The effect of row orientation, soil water status and ripeness level on the physiological, viticultural and enological performance of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt
Hunter, J J
Strever, A E
Viviers, M A
Climate change is a global concern. Drier and warmer conditions may be expected in future. South Africa is considered a water scarce country and stored water may even become less available for agricultural use in future as socio-economic challenges and urbanisation increase. Water availability and ambient temperature are critical factors determining the economically viable production of any crop plant. Research should be linked to future predictions in this regard.
Advanced knowledge is required to improve the management and outcomes of vineyards on different and complex terroirs that are often marginal in terms of soil type and specifically water holding capacity. Row orientation affects the canopy microclimate and therefore both transpiration of the canopy and evaporation from the soil. These factors are critical in the establishment of plant water status at different stages of the growth season. The incorporation of different soil water status levels into an existing project focused on the effect of different row orientations (North-South, East-West, North-East-South-West, and North-West-South-East) on Shiraz/101-14 Mgt and located at the Robertson Experiment Farm of ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij is expected to clarify the impact that row orientation may have on plant water relations, growth, yield, berry temperature, grape composition and wine quality/style. Results could be extrapolated to other (more complex) terroirs in order to predict grapevine behaviour and product outcomes.
The objective of the project is to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological, viticultural and enological (wine style) performance of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.
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