Research

Pruning yields and quality in Macabeu vines

Pruning yields and quality in Macabeu vines

The DO Tarragona has initiated different lines of work in collaboration with INCAVI to reinforce the quality of the Macabeu variety. This is a variety with a high yield potential which, if excessive, can be detrimental to the quality of the must obtained and the wine produced. It is important, especially in varieties with this behaviour, to favour a balance between vegetative development and correct production.

Demonstration activity: Pruning load and quality of macabeo grapes in the DO Tarragona.

Period of action: 2022 to 2024

Objectives:

To confirm the direct relationship between yield, based on the control of pruning load and production per hectare, and the quality of wine made from Macabeo grapes from the DO Tarragona.

To provide the vine grower and winemaker with technical tools to help improve the quality of the final product, adapting the crop to new conditions due to climate change, achieving better profitability of both the grapes and the wine obtained.

The ability to define an adequate vegetative development for quality production allows for the adjustment of cultivation strategies, reducing the inefficient use of inputs, reducing the CO2 footprint and, in short, helping the winegrower to obtain better economic yields.

Work plan:

The proposed demonstration activity of varying the pruning load, under the same conditions of potential vigour. Observing the response of the plant to this different approach will allow winegrowers to evaluate different cultivation approaches, and will therefore provide tools to be able to improve their Macabeu plantations, if necessary. On the other hand, different production levels, i.e. different production vegetation balances, can favour different qualities of must and therefore of wine, opening up new possibilities in the production of wines in the DO Tarragona.

The harvest of the different hypotheses proposed is being carried out, with the production of wines following the production methods established by the DO Tarragona to obtain dry still wines that will be analysed chemically and sensorially. The technology used to carry out these actions is the one used by INCAVI to respond to the demands of the sector with absolute guarantees.

The activity is being carried out in the following 6 plots:

  1. Montferri - Viña Janine.
  2. Vila-rodona - Eduard Sanromà.
  3. Constantí - Mas dels Frares experimental winery. Faculty of Oenology - URV.
  4. El Catllar - Agrícola Pallarades.
  5. Vinebre - Unión Origen.
  6. Miravet - Fruiter de Benissanet Group.

The following activities are carried out: pruning according to the established conditions, monitoring of vegetative and productive development, controls of ripening and quality of the must, vinification, physical-chemical and sensory analysis of the wine.

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