Viticulture

Principles of vineyard establishment and strategies to delay ripening under a warming climate Sourced from the research article: “Strategies in vineyard establishment to face global warming in viticulture: a mini review” (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2021). Original language of the article: English.

Some viticultural strategies may offer a natural solution to mitigate the negative effects of global warming in viticulture. Decisions concerning vineyard topography variables, as well as rootstock, variety, clone, training system, and row orientation and slope selection may be combined. This allows to delay grape maturation on certain days when they are applied separately and on a few weeks if they are applied together. They can be applied to new vineyards but also to existing vineyards, as for most premium wine producers worldwide it isn't an option to replant somewhere else.

Vineyard location

Elevation

High elevation locations can favour the quality of grapes for winemaking, as they allow the ripening process to develop slowly. Viticulturists can take advantage of the adiabatic effect since elevation can produce a decrease in temperature ranging from 0.60 to 0.65 °C per 100 m of elevation. However, towards the end of the century, climatic models predict a decrease of 0.41 to 0.49 °C per 100 m of elevation1. Grapes produced in high elevation vineyards are usually balanced in terms of acidity, nitrogen, phenolic and volatile compounds, and soluble solids content2. These characteristics favour the production of wines with low alcoholic degrees and high aromatic quality, acidity and freshness. Nonetheless, some landscape characteristics can cause climatic distortions, interrupting the continuity of elevation-related cooling, such as lack of precipitation, low cloudiness and strong solar radiation, which are typical of some viticultural regions3. Elevation is one of the main factors to affect bud break and bloom dates in alpine environments, influencing grapevine response and acrotony phenomenon. As the vineyard elevation increases, phenological events have a longer duration and may produce a difference of up to 21 days in terms of harvest date4. This information could be critical in the future since for the 2021-2099 period, harvest timing could decrease by 3 days per 100 m, causing a more concentrated harvest window5.

Latitude

Climate change has also affected grapevine variety distribution in different wine growing regions. Bioclimatic indices suggest that climate change will have negative effects on vine cultivation in southern Europe, while in central and western Europe it could benefit wine quality and allow new areas to be used for viticulture6. Similar effects are observed in Chile, in which vineyard plantation is moving south; for example, vineyard surface in Araucanía Region (37°35' to 39°37’ South latitude) increased by 953 % from 2003-2020. Although latitude can affect the thermal conditions of grapevine development, its effect within a specific area is practically null, but it could be of interest if viticulturists want to experiment and study new terroirs with territorial identity.

Slope

Slope can affect water movement and erosion, soil drainage, ease of working among grapevines, mechanisation and ease of harvest. Flat vineyards may be prone to cold air inversions in zones with spring cold frost, while a 5-7.5 % slope allows a good air drainage (Figure 1)7. Slope may increase erosion and mechanisation concerns due to the risk of rollover, as well as make grapevine management more difficult. Radiation received by grapevines can be determined by slope direction and steepness, along with vineyard elevation.

Figure 1. Effect of topography on air temperature stratification during a radiational cooling period characterized by calm winds and clear skies. Figure published by Barclay Poling8.

Plant Material

Late ripening varieties

Grapevine variety can strongly influence grape ripening, with a difference of close to 2 months having been recorded between the earliest and latest ripening of the varieties of DOCa Rioja (Table 1). Thus, some winegrowing regions should incorporate a higher proportion of late maturing grapevine varieties. In DOCa Rioja, the crop area of Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha should probably be increased. In Bordeaux, the proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon should be increased since it matures 2 weeks later than Merlot. In Chilean Central Valley, the proportion of Carménère should probably be increased rather than Cabernet Sauvignon, since it has a late maturation cycle, such as Petit Verdot and Mourvèdre.

Table 1. Mean harvest date, must physico-chemical parameters and grapevine yield for minority grapevine varieties cultivated in the Rioja DOCa (Spain) from the 2009 and 2010 seasons.


