Nitrogen management in the vineyard and the winery to optimize the sensory profile of wines




Fruity wines have gained popularity in recent years. For this reason, winegrape growers and winemakers need to update their current practices and strategies to obtain wines with specific sensory profiles to satisfy consumer preferences. Since optimal grape quality and alcohol fermentation are dependent on nitrogen availability, the management of nitrogen in the vineyard and the winery significantly impacts the aromatic composition and flavor of the wine. Monitoring and optimizing nitrogen management from the vineyard to the winery is extremely important to obtain quality wines with the desired sensory and aromatic profile.



Beta tests


Our goal is to offer winegrape growers and winemakers an integrated nitrogen management plan from the vineyard to the winery to obtain wines with specific sensory profiles. To this end, we are planning to develop a range of tools to manage nitrogen inputs throughout the grape-growing and wine-making processes:

Decision support tools (DST)

providing a precise strategy to manage nitrogen inputs from the vineyard to the winery, with intelligent communication between the Vine DST and the Winery DST.


Organic fertilizers and natural biostimulants:

providing optimal nitrogen inputs for the vineyard, with production focused more on quality than on yield.

Innovative yeast and nutrient pairings:

strategies to obtain specific aromatic profiles.

High-throughput sampling and analysis systems:

(1) to monitor the winemaking process based on accurate measurements and (2) to make use of the Winery DST.

Planning: from field to winery research

Research at vineyards on two grape varieties, Sauvignon blanc, and Merlot, will provide insight into how biofertilizers are assimilated by the vine and how nitrogen is transferred to the grapes.

Research at two wineries will focus on establishing the link between the sensory profile of the must and the wine obtained, taking into account different yeast and nitrogen combinations during fermentation.

The new knowledge will be integrated into two complementary decision-making tools, for winegrape growers and winemakers. Besides, high-throughput methods for analyzing grapes, must and wine, currently available only in research centers, will be made available to the entire winemaking sector.

Project frame

WP1: Project management and coordination

Objective: to coordinate, encourage and support collaborative work among project partners, promote high-quality output from each work package and facilitate the decision making process and communication within the consortium. Particular attention will be paid to sharing the results obtained with the winemaking sector.

WP2: Technical and agronomical requirements

Objective: to identify the needs and expectations of winegrape growers and winemakers regarding organic fertilizers, biostimulants, and nutrients for the fermentation process, as well as in terms of decision support tools to manage nitrogen inputs in vineyards and wineries.

WP3: Development of protocols to monitor soil, grape, must and wine chemical composition

Objective: to develop and make available to winegrape growers and winemakers monitoring tools to assess the chemical composition of soils, raw materials (grapes and must) and the final product (wine). High-throughput sampling protocols for the grapes, musts, and wines will be developed to facilitate sample transfer and storage by wine sector professionals.

WP4: Assessment of nitrogen impact on grapevines

Objective: to assess the impact of different types of nitrogen fertilizers on vine growth, yield and must quality.

WP5: Assessment of nitrogen input and yeast selection on the fermentation process

Objective: to select the appropriate yeast strains and nitrogen inputs during fermentation to control the wine’s aromatic profile based on the must characteristics.

WP6: Development of decision support tools for nitrogen management in the vineyard and the winery

Objective: to compile and analyze the results from WP4 and WP5 on the effects of nitrogen inputs on the production and quality targets for a given product to design a decision support tool (DST) to manage nitrogen fertilization throughout the winegrowing and winemaking sector.

  •     The Vineyard DST will help winegrape growers manage nitrogen fertilization according to specific yield and quality targets, taking into account the environmental impacts of different fertilizers (organic vs inorganic), as well as differences in nitrogen availability for the vines based on the type of fertilizer used.
  •    The winery DST will help winemakers predict wine profiles based on the initial must characteristics and the wine profiles achievable based on different winemaking techniques (i.e. nitrogen inputs and yeast strain used).


Management and coordination


Definition of specifications


Analytical development dedicated to the chemical characterization of materials


Evaluation of the impact of nitrogen input to the grapevine


Evaluation of the impact of nitrogen input to the choice of yeast strains in fermentation


Design of decision-support prototypes for the management of nitrogen inputs in the vineyard and in the cellar

Project news

June 12, 2020

7th 100% videoconference steering committee (COVID 19 crisis).

August-September, 2019

Harvest on NV² plots.

July 3, 2019

The agro-modelers of the NV² project took the itk agro-modeling pole to some of the project plots.

A pleasant day of discovery of the Ouveillan experimental system, embellished with discussions on the subject of wine quality (with a first tasting session). A big thank you to Denis Caboulet from IFV for the hospitality, organization and sharing of expertise.

March 21, 2019

5th steering committee at SupAgro.

October 18, 2018

4th steering committee of the NV² project.

The 4th steering committee meeting of the NV² project was held on 17-18 October at the Château de Mons in the Gers. During the event, we were able to review the preliminary results of the second season of field experiments and prepare for 2019. We also toured the experimental fields managed by the IFV and enjoyed the local culture!

February 15, 2018

Tour of the experimental fields in a Mediterranean climate.

On Thursday 15 February, several partners of the NV² project toured the four experimental fields in Ouveillan. The partners talked to the winegrape growers about the soil profiles of their fields based on samples taken for the occasion, and provided expertise on the soil structure and vine roots. The second event of this type will soon be planned on the experimental fields in the Tarn and the Gers regions.


November 20, 2017

Development of a survey to determine the needs of customers.

As part of the development of the Vine DST under the NV² project, itk offered you the opportunity to express your needs and to take part in the pilot group of users collaborating in the development and testing of the tool resulting from the project.

October 4, 2017

2nd steering committee meeting of the NV² project.

The 2nd steering committee meeting of the NV² project was held on 4 October at Frayssinet in Rouairoux. At this half-day meeting, we were able to review the preliminary results of the first experimental season of the project. The steering committee meeting was followed by a more technical day during which the partners addressed various topics in working groups on targeted themes. This second day ended with a tour of the Frayssinet plant led by Mr. Demarle, Director of Research and Development at Frayssinet.


March 31, 2017

1st steering committee meeting of the NV² project.

The first steering committee meeting of the NV² project took place on 31 March, six months after the official kick-off of the project, at itk headquarters in Clapiers. In the presence of representatives of BPI France and the Occitanie region, the consortium reviewed the work carried out since the start of the project in October 2016 and planned the experimental protocols for the 2017 season. Grapevines grown in pots are already being tested at Supagro Montpellier, and the experimental fields all located in the Occitanie region received their first organic fertilizer treatments in late March and early April.


September 27, 2016

NV² kick-off meeting.

The official launch of the NV² project was held on 27 September, at Agropolis International in Montpellier, in the presence of the funding agencies, the Qualimediterranée competitiveness cluster, and all the project partners.

April 19, 2016

The project NV2 was selected by the 21st Fonds Unique Interministériel Call for Projects.

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Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund