drought has a quite complex definition as an inherent precipitation deficiency
might be exacerbated by poor soil management - leading, in turn, to reduced
water reservoir – and by high temperatures thereby conducive to high
evapotranspiration. The three main E27 wine producing countries, Italy, France
and Spain—accounting for about 67% of total world vine production are all
facing the above threat. Moreover, the scenario might worsen when an objective
meteorological drought couples with a water scarcity situation (e.g. no
resources for supplemental irrigation available or excessive cost of blue water
retrieval and distribution. Last but not least, in the above countries
irrigation is often forbidden or severely constrained.
survival of viticulture in mostly hilly areas falling within a temperate
climate type with hot summers is bound to adoption of effective drought
resilience techniques aimed at maintaining competitiveness while lowering
vineyard water footprint and making additional water supply unnecessary. Not
addressing the issue means that an increasing fraction of sloping sites will be
abandoned with obvious negative environmental and social consequences.
In this review
paper, we streamline a few modifications in vineyard establishment and
management that have proven to be quite useful, in lack of irrigation, to
increase tolerance to drought and to post-pone occurrence of irreversible
damage to the leaves and incapability to promptly respond to any rewatering event
Among those we
will cover in brief the importance of row orientation, canopy geometry
(vertically shoot positioned vs sprawl canopies), cover crop management (i.e.
water use vs tilled soil and prior and after mowing), new rootstock material (e.g.
performance of the new drought tolerant M4 vs older traditional rootstocks
genotypes) and application ok kaolin sprays to the grapevine canopy.