Variety

Havest date

Soluble solids (ºBrix)

pH

Total acidity (g/ L)*

Malic acid (g/ L)

Tartaric acid (g/ L)

Yield (kg/vine)

Red

Moristel

29 Sept

19.7

3.25

6.27

2.45

4.94

5.01

Vidadillo

29 Sept

18.1

3.24

6.07

2.01

4.79

3.27

Alicante Bouschet

29 Sept

19.9

3.33

6.66

2.57

4.23

7.80

Mandón

30 Sept

21.4

3.37

5.47

1.67

5.08

4.75

Tinto Velasco

29 Sept

18.9

3.44

5.62

2.49

4.03

4.72

Agawan

16 Sept

21.8

3.20

6.76

1.72

4.84

1.26

Portugieser Blau

16 Sept

21.8

3.34

4.89

2.77

4.13

3.41

Morrastell Bouschet

29 Sept

17.7

3.26

5.85

2.35

4.76

5.44

Garnacha Roya

22 Sept

19.9

3.01

7.20

2.02

6.55

5.85

Trepat

29 Sept

18.0

3.10

6.43

2.33

4.72

7.72

Tempranillo Royo

16 Sept

24.0

3.30

5.65

2.83

4.04

4.95

Morate

29 Sept

22.1

3.32

6.72

3.10

5.13

7.59

Petit Bouschet

29 Sept

19.4

3.43

5.44

2.63

4.50

4.39

Maturana Tinta

29 Sept

23.1

3.85

4.81

2.37

3.30

3.35

White

Garnacha Blanca

22 Sept

22.0

3.03

7.43

0.64

4.37

3.65

Malvasía de Rioja

28 Sept

20.7

3.31

5.78

0.66

3.45

4.39

Maturana Blanca

3 Sept

22.7

3.09

7.57

1.34

4.44

2.64

Tempranillo Blanco

3 Sept

23.3

3.25

7.40

2.07

3.39

2.60

Turruntés

28 Sept

21.7

3.22

6.37

1.22

3.19

4.26

Viura

25 Sept

21.7

3.17

6.30

0.97

3.49

4.93

*As g/L of tartaric acid. Each value corresponds to a mean between the data obtained from 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Rootstock selection

Rootstocks have a slight influence on the phenological cycle of the scion; it is estimated that the difference in terms of harvest date altered by rootstocks is around 2 and 6 days, depending on vineyard yield. Some rootstocks, such as 110 Richter, 140-Ruggeri and 1103 Paulsen, have been reported as being well adapted to thermal conditions and may provide a long-vegetative cycle compared to Riparia rootstocks9.

Minority and autochthonous varieties

The disappearance of a wide number of vine varieties and the homogenisation of the wine industry has caused a genetic vulnerability with respect to acclimation to abiotic and biotic stress, to which these varieties are not well adapted. Minority and autochthonous varieties have many genetic resources that would ensure better performance against global warming and resistance to pests and diseases. In DOCa Rioja, the most interesting red minority grapevine varieties that achieve high acidy and low pH are Garnacha Roya, Alicante Bouschet Trepat, Morate and Agawan, and the most interesting white grapevine varieties are Maturana Blanca and Garnacha Blanca (Table 1). Based on this, winemakers should consider these exceptional opportunities to bring a wide range of wine styles with a distinctive identity to the wine market.

Training system and row orientation

The Gobelet training system could mitigate drought and thermal stress since it results in more porous vegetation, with more ventilation and homogeneous microclimate than vertical shoot position systems. Under these conditions, there is no impediment to the leaves being moved by the wind action, which changes the angle of incidence of solar radiation, allowing the vine to adapt to the increase in temperature through paraheliotropy (Figure 2). Training systems determine cluster and vegetation height above the soil10. Trunk height elevation from 45 to 120 cm can reach an average ripening delay of 8 days11. The trellising system could play a key role in mitigating or magnifying the positive and negative viticultural effects of row orientation12. The vertical shoot position trellis system may not dissipate thermal stress like the gobelet system does, so great care must be taken when choosing the row orientation. These strategies must be decided when establishing the vineyard, so that they do not entail additional costs to the annual management of the vineyard and can be classified as preventive viticultural strategies against climate change.

