Review articles

Vine and water: a short review


Water is an important factor in the terroirs of grape-growing regions. The vine obtains water from rainfall and the water table and when it is in short supply, it is necessary either to irrigate or accept the effects of water stress. Depending on the intensity of the water stress and the period at which it occurs, it may or not be favourable for the harvest and the wine it is used to produce. The objective of this article is to provide some information on the relationship that exists between the vine and water. The climate and the soil, which are essential but not the sole elements of this relationship will only be touched upon, but we will discuss in a non exhaustive way, with information’s from the bibliography or from our research, the following aspects: the root system, vegetative growth, the relationship between plant architecture and the water status of the vine, the carbon balance and the biochemical composition of the grape berry in relation to vine water status. We will also present the currently available techniques for measuring vine water status and its evolution during the vegetative cycle as a function of water reserves in the soil easy to use by the roots. Finally examples are presented of possible recommendations for vine cultural practices as a function of the vine water status evolution during the growth, according to the predawn leaf water potential thresholds.


Alain Deloire

Affiliation : Stellenbosch University, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa; NWGIC, Charles Sturt University, Boorooma Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia, 2650

Alain Carbonneau

Affiliation : Viticulture-OEnologie, Agro de Montpellier, 2 place Viala, Montpellier, France

Zenphing Wang

Affiliation : AGRO-Montpellier, UMR 1083 Sciences Pour l’OEnologie et la Viticulture, 2 place Pierre Viala, 34060 Montpellier cedex 1, France

Hernán Ojeda

Affiliation : Unité Expérimentale de Pech-Rouge, INRA, 11430 Gruissan, France


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