Domestication of wild grapevines is still active

Global viticulture has evolved following market trends, causing loss of cultivar diversity and traditional practices. In Montenegro, modern viticulture co-exists with a traditional viticulture that still maintains ancient practices and exploits local cultivars. As a result, this region provides a unique opportunity to explore processes increasing genetic diversity. This post reports the results of a study carried out to evaluate the diversity of Montenegrin grapevines and the processes involved in their diversification. Analyses of genetic structure unveiled several putative proto-varieties, likely representing the first steps involved in the generation of new cultivars or even secondary domestication events.

Read More

Impacts of global warming on southern California’s winegrape climate suitability

Southern California has seen a resurgence of winegrowing regions in the past few decades, however the future of winegrape climatic suitability in the area has not been exhaustively explored. This post reports the results of a study that evaluated the future climate suitability for the cultivation of winegrape and potential global warming impacts on southern California’s winegrowing regions through a series of high-resolution surface air temperature and precipitation projections obtained with the WRF-SSIB regional climate model.

Read More

Different strategies in the vineyard planting to face global warming in viticulture

Different technological solutions are developing in the wine industry to mitigate the negative effects of the current global warming to mainly achieve wines with a lower alcohol content. These proposed solutions mostly act at the oenological level and are focused on intervening in the raw material to be transformed; that is, on reducing the concentration of sugar in the must using filtration techniques or also on wine dealcoholizing by physical processes. These techniques are intended to offer solutions and respond to new consumer expectations, but they may be considered too artificial to be widely accepted. In this way, viticultural strategies may offer a natural solution to obtain grapes with low sugar content, maximizing their quality by delaying ripening. This post is a summary of a recent mini review surveys the viticultural strategies that can be applied in the establishment of a vineyard – that is, when it comes to planting of a new vineyard – such as vineyard altitude, latitude, orientation, and slope, as well as rootstock, variety, clone, training system, and row orientation and slope, with the aim to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on grape and wine quality and to delay grape maturation.

Read More

Screening assay for monitoring of fenhexamid residues on peel of wine grapes: When to properly start harvesting in vineyards?

Growing vines cannot do without the necessary protection against fungal diseases. The most important vine fungal diseases are downy mildew, powdery mildew and gray mold. Most fungicides leave detectable residues on wine grapes and, for safety reasons, have a restriction on when the last spray can be applied prior to harvest. Moreover, yeasts can be killed or inhibited by fungicide residues, leading to so-called “stuck” fermentations. This post report the results of determination of the time when to properly start harvesting by a rinsed screening voltammetric method developed as an electrochemical assay for monitoring the content of fungicide fenhexamid (FNX) on peel of wine grapes.

Read More

A study of regionality in Australian Pinot noir wines demonstrates that NMR and ICP-MS could be used to detect wine fraud

Wine quality and character are defined in part by the terroir in which the grapes are grown. Metabolomic techniques, such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), are used to characterise wines and to detect wine fraud in other countries but have not been extensively trialled in Australia. This post describes the results of a study where ICP-MS and NMR were used to characterise a selection of Pinot noir wines.

Read More

Evaluation of the intrinsic and perceived quality of sangiovese wines from California and Italy

The results from this study confirm that perceived quality in terms of typicality of Sangiovese was still related not only to fruity and floral flavors but also to lightness and freshness, despite the intrinsic quality aspect of the “structure” of the wine and to what is considered a “good” color. Moreover, the findings confirm that Sangiovese shows a flexibility in terms of chemical and sensory modification, according to the production area and that it can be considered typical even if it comes from an area far away from the traditional ones.

Read More

Extended harvest date alter flavonoid composition and chromatic characteristics of Plavac Mali (Vitis vinifera L.) grape berries

This post is about a study that delivers a comprehensive flavonoid fingerprint profile, physiochemical and external color characterization of Plavac Mali grapes through four harvest dates at two distinct vineyards (Split and Zadar) in the Eastern Adriatic region. Results show that berries of extended harvest dates underwent colorimetric improvements, trough decrease in CIELab color space parameters a* (reed/green), b* (yellow/blue), L* (lightness (0, black; 100 white)) and C (chroma, relative saturation) characteristics and increase in skin color index for red grapes. In conclusion, the extended harvest date promotes flavonoid composition, and improves the quality of Plavac Mali grape berries.

Read More

The importance of soil health for winegrape production

Soil health is crucial to maintain environmental quality, crop yield, and grape quality. Therefore, the use of sustainable soil management practices is becoming common in wine growing regions around the world. This post discusses interrelated dynamic physical, chemical, and biological properties associated with soil health and how they could be important in the expression of the terroir.

Read More

3D reconstruction of grape bunches

This post is about a study where it is proposed a method that enables a more accurate reconstruction of grape bunch framework, aiming to facilitate the automatic extraction of phenotypic traits and the improvement of breeding programs along with vineyard management. Due to its simple sensor input requirements, the proposed method can be applied under field conditions.

Read More

Bird damage management in vineyards: Comparing efficacy of a bird psychology-incorporated unmanned aerial vehicle system with netting and visual scaring

Bird damage to wine grapes is a significant global problem that cost the wine industry millions of dollars every year. Many bird management methods were developed to reduce damage, yet there are currently very few cost-effective solutions. Recent development of autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) presents opportunities in using this new technology for bird management. This post reports the results of a study carried out to assess the efficacy of these methods based upon managed trials in vineyards.

Read More