Figure 2. Left: Free standing grapevines (gobelet). Right: Comparison of vertical shoot position trellis system and free-standing grapevines.

To obtain balanced fruits at harvest, the vineyard should be oriented towards the least favourable exposure to solar radiation. Thus, the best row orientation would be the one that intercepts less solar radiation in the middle of the afternoon. In the Southern Hemisphere, rows orientated east to west maintained the lowest canopy light interception, whereas the north to south orientation displayed the highest light microclimate values, peaking in the morning and afternoon. Recently, it was demonstrated that leaf water potential was low in northeast to southwest oriented vines in the Southern Hemisphere. This report also concluded that the north to south and the east to west orientated canopies generally showed the highest average photosynthesis13. In the Northern Hemisphere, compared to northeast to southwest row orientation, the north to south oriented vines are more sensitive to thermal stress since, in the middle of the afternoon, the west face of the trellis system receives direct solar radiation, coinciding with the highest temperatures of the day. Based on this, rows of new vineyard plantations should be differentially oriented, according to slope and harvest time and critical period of insolation of each variety.

In conclusion, under a warming climate it would be appropriate to select a vineyard orientation that leads to less solar radiation interception and to establish vineyards at higher elevations, with late ripening varieties, clones and rootstocks. The effects of row orientation and slope, though interesting, are not as statistically significant as the effects of elevation. These techniques could be combined with others, such as late winter pruning, double cropping, severe shoot trimming and leaf removal among others, to achieve a ripening delay of up to two months in some cases.

Notes

  • Alikadic, A., Pertot, I., Eccel, E., Dolci, C., Zarbo, C., Caffarra, A., De Filippi, R., Furlanello, C. (2019). The impact of climate change on grapevine phenology and the influence of altitude: A regional study. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 271, 73–82.
  • Gutiérrez-Gamboa, G., Zheng, W., & Martínez de Toda, F. (2021). Current viticultural techniques to mitigate the effects of global warming on grape and wine quality: A comprehensive review. Food Research International, 139, 109946.
  • Martínez de Toda, F., & Ramos, M. (2019). Variability in grape composition and phenology of ‘Tempranillo’ in zones located at different elevations and with differences in the climatic conditions. Vitis, 58(4), 131–139.
  • Gutiérrez-Gamboa, G., Pszczólkowski, P., Cañón, P., Taquichiri, M., Peñarrieta, J.M. (2021). UV-B radiation as a factor that deserves further research in Bolivian viticulture: A review. South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 40(2), 201–212.
  • Alikadic, A., Pertot, I., Eccel, E., Dolci, C., Zarbo, C., Caffarra, A., De Filippi, R., Furlanello, C. (2019). The impact of climate change on grapevine phenology and the influence of altitude: A regional study. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 271, 73–82.
  • Malheiro, A., Santos, J., Fraga, H., Pinto. J. (2010). Climate change scenarios applied to viticultural zoning in Europe. Climate Research, 43, 163–177.
  • Barclay Poling, E. (2008). Spring cold injury to winegrapes and protection strategies and methods. HortScience, 43(6), 1652–1662.
  • Barclay Poling, E. (2008). Spring cold injury to winegrapes and protection strategies and methods. HortScience, 43(6), 1652–1662.
  • Corso, M., Bonghi, C. (2014). Grapevine rootstock effects on abiotic stress tolerance. Plant Science Today, 1, 108–113.
  • Santos, J.A., Fraga, H., Malheiro, A.C., Moutinho-Pereira, J., Dinis, L.-T., Correia, C., et al. (2020). A review of the potential climate change impacts and adaptation options for European viticulture. Appled Science, 10, 3092.
  • Santos, J.A., Fraga, H., Malheiro, A.C., Moutinho-Pereira, J., Dinis, L.-T., Correia, C., et al. (2020). A review of the potential climate change impacts and adaptation options for European viticulture. Appled Science, 10, 3092.
  • Hunter, J.J., Volschenk, C.G., Booyse, M. (2017). Vineyard row orientation and grape ripeness level effects on vegetative and reproductive growth characteristics of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Shiraz/101-14 Mgt. European Journal of Agronomy, 84, 47–57.
  • Hunter, J.J., Tarricone, L., Volschenk, C., Giacalone, C., Melo, M.S., Zorer, R. (2020). Grapevine physiological response to row orientation-induced spatial radiation and microclimate changes. OENO One, 54(2), 411–433.

