Impact of vine water status on berry mass and berry tissue development of Cabernet franc (Vitis vinifera L.), assessed at berry level

Antonino Pisciotta, Rosario Di Lorenzo, Cornelis Van Leeuwen, Roberta Triolo, Jean Philippe Roby

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1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND Berry size is considered an important quality factor in red wine production. The objective of this work was to study the effect of vine water status on berry mass in field conditions, with a specific focus on berry tissue masses. RESULTS The study was carried out over 2 years in a plot located in Sicily (Italy). Two irrigation treatments were established. Dynamic evolution of berry mass and berry tissue masses at harvest were recorded. Berries produced under water deficit conditions were smaller and characterized by a higher skin-to-flesh ratio. However, this ratio did not change when berry mass varied independently from vine water status, showing coordinated growth of flesh and skin under these conditions. CONCLUSION The implications of berry size on skin-to-flesh ratios depend on the factor causing berry size differences. This finding might question the conclusions of most research trying to demonstrate that berry size is, or is not, an important parameter for quality. The factors impacting berry size are likely to differ according to the scale considered. This highlights the importance of investigating the causal effects of varying berry size, before possibly discussing the potential effects on fruit composition and, subsequently, wine quality. Berries produced by grapevines facing water deficit have a higher skin-to-flesh ratio. Hence, limited water conditions, represent a powerful tool to increase the concentration of major solutes involved in wine quality, which are located in berry skins rather than in berry flesh. (c) 2019 Society of Chemical Industry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5711-5719
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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