Phenology and ripening of Vitis vinifera L. grape varieties in São Joaquim, southern Brazil: a new South American wine growing region
This study investigated the phenology and the ripening characteristics of Vitis vinifera grapes Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese and Syrah in two consecutive vintages (2006 and 2007) in order to evaluate the adaptation of these recently cultivated varieties in São Joaquim, Santa Catarina State, Brazil. The phenological data observed, budburst, blooming, setting, véraison and harvest were monitorated. In order to monitor the ripening levels of pH, total acidity, total soluble solids, maturation Índex, total monomeric anthocyanins, total polyphenols index and color index were analyzed.The results show that the phenological cycle from budburst to harvest occurred within a frame time of 191 and 219 days and the heat summation requirements varied between 1,161 and 1,340 GDD. The summing of the GDD results during the phenological cycle of the grapevines (budburst - harvest) characterizes São Joaquim-SC as "Region I" (< 1,389 GDD), that is, a "cold region" in terms of the Winkler Regions.The climatic parameters influenced the grapevine phenology and the grape ripening. The results showed that these different grape varieties had typical characteristics at maturity and indicated that they have potential for the production of fine wines, suggesting that São Joaquim-SC is suitable for Vitis vinifera grape growing.