This report details an applied research project that looked at how more precise information about soils can be used to better manage wine grape irrigation and nutrient management.
During a two-year study, Enotecca Wineries and Resort:
- Completed a detailed analysis of both physical and nutrient properties of the soil and mapped these differences across vineyards.
- Installed irrigation equipment for precise and timed delivery of water and nutrients specific to the mapped soil conditions.
- Monitored total volume of water used for irrigation in the vineyard and evaluated the quality and quantity of production.
This study improved understanding of soil structure, chemical composition and water holding capacity in relation to grapevine vigor at the five study sites. Using this information, the irrigation was modified to drip irrigation and adapted to deliver water in a more precise way.
Within the two-year project timeline, the irrigation upgrade led to fewer hours of labour on irrigation management.
However, the study did not document a reduction in water use, because the two-year study period was not long enough for the grapevines to fully adapt to the drip irrigation.