Evapotranspiration and Water Productivity of Microirrigated Wine Grape Vineyards Grown with Different Trellis Systems in the Central Valley of Chile

Francisco Rojo, Daniele Zaccaria, Rafael Gonçalves-Voloua, Rafael Del Rio, Fernando Pérez, Luis Octavio Lagos, Richard L. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Information on actual consumptive water use and water productivity of wine grape vineyards grown with high-wire cordon (HWC) and vertical shoot position (VSP) trellis systems is limited, but it is critical to inform the selection of resource-efficient grapevine training systems and irrigation water management practices. This article describes an applied-research study conducted in the Central Valley of Chile to determine the actual evapotranspiration (ETa), actual crop coefficients (Ka), water productivity (WP), and water footprint (WFP) of microirrigated wine grape vineyards operated for commercial production with HWC and VSP trellis systems. ETa and Ka were determined using the residual of the energy balance (REB) method from micrometeorological measurements collected at the study vineyards with a combination of surface renewal and eddy covariance equipment. Field measurements of other biophysical parameters were also collected at each study site to characterize the soil water status in multiple locations across the vineyards at various soil depths using moisture tension-monitoring units, vine water status using midday stem water potential (ψSTEM), and fraction of photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR) intercepted by the vine canopy at different times during the growing season. Finally, the fruit yield was determined from grape samples collected at the HWC and VSP vineyard blocks during commercial harvest operations. The study was conducted over the course of two consecutive growing seasons (2019-2020 and 2020-2021). A reduction of 37% in the available water supply occurred during the 2019-2020 season with respect to the average water supply. Findings from the research study showed that when the water supply was less limited, the HWC trellis had 12% higher seasonal cumulative ETa than the VSP trellis, whereas the HWC system appeared more affected by water stress than the VSP trellis during the water-limited season. The analysis of the data sets also showed that the HWC enabled wine grape growers to achieve significantly higher fruit yield and water productivity, and lower water footprint per unit of wine grapes produced during the water-limited season.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04023005
JournalJournal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumptive water use
  • Crop coefficient (Ka)
  • Grapevine
  • Irrigation scheduling
  • Resource-efficiency
  • Vine-training systems
  • Water management


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