Responses of four winegrape varieties to managed water stress and partial defoliation in an arid environment
In viticulture, the imposition of managed water deficits is a strategy which has been used to increase both water use efficiency and winemaking quality in arid climates. Partial defoliation early in the season is another innovative practice that may also be used as an aid in regulating yield components and improving fruit quality. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of managed water stress and early season partial defoliation on crop yield and quality in two autochthonous (‘Frappato’ and ‘Nero d’Avola’) and two international varieties (‘Syrah’ and ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’) growing in an arid environment. The four treatments were: (i) no leaf removal, un-irrigated, (ii) no leaf removal, irrigated at 30 % of estimated crop evapotranspiration (ETc), (iii) partial leaf removal, un-irrigated, and (iv) partial leaf removal, irrigated at 30 % of estimated ETc. The results confirm the effectiveness of partial defoliation in yield management which leads to smaller clusters. Managed water stress was also an effective strategy for reducing berry size, improving must quality and generally enhancing anthocyanin accumulation.
The content of VITIS is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Any user is free to share and adapt (remix, transform, build upon) the content as long as the original publication is attributed (authors, title, year, journal, issue, pages) and any changes to the original are clearly labeled. We do not prohibit or charge a fee for reuse of published content. The use of general descriptive names, trade names, trademarks, and so forth in any publication herein, even if not specifically indicated, does not imply that these names are not protected by the relevant laws and regulations. The submitting author agrees to these terms on behalf of all co-authors when submitting a manuscript. Please be aware that this license cannot be revoked. All authors retain the copyright on their work and are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements.