Wine Terroir and the Soil Bacteria: An Amplicon Sequencing–Based Assessment of the Barossa Valley and Its Sub-Regions

Jia Zhou, Timothy R. Cavagnaro, Roberta De Bei, Tiffanie M. Nelson, John R. Stephen, Andrew Metcalfe, Matthew Gilliham, James Breen, Cassandra Collins, Carlos M.Rodríguez López

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    11 Citations (Scopus)


    A wines’ terroir, represented as wine traits with regional distinctiveness, is a reflection of both the biophysical and human-driven conditions in which the grapes were grown and wine made. Soil is an important factor contributing to the uniqueness of a wine produced by vines grown in specific conditions. Here, we evaluated the impact of environmental variables on the soil bacteria of 22 Barossa Valley vineyard sites based on the 16S rRNA gene hypervariable region 4. In this study, we report that both dispersal isolation by geographic distance and environmental heterogeneity (soil plant-available P content, elevation, rainfall, temperature, spacing between row and spacing between vine) contribute to microbial community dissimilarity between vineyards. Vineyards located in cooler and wetter regions showed lower beta diversity and a higher ratio of dominant taxa. Differences in soil bacterial community composition were significantly associated with differences in fruit and wine composition. Our results suggest that environmental factors affecting wine terroir, may be mediated by changes in microbial structure, thus providing a basic understanding of how growing conditions affect interactions between plants and their soil bacteria.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number597944
    JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
    Publication statusPublished or Issued - 7 Jan 2021


    • 16SrRNA
    • Barossa Valley
    • Illumina
    • soil microbiome
    • terroir
    • vineyard soil bacteria

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology
    • Microbiology (medical)

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