‘The most accurate and homogeneous possible terroir knowledge is not only the basis of research but also a key tool to the highest quality terroir wine production’, Kees van Leeuwen, professor of Bourdeaux University, has said in the next-to-last Congress day opening lecture.
To do so, it is necessary to carry out a zoning process. It is to say, the setting of diverse ground zones according to the data obtained and the aim of the research. These aims range from phenological study to landscape protection from urbanization processes.
Van Leeuwen has mentioned the different approaches to vineyard zonification. They are the geological, which offers a synthetic knowledge of the local geology, so it is not really useful because it does not deepen into the ground and wine relationship factors, which are the terroir basis.
The most appropriate approach to vineyard zoning is the paedological one. It is focused on the ground and offers tiny-detailed information. ‘It enables researchers to understand interactions between soil and the vineyard’.
Accurate data collection by means of precise measurement and suitable parameters to the information to be known is another pillar of the zoning process. That’s why it is essential to have instruments ‘well located and accurate, whose quality must be controlled to prevent data loss’.
But knowing the soils has not only to do with instruments and information collection. Van Leeuwen has urged the attendants ‘to ask the growers and producers themselves’. ‘They have a really deep knowledge of the ground they work’, has stated.