Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Horticultural and Floricultural Crops".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 30881

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Guest Editor
Research Centre for Viticulture and Enology, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA-VE), Via XXVIII Aprile 26, TV, 31015 Conegliano, Italy
Interests: viticulture; grapevine eco-physiology; abiotic stress; vine nutrition management; grape quality

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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, viale Fanin 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Interests: grapevine; climate change; abiotic stress; grape physiology; biodiversity; flavonoids; biochemistry; microsatellite; transcriptomic; gene expression
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is a cosmopolitan crop with the largest acreage and the highest economic value among fruit crops globally. The world vineyard surface covers about 7.4 million hectares distributed in more than 40 countries. Given the significant environmental and economic impacts of viticulture, ensuring the sustainability of grape production is particularly challenging. Vine growing activities are heavily dependent on natural resources (genetic resources of Vitis spp., water, soil, air, etc.), and greater sustainability can be achieved only by applying practices able to safeguard our wine areas and their natural vocation for vine cultivation, sustaining a profitable future for grape and wine production.

This Special Issue will focus on recent advancements in the field of sustainable viticulture production and vineyard management practices, also within the context of the climate change challenge.

Research papers, communications, and review articles are all welcome. In particular, we encourage contributions on, but not limited, to the following topics: (1) soil management techniques to increase and protect soil physical, chemical, and microbiological fertility; (2) novel agronomic approaches for low-chemical-input fertilization and weed control; (3) improvements in water use efficiency, including innovative irrigation strategies and systems; (4) field and greenhouse trials on new grapevine and rootstock genotypes that are tolerant/resistant to abiotic and biotic stress; (5) multidisciplinary approaches involving the evaluation of techniques and products to counteract abiotic and biotic stress and reduce external input demand (biostimulants, mycorrhizae, etc.); (6) agronomic techniques and solutions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and promoting the use of by-products; and (7) development and application of environmental indicators for sustainability in the vineyard.

Dr. Federica Gaiotti
Dr. Chiara Pastore
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • grapevine
  • Vitis vinifera
  • sustainable viticulture
  • agronomical practices
  • water use efficiency
  • berry composition and quality

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 14630 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Elicitors and Canopy Management in the Chemical Composition of Vitis vinifera Red Varieties in Warm and Hot Areas in Spain
by Natalia Gutiérrez, Leyre López-de-Silanes, Carlos Escott, Iris Loira, Juan Manuel del Fresno, José Antonio Suárez-Lepe and Antonio Morata
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1192; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061192 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2569
Abstract
Canopy management practices in vineyards, such as sprawling systems and shoot trimming, can change the accumulation of metabolites in grapes. The use of elicitors of biological origin on grapevines of Vitis vinifera red grape varieties may also modulate the chemical composition of the [...] Read more.
Canopy management practices in vineyards, such as sprawling systems and shoot trimming, can change the accumulation of metabolites in grapes. The use of elicitors of biological origin on grapevines of Vitis vinifera red grape varieties may also modulate the chemical composition of the berries. These modifications are often observed in the accumulation of phenolic compounds, including pigments. Both technical approaches are alternatives involved in minimizing the effects of global climate change in warm areas. The increase of temperature related to climate change accelerates the accumulation of sugars, but produces unbalanced grapes. This work establishes the use of button sensors to monitor the climate changes occurring at grape cluster level. Together with climate monitoring, conventional instrumental analytical techniques are used to follow up the chemical composition and the phenolic fraction of grapes in four different production areas in Spain. The effect of either treatment seems variable and to be affected by external factors besides the treatment itself and the climate conditions. While there is a fine effect that correlates with the use of elicitors in varieties like Merlot and Tempranillo, there is minimal improvement observed in Tintilla de Rota. The total phenolic index increases were between 2.3% and 11.8% in the first two parcels. The same happened with the vineyard’s canopy management systems, with increased pigment accumulation and the total phenolic index rising (37.7% to 68.7%) after applying intense shoot trimming, or a variation in sugar concentrations when using sprawl conduction. This study aims to provide viticulturists and oenologists in particular, and farmers in general, with data on the field regarding the use of alternative sustainable practices in the cultivation of grapes. The techniques used involved 100% natural products without adjuvants. The benefits obtained from applying some of these practices would be to produce technically mature grapes despite climate changes, and the elaboration of more balanced wines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices)
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19 pages, 9266 KiB  
Article
Managing Vineyard Topography and Seasonal Variability to Improve Grape Quality and Vineyard Sustainability
by Elena Mania, Fabio Petrella, Matteo Giovannozzi, Mauro Piazzi, Alena Wilson and Silvia Guidoni
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061142 - 3 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3182
Abstract
Topography may induce variability in meteorological conditions at the meso-scale level and could influence grape quality. Understanding the impact of topography on grape ripening allows for the development of sustainable management practices that include topographical influences in their consideration. This is also important [...] Read more.
