Sauvignon Blanc – Viticulture

Sauvignon Blanc - Viticulture

2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Climate and Geography

In warm regions such as Australia, California and South Africa, Sauvignon Blanc grapes are grown in cooler areas, such as the Alexander Valley (California), which allows them to grow well. As grapes ripen quickly in areas exposed to too much heat, the taste and acidity become flat. Because of global warming, farmers are now harvesting grapes sooner than in the past.

It requires silty soils, with good drainage, not too fertile and not too susceptible to winter cold. It also tolerates the spring cold.

That said, the state of the soil, as the first element affecting the development of the vine, limits the amount of soil colonized by its roots and, consequently, the amount of water and fertilizer components available to them. In addition, deep soils, with an abundant supply of water and assimilable fertilizers, are suitable for the development of large vines, while shallow soils, poor and without water reserves, produce scarce crops, although of higher quality.

2012 Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc grape plant

Pests and Diseases

Eutypa lata (a disease transmitted by a fungus that attacks the roots and branches of vines) and the wood fungus complex (which includes varieties of mildew and gray cluster rot) are also susceptible to mildew, which is the most common in Spanish vineyards, although it is more harmful in areas where early rains occur in spring. It is also susceptible to cluster moths, cycadelids and mites.

It is sensitive to drying out of the rachis, magnesium deficiency and severe drought. Many clusters are produced if many buds are born in the year, since many woody shoots are created. Their demands for magnesium and phosphorus are high, and low-nitrogen fertilization is preferred, as otherwise many fruits are produced, reducing quality.

Canopy Management

A long pruning is better than a short one, since the first shoots are less fertile. As a driving system, the use of trellises is recommended because the sprouts break easily.

Shaded clusters are preferred, as they better maintain varietal characteristics. Citrus and less tropical flavors are those that evolve from clusters with less exposure. It adapts very well to mechanical harvesting.

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