Vine balance: a study case in Carménère grapevines
Vitis vinifera cv. Carménère is a vigorous variety of grapevine that requires high temperatures and luminosity for achieving optimal phenolic maturity and herbal aromas, which has been reported to significantly delay harvest in Chile. This research was developed under the hypothesis that canopy management, vigor and crop load could modify the productive and vegetative relationships for obtaining early or late ripening and achieving vine balance. The aim of this study was to determine the vine balance and the time of ripeness for Carménère grapevines. Different vigor and canopy managements were evaluated. The study was conducted in the Central Valley of Chile during the 2007 to 2008 season with own-rooted Carménère vines trained to a four-cane vertical shoot position (VSP) located on high growth potential soil. The ripeness was delayed with high vigor and high crop load. In this growing condition, an early ripeness was reached with spur pruning, low vigor and by cluster thinning. In addition, the appropriate vine balance was only obtained in vines with low vigor and 50% cluster thinning. Together, these data demonstrate the vine balance of Carménère under these management conditions.