Early definition of oenologically significant zones within a vineyard is one of the main goals of precision viticulture, as it would allow an increase in profitability through the adaptation of agronomic practices to the specific requirements of each zone, and/or segregation of the harvest into different batches to produce wines with different qualities. The aim of this work was to evaluate whether early grape sampling is a relevant tool for within-vineyard zone definition. The study was carried out in 2010 and 2011 in a 4.2 ha vineyard, where a grid of 60 sampling points was defined. 300-berry samples were picked from each sampling point after veraison and at harvest, post-veraison information being used to define zones within the vineyard after fuzzy k-means analysis and subsequent application of a zoning procedure that took into account membership degree and neighbourhood criteria. Two variations of the zoning procedure were used, standard (StdZ) and top (TopZ) zoning. Each was designed to meet different requirements of wineries; StdZ gave the same oenological relevance to all the zones, and TopZ differentiated the zones producing “top class” grapes, minimizing the within-zone variability in the top-class zone. Grape composition obtained at harvest from the zones delineated post-veraison was compared. Zone delineation using post-veraison data was proved to be oenologically relevant, provided sampling is performed once veraison is completed. The two zoning algorithms designed were shown to be suitable for objective zone delineation according to the goals intended for each.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 14, 2013
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