Tissue and soil analysis each have their application for monitoring vineyard mineral nutrition. Of these, tissue analysis is far more useful in determining the grapevines’ nutritional status and guiding a fertilizer program. It has not been possible to correlate soil nutrient levels with the grapevines’ status and requirements. Reasons include the wide variability of vineyard soil depth, physical conditions and chemistry; differing vineyard design, cultural requirements and irrigation practices; diverse macro- and micro-climates of viticulture regions and vineyard sites; and the inherent differences in nutrient uptake and demand by grape varieties and rootstocks.
The value of soil analysis is mostly in the determination of problems related to certain chemical imbalances or excesses such as pH problems (alkalinity and acidity), salinity, cation imbalances (magnesium:calcium:potassium) and excess boron. Soil nutrient analysis can be used in vineyard establishment to determine if there are extremes in mineral nutrient levels.
Christensen, L.P. and Peacock, W. 2000. Mineral Nutrition and Fertilization (PDF). Pages 102-114 in: Raisin Production Manual. University of California Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication 3393, Oakland, CA. Buy book
Christensen, L. P. 2002. Monitoring and Interpreting Vine Mineral Nutrition Status for Wine Grapes (PDF). Proceedings of the Central Coast Wine Grape Symposium, Salinas, CA.
Christensen, L. P and Smart, D. (eds). 2004. Proceedings of the Soil Environment and Vine Mineral Nutrition Symposium. American Society for Enology and Viticulture, June 29-30, 2004, San Diego, CA.
Christensen, L. P. Unpublished. Use of Tissue Analysis in Viticulture (PDF). Proceedings of Varietal Winegrape Production Short Course, University of California, Davis Extension, March 2005
Peacock, W. and Christensen, L.P. 2000. Interpretation of Soil and Water Analysis (PDF). Pages 115-120 in: Raisin Production Manual. University of California Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication 3393, Oakland, CA. Buy book
Vasquez, S., and M. Fidelibus. 2006. Considerations for Monitoring Grapevine Nutritional Status (pdf). California Fresh Fruit and Raisin News 22(5):9-11.