Oenological signiﬁcance of vineyard management zones
delineated using early grape sampling
L. G. Santesteban
J. B. Royo
Published online: 14 September 2013
Ó Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
Abstract 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 neigh-
bourhood 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.
Keywords Early zoning Á Fuzzy k-means Á Grape quality Á Precision
viticulture Á Vitis vinifera L.
All the authors have contributed signiﬁcantly and agree with the content of the manuscript.
I. Urretavizcaya Á L. G. Santesteban (&) Á B. Tisseyre Á S. Guillaume Á C. Miranda Á J. B. Royo
Dpt. Prod. Agraria, Universidad Pu
blica de Navarra, Pamplona, Navarre, Spain
Precision Agric (2014) 15:111–129