Original research articles

Effects of timing of leaf removal on yield, berry maturity, wine composition and sensory properties of cv. Grenache grown under non irrigated conditions

Abstract

Aims: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of timing of leaf removal on yield components, berry sensory characteristics, composition and sensory properties of Vitis vinifera L. Grenache wines under non-irrigated conditions.

Methods and results: The effects of timing of defoliation (fruit set and veraison) on yield components, berry maturity, wine composition and sensory properties of head trained, non irrigated, Grenache vines grown in Rioja appellation were studied. Leaf removal did not significantly modify total leaf area per vine as well as yield components. Grenache berries from early defoliated vines achieved the highest skin and technological maturity. Wine parameters, such as alcohol content, pH, titratable acidity, tartaric acid and total polyphenol index were unaffected by defoliation. Conversely, early leaf removal carried out at fruit set, significantly reduced the malic acid content of the wine and enhanced its colour intensity. Aroma complexity, mouthfeel, tannin quality and persistence were found to be significantly higher in the wine corresponding to the early leaf removal treatment. This was also the most preferred wine in terms of overall value.

Conclusion: This article shows that timing of leaf removal had a marked effect on berry maturity, wine composition and sensory properties of Grenache wines made from grapes grown under dry-farmed conditions.

Significance and impact of study: The results suggest that the timing of defoliation induces significant changes in Grenache wine composition and its sensory attributes. Late leaf removal was much less effective than early leaf removal in affecting final wine composition and quality. Grenache wine from the early defoliation treatment was rated the most preferred as of global value.

Authors


Javier Tardáguila

Affiliation : Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (University of La Rioja, CSIC, Gobierno de La Rioja), 26006 Logroño, Spain

javier.tardaguila@unirioja.es

María Paz Diago

Affiliation : Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (University of La Rioja, CSIC, Gobierno de La Rioja), 26006 Logroño, Spain


Fernando Martínez de Toda

Affiliation : ICVV (Universidad de La Rioja, CSIC, Gobierno de La Rioja), c/ Madre de Dios, 51, 26006 Logroño, Spain


Stefano Poni

Affiliation : Istituto di Frutti-Viticoltura, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Via Emilia Parmense 84, 29100, Piacenza, Italy


Mar Vilanova

Affiliation : Misión Biológica de Galicia (CSIC) PO Box 28, 36080 Pontevedra, Spain

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