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Water "stress" that can help grapes

Wooden post in Sangiovese vineyard

An interesting article from the University of #Pisa has been just published

Recent research conducted at the University's Department of Agricultural, Food and Agro-Environmental Sciences has highlighted an interesting link between #water stress and the quality of Sangiovese grapes, the most famous Tuscan vine

According to the study, published in the journal "Frontiers in Plant Science", #drought can help improve the color and quality of the grapes, but only if it is applied in specific stages of ripening and with precise intensities

Giacomo Palai, research fellow at the University of Pisa and first author of the study, explains that the combination of the intensity and the moment of application of the water deficit significantly affects the accumulation and profile of anthocyanins and flavonols in grapes.

For example, moderate water stress before veraison, when the berry is still green (from June to mid-July), increases the presence of flavonoids in the grape.

On the other hand, more severe water stress after veraison (from mid-July to harvest) affects the color of the berries, making them darker and bringing them closer to the shades of blue.

This approach to managing the #phenolic content through water stress is particularly important for Sangiovese in Tuscany, which can sometimes be a bit depleted.
The controlled application of water stress makes it possible to obtain wines with more intense #colors and #phenols, similar to the standards of international grape varieties

seedlings growing in precision irrigation agriculture

At a time when Italian viticulture is facing challenges related to #climatechange, such as less rainfall and longer drought periods, it is essential to develop tools such as precision irrigation and specific protocols to manage water stress. These techniques make it possible to preserve and increase the quality of the grapes, transforming potentially critical conditions into opportunities for the wine sector.

According to research by Mordor Intelligence, the market for precision #irrigation systems applied to agriculture will expect a compound growth rate of 8.6% over the next five years. The USA is driving the market, but Asia will soon also make a fundamental contribution.


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