Topography may induce variability in meteorological conditions at the meso-scale level and could influence grape quality. Understanding the impact of topography on grape ripening allows for the development of sustainable management practices that include topographical influences in their consideration. This is also important for applying proactive strategies able to counter the expected changes of climate. This study was conducted on cv. Nebbiolo vineyards in North-West Italy. The topographic traits were performed in 17 vineyards within the region, which had previously been identified as belonging to different terroir units. An analysis of historical meteorological data series was also carried out to characterize the units from the meteorological point of view. The grape composition was investigated during 2012 and 2013. Based on the topography traits, a Cluster Analysis classified the 17 vineyards into four groups. Differences among groups mainly concerned insolation and heat accumulation. Topography influenced the individual components of grape quality differently depending on the seasonal weather trend. Interactions between topography and vintage were observed for a few parameters. Better understanding the grapevine reaction to external factors/site characteristics can allow for improved site and season-specific management decision making and can contribute to improving vineyard sustainability while maintaining winery objectives and wine typicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices)
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13 pages, 1875 KiB  
Article
Mid-Term Effects of Conservative Soil Management and Fruit-Zone Early Leaf Removal Treatments on the Performance of Nerello Mascalese (Vitis vinifera L.) Grapes on Mount Etna (Southern Italy)
by Elisabetta Nicolosi, Valeria Iovino, Gaetano Distefano, Mario Di Guardo, Stefano La Malfa, Alessandra Gentile, Alberto Palliotti, Giuseppina Las Casas and Filippo Ferlito
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061070 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2202
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the mid-term influence of minimum tillage (MT) combined with early leaf removal (ELR) on the performance of the black grapevine variety Nerello Mascalese (Vitis vinifera L.). The research was carried out from 2015 to [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze the mid-term influence of minimum tillage (MT) combined with early leaf removal (ELR) on the performance of the black grapevine variety Nerello Mascalese (Vitis vinifera L.). The research was carried out from 2015 to 2018 in a vineyard located in the Mount Etna area, East Sicily, Southern Italy. An average of about 8000 cm2 of leaves were removed from the ELR vines, corresponding to a canopy defoliation of 44% in 2017 and 30% in 2018. As for the stem water potential of both primary and lateral leaves, ELR-MT treatment showed the best performance (up to −0.4 MPa) among the four combinations. In 2017, no differences in yield/vine were found among treatments, whereas in 2018 the yield was significantly lower in ELR treatments. Among the different treatments performed, the ELR-MT showed the best results both in terms of physiological plant parameters (water status and photosynthetic activity) and fruit quality (higher concentration of sugars and total anthocyanins and polyphenols). ELR-MT treatment is also associated with a lower incidence of tillage operations from four to only one per year (−60–70 h/ha). In contrast to what was observed in the first 3 years of application (i.e., from 2015 to 2017), yield was heavily penalized during the fourth year of application (2018), probably due to the excessive depletion of nutritional reserves, the reduction of bud fertility and the unfavorable meteorological condition. For these reasons, the ELR-MT combination might require an interruption every 2–3 years of application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices)
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15 pages, 1118 KiB  
Article
Application of Kaolin and Italian Natural Chabasite-Rich Zeolitite to Mitigate the Effect of Global Warming in Vitis vinifera L. cv. Sangiovese
by Gabriele Valentini, Chiara Pastore, Gianluca Allegro, Enrico Muzzi, Leonardo Seghetti and Ilaria Filippetti
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061035 - 22 May 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3133
Abstract
High temperatures and the anomalous distribution of rainfall during the growing season may have a negative impact on grapevine yield and berry composition. In recent years, many studies have focused on the application of agronomical techniques to reduce the negative impact of heat [...] Read more.
