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Use of Monastrell crosses for obtaining varieties adapted to climate change

Rocio Gil Muñoz, Instituto Murciano de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario, Spain

Use of Monastrell crosses for obtaining varieties adapted to climate change

One of the challenges facing the current viticulture is the adaptation to the new weather conditions that is causing climate change. The vegetative cycle of the vine depends on the temperature, so that the phenological stages can be predicted with models based only on temperature. Therefore the only possibility of maintaining the crop in warm areas is to try to obtain varieties better adapted to the new scenario, which have a longer vegetative-productive cycle and mature in less warm periods.

In 1997, we started a program of directed crossings in order to obtain new varieties from Monastrell that inherited their good qualities and contributed positive characters from other varieties that allowed them to adapt to future challenges. Currently, we have 10 selected crosses with high phenolic content, three of which have already begun their registration process. For its selection, its harvest time has also been taken into account, so that at present we have five different harvest seasons that begin in mid-August and end at the beginning of October. Within these hybrids are also selecting others for their low alcohol content, trying also to solve another problem facing the sector. In addition, it should be mentioned that within the plant material obtained by the crosses, white hybrids have been obtained among the descendants, being able to introduce new white varieties.

Finally, a problem that presents the production of wines, both white and red, is the negative herbaceous flavor provided by the seeds, as well as the high astringency. That is why it has been considered interesting to open another line of wine grape improvement in which varieties with absence of seeds, which also allow to unify the maturation of the pulp and the skin and that allow us to produce young wines that are not astringent, fresh and easy to drink, obviating in this way the lag of technological maturity and phenolic maturity.

Report presented at the SIVE OENOPPIA Awards 2019. The paper reproduced in this video-seminar was presented at the 12th edition of Enoforum (Vicenza, Italy, May 21-23, 2019).

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Published on 14/05/2020
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