It is now widely accepted that climate change is having a profound impact on the weather systems around the world. These, in turn, have a considerable effect on two important elements of the Tuscan economy: wine production and tourism. This case study sought to explore the relationship between the perception of Tuscan wine-producing agritourism owners of the potentially abstract notion of climate change and their concrete experiences as entrepreneurs. While recognizing the difficulties they face from climate change as viticulturists, as agrotourism owners they welcome the longer seasons which enable them to open in the formerly barren shoulder seasons but struggle with last-minute cancellations due to unpredictable weather in the area.
Influence of viticultural practices on Danish cold-climate Solaris grapes and wines as studied by 1H NMR metabolomics
The present multidisciplinary study aimed at investigating the impact of water deficit, defoliation, and crop thinning on Solaris’ plant and fruit development as well as on the bulk metabolic composition of Solaris must and wines as measured by FT-IR and 1H NMR. Overall, the results show that, from an agronomical point of view, Solaris has a remarkable ability to tolerate and recover from water stress.
Investigating the most effective techniques to delay ripening through a meta-analytic approach
Several vineyard techniques have been proposed to delay grape maturity in light of the advanced maturation driven by increasingly frequent water and heat stress events that are detrimental to grape quality. These studies differ in terms of their experimental conditions, and in the present work we have attempted to summarize previous observations in a quantitative, data-driven systematic review. A meta-analysis of quantitative data gathered across 43 relevant studies revealed the overall significance of the proposed treatments and evaluated the impact of different experimental conditions on the outcome of antitranspirants, delayed pruning and late source limitation.
Pierce’s disease of grapevines caused by Xylella fastidiosa: what are the risks?
The vector-borne bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is responsible for Pierce’s disease (PD), a lethal grapevine disease that originated in the Americas. The international plant trade is expanding the geographic range of this pathogen, posing a new threat to viticulture worldwide. To assess the potential incidence of PD, the authors of this post built a dynamic epidemiological model based on the response of 36 grapevine varieties to the pathogen in inoculation assays and on the vectors’ distribution when this information is available.
Acceptance and rejection of nano-enabled viticulture
While the science of nanotechnology is indicated to offer improvements to conventional vineyard inputs and operations, its acceptability by potential users and consumers has an impact on the governance of nano-enabled agriculture. This governance takes place not just at the state level through regulation and policy, but also through corporate, and community sectors’ use of branding and narratives about nanotechnology and nano-based agrichemicals, and the (non)consumption of nano-enabled products. This post reports the results of a paper which investigated the technical and market acceptability, or governance, of nanotechnology by elucidating the attitudes of industry gatekeepers towards wines grown with nanotechnology. This necessarily informs the ‘market permissibility’ of such technologies and illuminates sensitivities, concerns, and consumer-based barriers to adoption.
Winemaking needs more science knowledge
Carbonic maceration (CM) consists in placing intact grape bunches into a sealed tank to have a natural or artificially created carbon dioxide atmosphere. No articles have been published on the comparison between CM and nitrogen maceration (NM). Therefore, the present study aimed at testing the use of alternative maceration technique (NM) in alternative to CM, to create the conditions of anoxia on the Gamay variety.
Agrobiodiversity dynamics in a French wine-growing region
Agrobiodiversity is a promising nature-based solution in the pursuit of sustainable agriculture. In wine-growing systems, commercial pressure and varietal regulations have narrowed agrobiodiversity in vineyards despite higher diversity being an important buffer against the effects of climate change. If drivers of grape diversity change are well-understood at national to global scales, little is known about the local, past or anticipated trajectories that drive agrobiodiversity dynamics depending on growers’ cultural values, practices and choices. We combined quantitative agricultural census data and qualitative ethnographic approaches to characterise changes in the diversity of grape varieties from 1960 to 2020 at the communal and vineyard levels in a French wine-growing region, and to decipher the drivers of change
Grapevine association mapping: a genetic approach with successful findings
Thanks to current advances in sequencing technologies, novel bioinformatics tools, and efficient modeling solutions, association mapping has become a widely accepted approach to unravel the link between genotype and phenotype diversity in numerous crops. In grapevine, this strategy has been used in the last decades to understand the genetic basis of traits of agronomic interest (fruit quality, crop yield, biotic and abiotic resistance), of special relevance nowadays to improve crop resilience to cope with future climate scenarios. This post summarizes current applications of association mapping in grapevine research and discusses future prospects in view of current viticulture challenges.
Chitosan triggers actin remodelling and activation of defence genes that is repressed by calcium influx in grapevine cells
Fungal diseases of grapevine pose great challenges for global viticulture and require massive plant protection measures. Plant cells are able to sense chitin, a central component of fungal cell walls and respond by activation of basal defence. In this study the authors mapped early defence responses evoked by chitosan, a chitin fragment able to bind to chitin receptors. They found an activation of calcium influx, monitored by extracellular alkalinisation due to a co-transport of protons, remodelling of actin (but not of microtubules), and the activation of transcripts for phytoalexin synthesis, jasmonate-signalling, salicylate signalling, and chitinase. Interestingly, Gadolinium, an inhibitor of calcium influx, can inhibit extracellular alkalinisation in response to chitosan, while the induction of the phytoalexin synthesis transcripts was specifically promoted. In contrast, both DMSO and benzyl alcohol, compounds known to modulate membrane fluidity, partially inhibited the transcript responses to chitosan.
Xylem anatomy and hydraulic traits in Vitis grafted cuttings in view of their impact on the young grapevine decline
Grapevine grafting is an essential practice in viticulture and over the years, various bench grafting techniques have been developed to mechanize the nursery process and to increase the yield in number of viable cuttings. Bench grafting is a fundamental nursery practice that can potentially affect the quality of propagation material also in young decline associated to grapevine trunk diseases and has been recently reported to influence leaf symptoms development associated with diseases of Esca complex. The study aimed to investigate how three bench grafting methods can influence these phenomena.