Oasis of grapes in the Northeast

FAPESP – A study by researchers from Embrapa Semiárido [a unit of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation], in Petrolina (Pernambuco State), and Embrapa Uva e Vinho [another Embrapa unit] in Bento Gonçalves (Rio Grande do Sul State), mapped out the areas in the Northeast of Brazil that have the most favorable climate for the irrigated growing of table grapes and wine grapes (Revista Brasileira de Engenharia Agrícola e Ambiental [Brazilian Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering], April 2012). According to the survey, there are practically no temperature restrictions concerning the production of edible table grapes in the region. The zones best suited for planting grapes to be freshly consumed are the western area of the states of Bahia, Pernambuco and Paraíba and almost all of Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Piauí and Maranhão. In these zones, the authors recommend that this type of vine be pruned between July and September. The territory with good potential for wine grapes is a little different and includes Bahia, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Alagoas, Sergipe and southwest Maranhão. The authors recommend that in these areas the vines be pruned in May and June. One of the great concerns of anyone who grows grapes in semi-arid zones is avoiding areas where the climate is too hot. This produces grapes with extremely high sugar levels and consequently a wine with a lot of alcohol and little acidity. In addition to using climate data from the Northeast, the study adopted the Itália and Sugraone table grapes and the Syrah wine grape varieties as the models of grapes which have adapted to the region.

Source and Photo: FAPESP, April 2012
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