The vine is a deciduous shrub belonging to the Vitaceae family. Its scientific name is Vitis vinifera. Its economic importance is due to its fruit, the grape, used both for direct consumption and fermentation to produce wine.
Today, vine cultivation is spreading across the warm regions of the world, especially in Western Europe, the Balkans, California, Australia, South Africa, Chile and Argentina, where the four seasons of the year are well defined.
AZUD’s extensive experience allows it to offer the farmer the most interesting agronomic solution that guarantees greater vine productivity, taking into account the needs and resources available in each case.
The vine adapts to a wide variety of soils. Since there is a wide range of rootstocks available, vines can be grown in very harsh environments. The availability of organic matter in the soil is considered to be a very important factor. A soil with values lower than 1.5% is considered poor in organic matter for vine cultivation, and percentages higher than 2.5% are considered rich in this sense.
The species is typical of temperate zones where average annual temperatures do not fall below 9ºC. It adapts to a wide range of temperatures, from -20 to +35ºC. More extreme values can seriously damage the plant. The optimum temperature for a good development of the crop is between 25 and 30ºC.
The hours of sun exposure are decisive for the accumulation of sugars in the fruit. The accumulation of chilling hours necessary for the healthy growth of the vine is between 150 and 600. A deficiency in chilling hours can result in poor, late and poor quality harvests.
Thanks to the wide variety of rootstocks on the market today, vine cultivation is possible on a wide range of soil types in terms of pH and texture.
Seeding density is influenced by factors such as soil topography, soil potential, vigorous crop, irrigation, trellis system, fertilisation and pruning. The in line layout is most commonly used in the majority of vineyards in the main producing countries. The recommended spacing between rows is 2.5-3 m and 0.5 to 1.5 m. between plants, which means densities of 4,000 to 2,200 plants per hectare. The recommended planting frame for table grapes is 4 x 4 m with a plant density of 625 per hectare.
It is recommended that the layout of the rows should always follow the direction of the prevailing winds in the area, the most suitable being North-South. Bare-root vines should be planted in winter, whereas container-grown vines can be planted at any time of the year.
The amount of water used depends on the water holding capacity of the soil, the efficiency of the irrigation system and the depth of the roots.
The vine is very resistant to long periods of drought, as it has a deep root system. However, in severe drought conditions, loss of production and quality can occur, so irrigation is essential.
Despite being a traditionally rainfed crop, the use of irrigation in vineyards results in greater plant growth and increased production. This ensures that the plant is sufficiently prepared to guarantee next year’s production, and it prevents any stress to the vine that could cause a reduction in its yield. Irrigation has beneficial effects as long as it is managed properly, so it is necessary to know the time and amount of water to use. Positive effects include:
The benefits obtained in crops supplied by a well-designed drip irrigation system are much higher (sometimes up to double) compared to rainfed crops in very dry environments. With the right temperature and humidity, a yield increase of around 20% can be achieved. An average yield can be estimated in the range of 9 – 12 tonnes per hectare.
Emitter pipe selection: A wide range of products to ensure the right choice of emitter pipe. The combination of emitter model, unit flow rate and spacing between them not only guarantees the supply of the planned allocations in the irrigation strategy, but also ensures a large volume of moist soil available for root development in both localised surface irrigation and SDI.
Digital Farming: Together with the appropriate selection of the emitter pipe, the use of AZUD QGROW equipment for the precise management of water and nutrient inputs, with the information coming from soil, plant and climate sensors allows: