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MECHANIZATION AND TERROIR, ARE THEY COMPATIBLE?

Stefano PONI, Istituto di Frutti-viticoltura, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza, Italy

Stefano Poni, University Cattolica of Piacenza, wrote about the natural link between mechanical grape harvesting and the “terroir” expression and the effect on grape and wine quality. Winter and summer pruning effects on wine quality are discussed also taking into account data published from many others scientists. The Author is explaining the changes in the canopy physiology caused by the mechanical cuts and shows mechanical pruning turned out to be an excellent tool to identify the vine balance which sets the maximum cropping level at the desired quality. Data on Croatina, Trebbiano and Barbera are discussed. Shot trimming , unpredictability of lateral regrowth, and leaf removal have been documented in this paper. The Authors concludes that "A perfect “terroir” can be imagined as a site where vine growth naturally fades and arrests at veraison and no summer pruning is needed; this “ideal” scenario is far from reality and in a great number of cases summer pruning is mandatory to correct vine shape, canopy orientation and excessive growth. Then, mechanical practices, like shoot thinning, trimming and positioning, leaf removal, and so on, properly applied as timing and severity are of the utmost importance for recovering grape quality level"
Published on 05/29/2007
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