See more from this Session: Management, Methods and Models for Efficient Use of Water and Nutrients: II
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
As North Carolina wine grape (V. vinifera) production intensifies, the importance of water management must be addressed. Grape yield and composition, and consequently wine quality, are greatly influenced by the water regime under which the grapes were produced. Despite the importance of water management, little research pertinent to this topic has been carried out in the Southeastern U.S., and especially North Carolina’s primary wine grape region, the Yadkin Valley Appellation. This region has unique soils and climate, which differ considerably from other established wine regions where water management practices have been developed. To gain a better understanding of water dynamics in this unique system, two vineyards were instrumented to continuously measure standard weather parameters and soil matric potential. Profile volumetric soil water content and midday stem water potential were measured on a bi-weekly basis during the growing season. The data from years one and two suggest that evapotranspirative demand lags behind rainfall amounts. Soil matric potential and stem water potential measurements also suggest that vines have an adequate to excessive water supply during the growing season. Since it is known that adequate water stress enhances grape quality, attempts to induce stress and monitor that response have been initiated. Results from the first three years of the project and related on-going work will be presented.