The Vine Functioning Pathway, A New Conceptual Representation

  • Cécile Coulon-LeroyEmail author
  • René Morlat
  • Gérard Barbeau
  • Christian Gary
  • Marie Thiollet-Scholtus
Part of the Sustainable Agriculture Reviews book series (SARV, volume 11)


Climate change, new regulations for preservation of the environment and demands of the markets for specific products, make it increasingly necessary to optimize the choice of cropping practices. The winegrowers take into account the combined influences of environmental factors, plant material and practices, to improve grapes and wine. However, this combined influence has been little studied. A general formalization of these multiple influences at the scale of viticultural terroirs is necessary to better characterize the growth of the vine and its impact on the yearly characteristics of grape and wine. In this article, following a global system approach we review current knowledge about the relationships between environmental factors, plant material, agricultural practices, the growth of the vine and the characteristics of grapes and wine. We propose a conceptual model formalizing the relationships between the systemic variables. The system can be represented as the new concept of ‘the vine functioning pathway’, which we define as the logical and ordered combination of the effects of environmental factors, plant material and agricultural practices on the levels of vigor and earliness of the vine and the final characteristics of the product. The resulting product of the system model is the grape and then the wine. This conceptual model is less accurate than a functional mathematical model but is the first which takes into account the whole complexity of the vine system. The conceptual model built and implemented by a computer can be used as a support tool for decisions aiding in the optimization of cropping practices based on environmental factors and specific products goals.


Interaction Physical environment Cropping practices Vigor Precocity Water supply Quality of products 



This work is part of a Ph.D. thesis funded by the ‘Science for Action and Development’ Department of the National Institute of Agronomic Research and the region ‘Pays de Loire’ (France).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cécile Coulon-Leroy
    • 1
    Email author
  • René Morlat
    • 1
  • Gérard Barbeau
    • 1
  • Christian Gary
    • 2
  • Marie Thiollet-Scholtus
    • 1
  1. 1.INRA UE1117 Vigne et Vin, UMT ViniteraBeaucouzéFrance
  2. 2.INRA UMR1230 SystemMontpellier Cedex 2France

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