Do you want to discover how the microbial population of your vineyard affects the terroir?
Regionally distinct wine characteristics are an essential feature at wine production. Wines elaborated from the same kind of grapes but grown at different locations finally get distinctive traits. This is the microbial signature of terroir. We can conclude that the term terroir englobes not only the soil. It also includes the geographic location of the vineyard, the grape variety, climatic conditions and other environmental factors that inﬂuence grapevine growth and development. In this context, wines with distinctive autochthonous peculiarities have a great acceptance among consumers. That is a point that causes important economic returns.
In this regard, it is important not to forget the magnitude of the microbial biogeography since they affect not only the wine chemical composition. It has a great impact on the grape’s health and its taste and flavor during fermentation, too. Moreover, these communities of microorganisms (fungi, yeast and bacteria) play an important role in soil productivity as well as in disease resistance developed by the vine.
For instance, some strains of the principal yeast species involved in the fermentative process, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, produce different wine chemical compositions. This is one route by which regional microbes influence terroir. In addition to the mentioned influence, understudied microbes could alter wine quality by inhibiting fermentative processes. These findings reveal the importance of microbial populations for the regional identity of the wine.
How can we get to know the microbial signature of our terroir?
With adequately managed microbiome information, it could be possible to prevent fermentation problems, volatile acidity increases, Brettanomyces contamination and biogenic amines production. Furthermore, this knowledge would decrease the use of chemical products and perform them only if strictly necessary. This information is highly valuable for new enology trends, such as organic or ecologic viticulture.
The impact of the microbiological component of terroir contributes to the sensory regional distinctiveness and the wine style of the winery. This is an aspect that currently plays an important role in diﬀerentiation and competitiveness in the worldwide market. The microbial community of each vineyard is an essential factor that distinguishes it from the rest. Regionally distinct wines are highly appreciated by consumers and add value to the industry.
Given these points, it is important to mention that not all vineyards are microbiologically unique. Many other factors like climate and distance are involved. Similarly, wine flavor is not only determined by its microbial composition. However, getting to know microbial terroir can be a motivation for preserving regional biodiversity and regional product identity. This results in the development of sustainable agricultural practices and economic values.
What if you do not take care of the microbial population of your vineyard? The study of the microbes benefits any crop by enhancing productivity and preventing unnecessary costs. What’s more, if you put it aside, the increase of the productivity in an economically viable and ecologically responsible manner will not be possible.