I came across this great, in depth, article a month ago, and have been meaning to link to it since then. Last night, however, I found myself in the hotel bar after the WITS dinner listening to a couple of winemakers arguing this very issue - whether watering a vine's is acceptable...
The rationale is simple: sometimes its hot and dry and watering the vine's keeps them growing. The flip side: watering the vine occludes the terroir (the wine's unique taste, its sense of 'place').
Its not done in Europe, but its widely used in California, where its been very hot and dry recently.
Take a look - its an excellent, and insightful, read.
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