Santa Catarina State (SC) is a new grape growing region in Southern Brazil where 300 ha have been planted with Vitis vinifera L. since 2000. The annual production of this region is 3,944 tons of grapes and 1,549,000 liters of wine.
Aims: To evaluate the influence of climate and vineyard altitude on the phenology and ripening as well as the suitability of five new grape growing regions of SC for Cabernet-Sauvignon variety for two vintages (2005 and 2006).
Methods and results: Physicochemical analyses were performed on grape berries at 10-day intervals from véraison to harvest. Classification of the bioclimate according to the Winkler and Fregoni indices was also carried out for a long time period for these areas. Climate was strongly correlated with phenological precocity indices. Four Winkler Regions were established and the Fregoni index ranged from 402 to 1,466 for these regions.
Conclusions: A positive relationship was observed between altitude, air temperature and the annual vine cycle duration. In general, these Cabernet-Sauvignon grapes showed a good potential for winemaking mainly in Regions II and III of the Winkler scale.
Significance and impact of the study: Given the present and possible future changes in the global climate, the wine industry may be required to find new locations for viticulture. In this context, this research presents new grape growing regions which are promising for the cultivation of Vitis vinifera grape varieties in Brazil.
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