High temperatures and the anomalous distribution of rainfall during the growing season may have a negative impact on grapevine yield and berry composition. In recent years, many studies have focused on the application of agronomical techniques to reduce the negative impact of heat waves on secondary metabolites such as phenols. In particular, treatments with kaolin have shown positive effects on reducing canopy temperatures, enhancing the accumulation of anthocyanins. In regard to the above, three treatments were evaluated: untreated control (C), kaolin (CAO), and chabasite-rich zeolitites (ZEO) applications on cv. Sangiovese in order to verify the cooling effects on leaves and bunches, and the impact on gas exchange, yield parameters, berry composition, and on both chemical and sensory notes of wine. Minerals were sprayed twice around the veraison on the entire canopy at a 3% concentration. The results showed that the application of the minerals was able to reduce the berry temperatures in both years of the trial as compared to the untreated control (C), without affecting vine gas exchange, yield, and soluble solid accumulation. Furthermore, the cooling effect determined an increase in anthocyanin on both the grapes and the wine. At testing, CAO and ZEO wines stood out regarding greater color intensity and were preferred by the judges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices)
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16 pages, 1584 KiB  
Article
Urea-Doped Calcium Phosphate Nanoparticles as Sustainable Nitrogen Nanofertilizers for Viticulture: Implications on Yield and Quality of Pinot Gris Grapevines
by Federica Gaiotti, Marco Lucchetta, Giacomo Rodegher, Daniel Lorenzoni, Edoardo Longo, Emanuele Boselli, Stefano Cesco, Nicola Belfiore, Lorenzo Lovat, José Manuel Delgado-López, Francisco J. Carmona, Antonietta Guagliardi, Norberto Masciocchi and Youry Pii
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061026 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4192
Abstract
In recent years, the application of nanotechnology for the development of new “smart fertilizers” is regarded as one of the most promising solutions for boosting a more sustainable and modern grapevine cultivation. Despite showing interesting potential benefits over conventional fertilization practices, the use [...] Read more.
In recent years, the application of nanotechnology for the development of new “smart fertilizers” is regarded as one of the most promising solutions for boosting a more sustainable and modern grapevine cultivation. Despite showing interesting potential benefits over conventional fertilization practices, the use of nanofertilizers in viticulture is still underexplored. In this work, we investigated the effectiveness of non-toxic calcium phosphate nanoparticles (Ca3(PO4)2∙nH2O) doped with urea (U-ACP) as a nitrogen source for grapevine fertilization. Plant tests were performed for two years (2019–2020) on potted adult Pinot gris cv. vines grown under semi-controlled conditions. Four fertilization treatments were compared: N1: commercial granular fertilization (45 kg N ha−1); N2: U-ACP applied in fertigation (36 kg N ha−1); N3: foliar application of U-ACP (36 kg N ha−1); C: control, receiving no N fertilization. Plant nitrogen status (SPAD), yield parameters as well as those of berry quality were analyzed. Results here presented clearly show the capability of vine plants to recognize and use the nitrogen supplied with U-ACP nanoparticles either when applied foliarly or to the soil. Moreover, all of the quali–quantitative parameters measured in vine plants fed with nanoparticles were perfectly comparable to those of plants grown in conventional condition, despite the restrained dosage of nitrogen applied with the nanoparticles. Therefore, these results provide both clear evidence of the efficacy of U-ACP nanoparticles as a nitrogen source and the basis for the development of alternative nitrogen fertilization strategies, optimizing the dosage/benefit ratio and being particularly interesting in a context of a more sustainable and modern viticulture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices)
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13 pages, 3073 KiB  
Article
Impact of Leaf Occlusions on Yield Assessment by Computer Vision in Commercial Vineyards
by Rubén Íñiguez, Fernando Palacios, Ignacio Barrio, Inés Hernández, Salvador Gutiérrez and Javier Tardaguila
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11051003 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2504
Abstract
Yield assessment has been identified as critical topic for grape and wine industry. Computer vision has been applied for assessing yield, but the accuracy was greatly affected by fruit occlusion affected by leaves and other plant organs. The objective of this work was [...] Read more.
