Functional homogeneous zones (fHZs) in viticultural zoning procedure: an Italian case study on Aglianico vine
- 1National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Institute for Mediterranean Agricultural and Forestry Systems (ISAFOM), Ercolano (NA), Italy
- 2University of Naples Federico II, Department of Agriculture, Portici (NA), Italy
Abstract. This paper aims to test a new physically oriented approach to viticulture zoning at farm scale that is strongly rooted in hydropedology and aims to achieve a better use of environmental features with respect to plant requirements and wine production. The physics of our approach are defined by the use of soil–plant–atmosphere simulation models, applying physically based equations to describe the soil hydrological processes and solve soil–plant water status.
This study (part of the ZOVISA project) was conducted on a farm devoted to production of high-quality wines (Aglianico DOC), located in southern Italy (Campania region, Mirabella Eclano, AV). The soil spatial distribution was obtained after standard soil survey informed by geophysical survey. Two homogeneous zones (HZs) were identified; in each one a physically based model was applied to solve the soil water balance and estimate the soil functional behaviour (crop water stress index, CWSI) defining the functional homogeneous zones (fHZs). For the second process, experimental plots were established and monitored for investigating soil–plant water status, crop development (biometric and physiological parameters) and daily climate variables (temperature, solar radiation, rainfall, wind).
The effects of crop water status on crop response over must and wine quality were then evaluated in the fHZs. This was performed by comparing crop water stress with (i) crop physiological measurement (leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll a fluorescence, leaf water potential, chlorophyll content, leaf area index (LAI) measurement), (ii) grape bunches measurements (berry weight, sugar content, titratable acidity, etc.) and (iii) wine quality (aromatic response). This experiment proved the usefulness of the physically based approach, also in the case of mapping viticulture microzoning.