6. VINE ECOLOGY
Professor Domizio Cavazza (1856-1913) in the volume “Viticulture,” from which we enclose Table 1, indicates the geographical distribution of Ampelidaceae and the vine in the world (1) (figure 4.8 Distribution of vines and the main Ampelidaceae in the world). In this document, besides the Vitis vinifera, he indicated other species with their soil and climatic needs such as Vitis labrusca, Vitis amurensis, which can colonise areas at higher latitudes, and species present between 0° (equator) and 20°, e.g. Vitis caribaea.
The table highlights the isotherms and the limits of cultivation and does not consider the role the photoperiod plays on vines.
While the thousand-year-old viticulture settlements in the Mediterranean Basin found a “protected” habitat (“The Spread of Viticulture of Excellence in Protected Areas in Italy”(2)) the newly established Vitis vinifera viticulture faces limitations. Despite the studies on adaptability indices, they found lacks of water, new parasites -the scale insect Margarodes vitis, the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa that causes Pierce’s disease, and others) and often unsuitable soils and climates. The parameters used by several researchers demonstrate the difficulties facing new areas, proposed as viticultural settlements, imposed from above.
Therefore, the Vitis vinifera, as indicated in the figures, has established itself:
In Europe, the Near East and North Africa, in areas between 30° and 50° north, -where cultivation has been favoured by the influence of the Gulf Stream - in river microclimates (Rhine, Loire, Rhône, Danube, and others), or southern exposures,
In North America, in territories between 30° and 50° north, where the mountain barriers running from north to south protected vines from the cold Californian current.
In South America, in areas between 25° and 40° south, where viticulture benefited from the Humboldt current, the altitude and the north-south lying mountains.
In South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, in territories between 30° and 40° south, chosen more recently by technicians and vinegrowers aware of the soil and climate demands of the Vitis vinifera.
Today, the vine-growing success of Pacific Asia, between 30° and 45 north (China, Japan, South Korea) is due to the use of native grape varieties of the Vitis genus or hybrids with Vitis vinifera that are particularly resistant to diseases or extreme meteoric events. In these areas, the introduction of European vines is recent and not sufficiently consolidated.
The "Asian viticulture at the foot of the Roof of the World" is developing between 35° and 45° north with native or well-acclimatized varieties.
On the whole, Asian viticulture is aimed more at personal consumption than the market.
Figures 4.9a and 4.9b: Hours of sunlight, phenology, and hormonal balance, summarize the above explanation, both for the northern and southern hemispheres.