Yield assessment has been identified as critical topic for grape and wine industry. Computer vision has been applied for assessing yield, but the accuracy was greatly affected by fruit occlusion affected by leaves and other plant organs. The objective of this work was the consistent, continuous evaluation of the impact of leaf occlusions in different commercial vineyard plots at different defoliation stages. RGB (red, green and blue) images from five Tempranillo (Vitis vinifera L.) vineyards were manually acquired using a digital camera under field conditions at three different levels of defoliation: no defoliation, partial defoliation and full defoliation. Computer vision was used for the automatic detection of different canopy features, and for the calibration of regression equations for the prediction of yield computed per vine segment. Leaf occlusion rate (berry occlusion affected by leaves) was computed by machine vision in no defoliated vineyards. As occlusion rate increased, R2 between bunch pixels and yield was gradually reduced, ranging from 0.77 in low occlusion, to 0.63. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices)
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17 pages, 2334 KiB  
Article
High-Resolution Drone-Acquired RGB Imagery to Estimate Spatial Grape Quality Variability
by Marta García-Fernández, Enoc Sanz-Ablanedo and José Ramón Rodríguez-Pérez
Agronomy 2021, 11(4), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040655 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4049
Abstract
Remotesensing techniques can help reduce time and resources spent collecting samples of crops and analyzing quality variables. The main objective of this work was to demonstrate that it is possible to obtain information on the distribution of must quality variables from conventional photographs. [...] Read more.
Remotesensing techniques can help reduce time and resources spent collecting samples of crops and analyzing quality variables. The main objective of this work was to demonstrate that it is possible to obtain information on the distribution of must quality variables from conventional photographs. Georeferenced berry samples were collected and analyzed in the laboratory, and RGB images were taken using a low-cost drone from which an orthoimage was made. Transformation equations were calculated to obtain absolute reflectances for the different bands and to calculate 10 vegetation indices plus two new proposed indices. Correlations for the 12 indices with values for 15 must quality variables were calculated in terms of Pearson’s correlation coefficients. Significant correlations were obtained for 100-berries weight (0.77), malic acid (−0.67), alpha amino nitrogen (−0.59), phenolic maturation index (0.69), and the total polyphenol index (0.62), with 100-berries weight and the total polyphenol index obtaining the best results in the proposed RGB-based vegetation index 2 and RGB-based vegetation index 3. Our findings indicate that must variables important for the production of quality wines can be related to the RGB bands in conventional digital images, potentially improving and aiding management and increasing productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices)
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22 pages, 2903 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impact of Drought Stress and Soil Cultivation in Chardonnay and Xynisteri Grape Cultivars
by Antonios Chrysargyris, Panayiota Xylia, Vassilis Litskas, Menelaos Stavrinides, Lisa Heyman, Kristof Demeestere, Monica Höfte and Nikolaos Tzortzakis
Agronomy 2020, 10(5), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10050670 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4048
Abstract
Cyprus has a long tradition in grape cultivation and wine making and grapevine is important for the sustainability of the agricultural sector, like in other Mediterranean areas. Water scarcity, which is projected to increase due to climate change, could negatively affect the sector. [...] Read more.
