Original research articles

A calculation method of available soil water content : application to viticultural terroirs mapping of the Loire valley


Vine water supply is one of the most important elements in the determination of grape composition and wine quality. Water supply conditions are in relation with available soil water content, therefore this one has to be determined when vineyard terroir mapping is undertaken. The available soil water content depends on soil factors like water content at field capacity, water content at the permanent wilting point, apparent density and rooting depth. The aim of this study is to seek the relationship between these factors and a simple soil characteristic such as texture which could be easily measurable in routine cartography. Study area is located in the Loire valley, in two different geological regions. First results indicate that it is possible to determine available soil water content from clay percentage, then from soil texture. These results also show that available soil water content algorithms differ with geological properties. This calculation can be used at each auger boring and results can be spatialised within a Geographical Information System that allows the production of available water content maps.


Etienne Goulet


Affiliation : Cellule « Terroirs Viticoles », Confédération des Vignerons du Val de Loire, 42 rue Georges Morel, 49071 Beaucouzé cedex

René Morlat

Affiliation : Unité Expérimentale Vigne et Vin, INRA, 42 rue Georges Morel, 49071 Beaucouzé cedex, France

Dominique Rioux

Affiliation : Cellule Terroirs Viticoles, UMT Vinitera, 49071 Beaucouzé, France

S. Cesbron

Affiliation : Cellule Terroirs Viticoles, Confédération des Vignerons du Val de Loire, 42 rue G. Morel, 49071 Beaucouzé cedex, France


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