Future increases in temperatures are expected to advance grapevine phenology and shift ripening to warmer months, leaving a longer post-harvest period with warmer temperatures. Accumulation of carbohydrates occurs during post-harvest, and has an influence on vegetative growth and yield in the following growing season. This study addressed the possibility of adopting regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) during post-harvest in Chardonnay. Four irrigation treatments during post-harvest were applied over three consecutive seasons: (i) control (C), with full irrigation; (ii) low regulated deficit irrigation for sparkling base wine production (RDIL SP), from harvest date of sparkling base wine, irrigation when stem water potential (Ψstem) was less than −0.9 MPa; (iii) mild regulated deficit irrigation for sparkling base wine production (RDIM SP), from harvest date of sparkling base wine, irrigation when Ψstem was less than −1.25 MPa; (iv) mild regulated deficit irrigation for wine production (RDIM W), from harvest data of wine, irrigation when Ψstem was less than −1.25 MPa. Root starch concentration in full irrigation was higher than under RDI. Yield parameters did not differ between treatments, but differences in berry composition were detected. Considering that the desirable berry composition attributes of white varieties are high in titratable acidity, it would seem inappropriate to adopt RDI strategy during post-harvest. However, in a scenario of water restriction, it may be considered because there was less impact on yield and berry composition than if RDI had been adopted during pre-harvest.
Download the full scientific article: Post-Harvest Regulated Deficit Irrigation in Chardonnay Did Not Reduce Yield but at Long-Term, It Could Affect Berry Composition