Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £35.99 £24.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

Considerations for planting a vineyard

Ciao tutti, I’m Paolo, Paolo Capece, and [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] I’m a phenologist. And what is phenology? Phenology is the science, the agrometeorological science that studies the phases of the plants and what happens with climate, with temperature, and what is the effect of the climate on the plant. Walking in this vineyard, you can appreciate the history of making wine. They usually, in tradition, put roses near the vineyards, because the rose is a species very sensible, especially in the past. If you’re walking in this vineyard, you should also appreciate how a vineyard is made. In this case, is oriented in the south, because the strength of the sun is stronger if the direction is south, of course.
Because we have on east side, no trees, because there is no strong wind. And in the west side, where the wind are stronger, they put high trees, to protect the vineyards. Before to plant a vineyard, we studied the history of the area. And we studied the climate, the soil, all the factor that permit to have a good vineyard. There are two type of technique. There is only the agroclimatic characterisation, and the full complete characterisation about land suitability and land capability. How is the exposition of the vineyard, the slope over the vineyard, and what’s happen around the vineyard.
And we should calculate that the bioclimatic index, who permit us to try to understand which are the varieties who fit better for that particular area. That information that you can obtain on a map about the agroclimatic characterisation, if you use only the climate information, or zoning map. If you’re–as you put–as we were talking before, the soil information, the other information of the area. And you can use this information to replant all the vineyards, because every 30, 35 years old, a vineyard become older. So you have to change. So you can get a new variety for this area, who fits better. Now in this map you can see what is the Huglin Index.
With this Huglin Index you can have your own viticulture culture target. And you should choose your variety, and it depends of the temperature in this area with this morphology of the land. We really can put the better variety that you– this preliminary map is not enough. You always have to work with an agronomist or another a technician to choose the other, the types. In Italy we have a lot of fruit and in France, too. To produce wine. And we have the [NON-ENGLISH] It’s an assembly of rules that wine producers need to respect to have the wine. To guarantee the quality of the wine, because only with the taste, you can’t know how a wine is made.
We have a specific rule from the production, and during the growing of the vineyard, about pathologies about treatment, about how much water you can add in summer. Because you can only add water and irrigation in extraordinary case, not to grow up the production. And we have particular limits also for the quantity of production. The temperature is the most important part of the weather about have grapes all over the world. Because the latitude is very important, and this strength of the sun is very important to obtain a good wine. And with climate change, the question is complicated.
Because of course, the traditional area who has rules, and strong rules, are studying new techniques to obtain a good wine without losing the quality of the European wine. So with the climate change, for example here the UK, if you start to produce wine, the pioneer doesn’t have problem, but when we will be 100 or 1,000 of vineyards, of course you should have a strong rules, too, to guarantee quality for the wine, and especially to guarantee for the consumers, the quality of your wine. Because nobody should know what’s happened in your vineyard.

In this video, phenologist Paolo Capece speaks about different aspects to consider when planting a vineyard and how the production of wine is regulated in Europe.

Are you surprised by the number of factors, which have to be considered when producing wine? Let us know by posting in the comment area below. Remember you can also ‘like’ or reply to comments made by your fellow learners.

This article is from the free online

The Future of Farming: Exploring Climate Smart Agriculture

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now