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Viticulture

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The elaboration of wine and eating grapes has been around for thousands of years, and winegrowers contemporaries still use many of the same techniques and processes than their peers in the ancient world . It is important to mention that winegrowers are the men and women who study the grape and its production. The science of viticulture has grown thanks to advances in science and agriculture , but the earliest winemaking techniques are more than 7,000 years old.

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What is viticulture?

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Viticulture is a science , the study and the practice of growing the vine or grape , usually with the general objective of being able to produce fruits that are suitable to be used for some specific purpose .

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  • What does it consist of
  • Characteristics of viticulture
  • History
  • Types of viticulture
  • Tools
  • Advantage
  • Disadvantages
  • What products are obtained
  • Viticulture in the world
  • Importance
  • Viticulture books
  • Examples

What does it consist of

Viticulture is a type of scientific discipline that is in charge of studying the activity related to the cultivation of grapes . It is a system that is responsible for the systematic cultivation of the vine, specifically the grape that is its fruit so that it can then be consumed or subjected to a specific fermentation process to produce wine . This process of planting, maintenance and production of the vine is carried out following different methods that include seed , stake , layering and grafting .

Characteristics of viticulture

Among the most important characteristics of viticulture we find the following:

  • Viticulture depends to a great extent on climate factors which can favor or hinder its production.
  • It is carried out to produce grapes which will be consumed naturally by humans or for the production of wine .
  • It involves a set of agronomic techniques and sowing practices .
  • The person in charge of carrying out the work related to viticulture is known as the viticulturist
  • It is one of the branches of horticulture .
  • The type of vine most used for production is known as vitis vinifera .
  • Uses scientific and empirical knowledge for production.

History

The science of viticulture has grown thanks to advances in science and agriculture , but the earliest winemaking techniques are more than 7,000 years old . According to historians and studies, the first grape growers appeared in the Near East between 6000 and 8000 BC In Greek mythology , the god Dionysus had brought a vine for the Greeks and in the place, the first finds of productions systematic grapevines appeared around 4000 BC

Vine production was spreading over time and in many cultures it was used specifically for the production of wine, which was used in high societies. Little by little, viticulture spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world. In the Middle Ages , Catholic monks were the most prominent winegrowers of the time. At this time, the first Metayage system emerged in France , in which laborers worked in the vineyards under contractual agreements with the landowners.

At present, there are many vineyards that work through viticulture, many of them for the production of grapes for the subsequent manufacture of wine . Thanks to current technology , harvesting and vine maintenance techniques have been increased and improved, producing products with a higher level of quality.

Types of viticulture

The types of viticulture that exist are mentioned below:

  • Modern viticulture : uses more technology to increase the efficiency of the processes and to save time although it also uses some manual processes.
  • Integrated : it combines the use of agrochemical products that are compatible with the environment in order to control pests and diseases together with more traditional techniques.
  • Sustainable : its main objective is to be able to minimize the impacts on the environment and at the same time guarantee economic viability by providing a safe and healthy environment with environmental production practices that are rational.
  • Precision viticulture : with it, a better quality is achieved in the crops and allows greater variability in the vineyards and in the factors that intervene in the yield.
  • Biodynamics : it is a cultivation method that sees the earth as a living being and that seeks to promote adequate exchanges between the vine and the environment.
  • Ecological : it focuses on rational grape production and gives importance to the interaction of the microbial communities that inhabit the soils.
  • Urban viticulture: implies the practice of viticulture in small places but that also have all the water and nutritional needs to be able to produce grapes.
  • Tropical Viticulture : this type of viticulture is adapted to dry climates, humid tropical, subtropical, dry humerus and subtropical moist.
  • High : involves the production of vine in areas that are higher than those traditionally used and is used to face the negative effects that are produced by climate change.
  • Organic viticulture : natural substances are used through simple processes that protect and feed the plants.

Tools

At present, several types of tools have been created thanks to technology that help to achieve quality viticulture, which is more ecological and at the same time produces less waste. Some of these tools are:

  • Pre-pruner : allows the branches to be left at a suitable height to sweep and crush the branches for further pruning.
  • Vine shoot sweepers : they have two heads driven by hydraulic motors that move the brushes.
  • Crusher : it is used to collect the branches that have been burned.
  • Fertilizer and manure machines .
  • Desbrotadora : a machine to eliminate the shoots of the blind buds in the trunk of the vine.
  • Tied : they can be manual or electric.
  • Cultivator
  • Destemmer , machines used in cold and humid places with which a part of the branches can be eliminated so that the sunlight falls directly on the crops.
  • Notcher : desvigoriza the branches so that they do not reach an excessive height.

Advantage

Some of the main advantages of viticulture include aspects related to the viability of the land long term, with proper management of the land and the preservation of natural resources . By improving the quality of the grapes through viticulture and avoiding mixing different types of grapes during harvest, the final products that will reach the consumer are improved .

Controls over the quantities of grapes produced following the recommendations of regulatory bodies are also improved . It is a means that allows farmers to manage the exploitation of vineyards more efficiently . The amounts of water used for irrigation as well as fertilizers are reduced .

Disadvantages

One of its main disadvantages is the climate because if it is not perfect, the plants will not be able to grow properly and, in order to adapt the land to production, it will be necessary to invest large amounts of money. It is necessary for the vine to have enough sunlight so that it can carry out photosynthesis activities , in places where it is not possible to get good sunlight, crops are likely to be lost . In addition, extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, cause serious damage to plantations.

What products are obtained

Through viticulture it is possible to obtain various types of products, the main one being the grape. The juices table , the wine , raisins , musts and table grapes are the main products obtained can become and also have a great importance worldwide.

Viticulture in the world

Currently, several countries worldwide are engaged in the production of grapes through viticulture. One of the main producers of grapes is France thanks to its tradition and land. In Spain there are several places where viticulture is practiced in an important way, as in Italy , which is considered the area of ​​great renowned wines. Other countries such as the United States, Argentina , Chile , South Africa, Australia and Germany also produce large quantities of grapes for wine production and for fruit consumption.

Importance

Viticulture has been a very important practice since ancient times. It is the source of income for many families and societies around the world and in some places it is the main source of agriculture , for example in the southern part of France. It is a science that has a very important economic , social and environmental impact because it represents an important part of economic income . In fact, grapes are considered one of the most important fruits in the world and in the same way is their production.

Viticulture books

Some recognized books where information on viticulture can be found are mentioned below:

  • Treaty of Enology I – Treaty of Viticulture II of José Hidalgo Togores and Luis Hidalgo Fdez.-Cano.
  • Alain Reynier Viticulture Manual .
  • Luid Hidalgo vine pruning.
  • Viticultural Techniques Against Climate Change by Fernando Martínez.

Examples

Some examples of grapes that can be used in viticulture are:

  • Riparian Vitis
  • Vitis berlandieri
  • Vitis labrusca
  • Vitis rupestris

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