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Effects of timing of water deficit induction on 'Doña Blanca' white grapevine under semi-arid growing conditions of south-western Spain

Uriarte, D., Mancha, L. A., Moreno, D., Bejarano, M. A., Valdes, E., Talaverano, I., Prieto, M. H.
Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1150 pp. 493-500
Vitis vinifera, crop yield, cultivars, deficit irrigation, evapotranspiration, grapes, malic acid, pruning, tartaric acid, total soluble solids, vines, vineyards, weather, Spain
The response of white grapevine cultivar 'Doña Blanca' (Vitis vinifera L.) to water restriction, vegetative development, yield and must composition, was studied for three consecutive years in a commercial vineyard located in Extremadura (south-western Spain). Irrigation was calculated as the percentage of crop evapotranspiration and treatments consisted in a control treatment (100%; Control) and two deficit irrigation treatments, with different levels of water deficit applied during pre-veraison (25-75%; EDI) and post-veraison (75-25%; LDI) periods. Interanual variability in weather conditions and crop levels resulted in a significative season-by-season effect on yield. Pre-veraison water deficit reduced yield as a result of decreased berry size compared to control treatment while, post-veraison water deficit reduced pruning weight and produced similar grape yield to control. Water deficit increased total soluble solids and tartaric acid while decreased malic acid, regardless of timing of water restriction. The amount of applied water was similar in both deficit treatments and was 50% of the control. LDI vines had higher water used efficiency than the Control vines. In terms of agronomic response and must quality, LDI grapes were preferred to EDI grapes.