Hernan Ojeda: ‘Climate change will be an opportunity for some growers’

The so dreaded climate change will not be an odd for everybody, for some vine growers it may be ‘an opportunity for those vineyards suffering from water excess’. This the conclusion of Pech Rouge Experimental Unit Assistant Manager, Hernán Ojeda, who has opened the third day of the 12th Terroir Congress.

Ojeda has exposed the results of a research carried out in the French region of Languedoc-Roussillon, aimed at analysing vineyards’ behaviour in different humidity situations.

But, how are vines affected by different hydric situations? According to the research done by Ojeda’s team, in excessive humidity situations, there is a vigor excess and too big a berry, which makes quality dilute.

In optimal humidity conditions, which are determined after analysing several factors, vegetative growth and berry size are a little lower but there is an increase in polyphenols.

To obtain these conditions, it is required to apply techniques which manage vines to achieve their optimal humidity level.

Among others, Ojeda has mentioned canopy management or mulching. But the expert has focused on the relevance of shading. It ‘s to say, protecting the vines from the sunshine. This could also be even more profitable and energy-saving provided the use of solar panels on the roofs.

Anyway, when water scarcity reaches certain levels, irrigation is the only technique that keeps the required humidity. “Climate research data show that water scarcity is going to increase so an efficient use of water will become essential”, Ojeda has stated standing for reuse of water and drip irrigation as the one which guarantees accuracy and water efficiency.

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