Background and Aims: Vineyard variability makes satisfaction of winemaker demands for uniform parcels of fruit that are suitable for particular product streams difficult. Indeed, it may not be possible to satisfy these demands without being able to adequately characterise differences between wines derived from different fruit parcels or different areas of the same vineyard, understanding how final wines are affected by management decisions implemented in the vineyard, and/or understanding the effects of variation in the vineyard's biophysical characteristics (e.g. soil, topography) on grape and wine composition. This work sought to identify and examine relationships between the chemical and sensory attributes of wines derived from different parts of the same block and the biophysical characteristics of these different vineyard areas. Methods and Results: Remote sensing of vine vigour, yield mapping and EM38 soil survey were used to identify zones of contrasting vineyard performance in a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the Murray Valley region. Small‐lot wines were made from fruit sourced from these zones. Both sensory and chemical analysis (solid phase microextraction‐gas chromatography‐mass spectrometry) of these wines demonstrated them to be different. Likewise, soil properties and indices of vine nutrition differed between the zones. Conclusions: This work suggests that it is possible for robust relationships to be established between specific (manageable) biophysical attributes of the place where grapes are grown and the sensory and chemical characteristics of the wines derived from them. It also supports the view that terroir is spatially variable at the within‐vineyard scale. Significance of the Study: The work provides a foundation for further research aimed at establishing how specific sensory and/or chemical properties in wines might be modified through targeted management interventions in the vineyard.
Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 2011
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