Spatial Variability of Grape Yield and Quality: Using GIS as a Precision Viticulture Tool to Optimize Vine Yield and Quality

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Variability due to soil types, topography, and climate within a vineyard influences grapevine physiological parameters and fruit quality. Technical feasibility of using precision Geographic Information System (GIS) as a viticulture tool to improve vineyard management and increase wine quality will be investigated. The study was conducted in an experimental vineyard where rows consist of plots with 24 cultivars and selections randomly planted and managed similarly. Monitored vineyard parameters collected by Global Positioning System (GPS) location include soil characteristics, soil moisture, vine growth, crop load, and fruit characteristics. Geospatial maps are used to differentiate yield between the cultivars and selections as high, medium, or low. Production was determined from each variety/selection within the vineyard. Yield parameters were number of clusters, cluster weight, and weight of 50 berries; fruit composition (such as pH), titratable acidity, soluble solids concentration, and anthocyanins were measured. Maps for each factor will be derived via GIS tools and spatial analysis will be conducted to assess which spatial variability factor has more effect on grapevine physiology, yield, and fruit quality. This type of analysis can be used by grape growers to achieve specific wine characteristics in a large or small vineyard by controlling all sources of variability, leading to the ability to perform precision viticulture in the future, with low cost.

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