Effect of irrigation on grapes maturation
Water availability is a growing problem worldwide due to climate change. Potential solutions, such as rain or irrigation, are viewed with fear by grape growers because of their apparent effects on the quality of the grapes.
However, there is very little scientific evidence that the consumption of water by the vine can cause a dilution or depauperation of the fruit. On the contrary, excessive water deficit leads to incomplete maturation with an insufficient content of sugars and the presence of excessively astringent and bitter phenols.
On the other hand, it has been demonstrated that practices such as deficit irrigation are tools that allow to optimize the productive performance of the vineyard and produce higher quality grapes.
The report by Marcus Keller, “Washington State University”, in Enoforum 2018 will illustrate the work done by his research team in order to better understand the role played by some environmental factors or management practices of the vineyard in relation with the quality of the fruit.