Authors


Trinidad Morales-Henríquez

Affiliation : Escuela de Agronomía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Mayor, Camino La Pirámide 5750, Huechuraba 8580000, Chile

Country : Chile


Gastón Gutiérrez-Gamboa

Affiliation : Escuela de Agronomía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Mayor, Camino La Pirámide 5750, Huechuraba 8580000, Chile

Country : Chile


Wei Zheng

Affiliation : Faculty of Functional Food and Wine, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, China

Country : China


Fernando Martínez de Toda

fernando.martinezdetoda@unirioja.es

Affiliation : Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (CSIC, Gobierno de La Rioja, Universidad de La Rioja), Carretera de Burgos, Km. 6. 26007 Logroño, Spain

Country : Spain

References

  • Gutiérrez‐Gamboa, G., Zheng, W., & Martinez de Toda, F. (2021). Strategies in vineyard establishment to face global warming in viticulture: A mini review. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 101(4), 1261-1269.
  • Alikadic, A., Pertot, I., Eccel, E., Dolci, C., Zarbo, C., Caffarra, A., De Filippi, R., Furlanello, C. (2019). The impact of climate change on grapevine phenology and the influence of altitude: A regional study. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 271, 73–82.
  • Gutiérrez-Gamboa, G., Zheng, W., & Martínez de Toda, F. (2021). Current viticultural techniques to mitigate the effects of global warming on grape and wine quality: A comprehensive review. Food Research International, 139, 109946.
  • Martínez de Toda, F., & Ramos, M. (2019). Variability in grape composition and phenology of ‘Tempranillo’ in zones located at different elevations and with differences in the climatic conditions. Vitis, 58(4), 131–139.
  • Gutiérrez-Gamboa, G., Pszczólkowski, P., Cañón, P., Taquichiri, M., Peñarrieta, J.M. (2021). UV-B radiation as a factor that deserves further research in Bolivian viticulture: A review. South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 40(2), 201–212.
  • Malheiro, A., Santos, J., Fraga, H., Pinto. J. (2010). Climate change scenarios applied to viticultural zoning in Europe. Climate Research, 43, 163–177.
  • Barclay Poling, E. (2008). Spring cold injury to winegrapes and protection strategies and methods. HortScience, 43(6), 1652–1662.
  • Corso, M., Bonghi, C. (2014). Grapevine rootstock effects on abiotic stress tolerance. Plant Science Today, 1, 108–113.
  • Santos, J.A., Fraga, H., Malheiro, A.C., Moutinho-Pereira, J., Dinis, L.-T., Correia, C., et al. (2020). A review of the potential climate change impacts and adaptation options for European viticulture. Applied Science, 10, 3092.
  • Hunter, J.J., Volschenk, C.G., Booyse, M. (2017). Vineyard row orientation and grape ripeness level effects on vegetative and reproductive growth characteristics of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Shiraz/101-14 Mgt. European Journal of Agronomy, 84, 47–57.
  • Hunter, J.J., Tarricone, L., Volschenk, C., Giacalone, C., Melo, M.S., Zorer, R. (2020). Grapevine physiological response to row orientation-induced spatial radiation and microclimate changes. OENO One, 54(2), 411–433.

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