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Use of plastic cover in'Sauvignon Blanc' cultivar as protection against rain damage in high altitude areas of southern Brazil

Vanderlinde, G., Brighenti, A. F., Simon, S., Malinovski, L. I., Pescador, R., Silva, A. L., Sander, G. F.
Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1157 pp. 399-406
Vitis, acidity, altitude, carbon dioxide, carotenoids, chlorophyll, cultivars, ecophysiology, gas exchange, grapes, leaf area, leaves, microclimate, pH, pigments, production costs, rain, total soluble solids, vineyards, Brazil
High altitude regions of southern Brazil (over 900 m) have been producing high quality wines. However, in certain areas the excess of rainfall during maturation can limit yield and grape quality, which requires a strict phytosanitary control that raises production costs. Therefore, the plastic cover is an alternative for reducing chemicals and to improve grape quality in years with excess of rainfall. The objective of this study was to evaluate the plastic cover effects on ecophysiology of 'Sauvignon Blanc' grapevines produced in high altitude regions of southern Brazil. This work was performed in a vineyard located in the city of Rancho Queimado, Santa Catarina State (27°42'26”S, 49°04'17”W, altitude 1,000 m). 'Sauvignon Blanc' plants were three years old, trained in vertical shooting positioning trellis and grafted on '1103P'. The experiment was evaluated during the 2011-2012 season. Leaf gas exchange was measured with an IRGA (infra-red gas analyser) during veraison and maturation. The pigments, chlorophyll a, b and carotenoids were evaluated between veraison and maturation. At harvest plant leaf area, yield (kg plant-1 and t ha-1) and technological maturity (total soluble solids, total acidity and pH) were determined. The plastic cover did not affect pigment contents. However, the microclimate provided by the plastic cover increased leaf area, CO2 assimilation and increases yield of 30%, without any loss in grape quality.