and volatile aroma profile of site-specific Pinot noir wines
The reproducibility of elemental profile in wines produced across multiple vintages has been previously reported using grapes from a single scion clone of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Pinot noir. The grapevines were grown on fourteen different vineyard sites, from Oregon to southern California in the U.S.A., which span distances from approximately hundreds of meters to 1450 km, while elevations range from near sea level to nearly 500 m. In addition, sensorial (i.e. aroma, taste, and mouthfeel) and chemical (i.e. polyphenolic and volatile) differences across the different vineyard sites have also been observed among these wines at two aging time points. While strong evidence exists to support that grapes grown in different regions can produce wines with unique chemical and sensorial profiles, even when a single clone is used, the understanding of growing site characteristics that result in this reproducible differentiation continues to emerge. One hypothesis is that the elemental profile that a vineyard site imparts to the grape berries and the resulting wine is an important contributor to this differentiation in chemistry and sensory of wines. For example, various classes of enzymes that catalyze the formation of key aroma compounds or their precursors require specific metals. In this work, we begin to report correlations between elemental and volatile aroma profiles of site-specific Pinot noir wines, made under standardized winemaking conditions, that have been previously shown to be distinguished separately by these chemical analyses.
In wine grape production, canopy management practices are applied to control the source-sink balance and improve the cluster microclimate to enhance berry composition. The aim of this study was to identify the optimal ranges of berry solar radiation exposure (exposure) for upregulation of flavonoid biosynthesis and thresholds for their degradation, to evaluate how canopy management practices such as leaf removal, shoot thinning, and a combination of both affect the grapevine (Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon) yield components, berry composition, and flavonoid profile under context of climate change. First experiment assessed changes in the grape flavonoid content driven by four degrees of exposure. In the second experiment, individual grape berries subjected to different exposures were collected from two cultivars (Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot). The third experiment consisted of an experiment with three canopy management treatments (i) LR (removal of 5 to 6 basal leaves), (ii) ST (thinned to 24 shoots per vine), and (iii) LRST (a combination of LR and ST) and an untreated control (UNT). Berry composition, flavonoid content and profiles, and 3-isobutyl 2-methoxypyrazine were monitored during berry ripening. Although increasing canopy porosity through canopy management practices can be helpful for other purposes, this may not be the case of flavonoid compounds when a certain proportion of kaempferol was achieved. Our results revealed different sensitivities to degradation within the flavonoid groups, flavonols being the only monitored group that was upregulated by solar radiation. Within different canopy management practices, the main effects were due to the ST. Under environmental conditions given in this trial, ST and LRST hastened fruit maturity; however, a clear improvement of the flavonoid compounds (i.e., greater anthocyanin) was not observed at harvest. Methoxypyrazine berry content decreased with canopy management practices studied. Although some berry traits were improved (i.e. 2.5° Brix increase in berry total soluble solids) due to canopy management practices (ST), this resulted in a four-fold increase in labor operations cost, two-fold decrease in yield with a 10-fold increase in anthocyanin production cost per hectare that should be assessed together as the climate continues to get hot.
Assessment of the impact of actions in the vineyard and its surrounding environment on biodiversity in Rioja Alavesa (Spain)
Traditional viticulture areas have experienced in the last decades an intensification of field practices, linked to an increased use of fertilisers and phytosanitary products, and to a more intensive mechanization and uniformization of the landscape. This change in management has sometimes led to higher rates of soil erosion andloss of soil structure, fertility decline, groundwater contamination, and to an increased pressure of pests and diseases. Additionally, intensification usually leads to a simplification of landscapes, of particular concern in prestigious wine grape regions where the economical revenue encourages the conversion of land use from natural habitats to high value wine grape production. To revert this trend, it is necessary that growers implement actions that promote biodiversity in their vineyards. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of the implementation of cover crops, vegetational corridors, dry stone walls and vineyard biodiversity hotspots estimated through the study of arthropods. The work has been carried out in four vineyards in Rioja Alavesa belonging to Ostatu winery, where these infrastructures were implemented in 2020. The presence and diversity of arthropods was studied by capturing them at different times in the season and at different distances from the infrastructure using pit-fall traps in the soil and yellow, white and blue chromatic traps at the canopy level. This is a preliminary study in which all adult insects were sorted to the taxonomic level of order and Coleoptera were classified to morphospecies. The results obtained show that there is a relationship between the basic characteristics of the vineyard and the arthropods captured, with a positive effect, although also dependent on the vineyard, of the presence of infrastructure.
Impact on leaf morphology of Vitis vinifera L. cvs Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon under Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment (FACE)
Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has continuously increased since pre-industrial times from 280 ppm in 1750, and is predicted to exceed 700 ppm by the end of 21st century. For most of C3 plant species elevated CO2 (eCO2) improve photosynthetic apparatus results in an increased plant biomass production. To investigate the effects of eCO2 on morphological leaf characteristics the two Vitis vinifera L. cultivars, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, grown in the Geisenheim VineyardFACE (Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment) system were used. The FACE site is located at Geisenheim University (49° 59′ N, 7° 57′ E, 94 m above sea level), Germany and was implemented in 2014 comparing future atmospheric CO2-concentrations (eCO2, predicted for the mid-21st century) with current ambient CO2-conditions (aCO2). Experiments were conducted under rain-fed conditions for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016). Six leaves per repetition of the CO2 treatment were sampled in the field and immediately fixed in a FAA solution (ethanol, H2O, formaldehyde and glacial acetic acid). After 24 h leaf samples were transferred and stored in an ethanol solution. Subsequently, leaf tissue was dehydrated using ethanol series and embedded in paraffin. By using a rotary microtomesections of 5 µm were prepared and fixed on microscopic slides. Subsequent the samples were stained using consecutive staining and washing solutions. Afterwards pictures of the leaf cross-sections were taken using a light microscope and consecutive measurements were conducted with an open source image software. Differences found in leaf cross-sections of the two CO2 treatments were detected for the palisade parenchyma. Leaf thickness, upper and lower epidermis and spongy parenchyma remained less affected under eCO2 conditions. The observed results within grapevine leaf tissues can provide first insights to seasonal adaptation strategies of grapevines under future elevated CO2 concentrations.