Cyprus has a long tradition in grape cultivation and wine making and grapevine is important for the sustainability of the agricultural sector, like in other Mediterranean areas. Water scarcity, which is projected to increase due to climate change, could negatively affect the sector. In this research, the effects of irrigation and tillage treatments on various aspects of vine growth and product quality (e.g., yield, physiology and quality attributes), were studied in Chardonnay and Xynisteri cultivars grown in clay soils in Cyprus. Regarding soil properties and water content, N and K were more abundant in the soil than P and through the growing period irrigation tended to increase electrical conductivity (EC) in the soil. Soil water content (volumetric) was 22%–27.5% and 13%–16%, when irrigation was applied or not, respectively. Vegetative soil cover occupied 50%–55% of the surface and contained species typically present in Mediterranean farms (e.g., Poaceae, Fabaceae and Brassicaceae). Tillage increased yield in Xynisteri (4–5 kg plant−1) but negatively affected other parameters such as chlorophyll levels (in Xynisteri). In combination with irrigation, tillage increased antioxidant activity in Chardonnay (assessed by FRAP and DPPH), at harvest. Total phenolics at harvest were higher in the grape juice of Xynisteri, compared to Chardonnay (30–40 and 20–25 mg GA g−1 fresh weight, respectively). Irrigation influenced phytohormone levels in the two cultivars. ABA increased in non-irrigated Xynisteri, reflecting an increased capacity to react towards water stress. Water stress is considered to increase polyphenols in grapes, but in the case of Xynisteri it seems that irrigation water is required to obtain better quality grapes as without irrigation volumetric water content (VWC) is close to the permanent wilting point. Titratable acidity and total tannins decreased in Chardonnay, when tillage and irrigation were applied. In addition, tillage and irrigation tended to elevate the pH of the grape juice. Tillage and irrigation on the other hand, had no effect on the levels of ascorbic acid and total anthocyanin content. The results of this research may help to select management strategies that support the adaptation of viticulture to climate change in Cyprus and other Mediterranean areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices)
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19 pages, 2737 KiB  
Concept Paper
Double Cropping in Vitis vinifera L. Pinot Noir: Myth or Reality?
by Stefano Poni, Matteo Gatti, Sergio Tombesi, Cecilia Squeri, Paolo Sabbatini, Nieves Lavado Rodas and Tommaso Frioni
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060799 - 4 Jun 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3488
Abstract
A novel bud-forcing technique aimed at obtaining two crops (primary and forced) within the same season was tested on potted Pinot noir grapevines. Removing young, vegetative organs from primary shoots trimmed to six nodes in early summer allows dormant buds to break para-dormancy, [...] Read more.
A novel bud-forcing technique aimed at obtaining two crops (primary and forced) within the same season was tested on potted Pinot noir grapevines. Removing young, vegetative organs from primary shoots trimmed to six nodes in early summer allows dormant buds to break para-dormancy, leading to a delayed, second crop. Meanwhile, the primary crop is left untouched. In our study, bud-forcing was applied at three different timings (full flowering, fruit-set, groat-sized berries) and compared with an unforced control (UC). Vegetative growth, yield components, shoot and vine balance as leaf area-to-yield ratios, leaf gas exchange, and grape composition were determined. Regardless of the timing of application, forcing was effective at unlocking either apical or sub-apical dormant buds on the trimmed shoot, whereas the more basal nodes stayed dormant. The additional crop present on forced shoots was 40%–50% of primary crop, which equated to approximately 1 kg/vine for all treatments. Fruitfulness on newly formed forced shoots varied from 0.8 to 1.1 clusters/shoot. Primary clusters in vines subjected to forced treatments reached target maturity with a delay of 7–12 days compared to UC, whereas forced-crop, picked at the latest available date (October 7) showed higher total soluble solids, anthocyanins and phenolics than the primary crop while retaining higher acidity. This ripening behavior was reflected in the higher A rates measured in late season on the basal leaves of forced shoots versus those of primary shoots. Forcing did not compromise fruitfulness of the basal primary nodes, which set at about 1.2 inflorescence primordia/shoot. This is the first report supporting the feasibility of double cropping in Vitis vinifera L. in warm viticulture regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture Production and Vineyard Management Practices)
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