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Wine grape preharvest monitoring tells the story


September 1, 2010
By CCOVI

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August
30, 2010, St. Catharines, Ont. – As Niagara grape growers prepare to begin the
2010 harvest, Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI)
together with the Grape Growers of Ontario are already tracking the progress of
this year’s wine grape ripening. 

August
30, 2010, St. Catharines, Ont. – As Niagara grape growers prepare to begin the
2010 harvest, Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI)
together with the Grape Growers of Ontario are already tracking the progress of
this year’s wine grape ripening.  

Over
the coming weeks, CCOVI viticulturist Jim Willwerth will conduct ongoing grape
sampling and analysis at several locations in Niagara, tracking key factors
that help determine the quality of grapes coming off the vine this year. 

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As
the industry approaches the harvest season, CCOVI recognizes the need of grape
growers and winemakers to have up-to-date information on grape development
across different sectors of the Niagara region. Grapes mature uniquely
depending on the year, variety and terroir. As a result, preharvest monitoring
is crucial for the industry when making harvesting decisions that dictate grape
and wine quality.  

Jim
Willwerth will sample four of the most common vinifera wine grape varieties in
Niagara — Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon — located
in four different vineyards, two on each side of the Welland Canal. 

Linda
Tremblay, technologist in charge of the new analytical laboratory at CCOVI,
will test the grape samples in terms of sugar, pH, titrable acidity and
volatile acidity. 

This
information will be incorporated in weekly reports that will be posted on the
CCOVI website at brocku.ca/ccovi
and also available through the OMAFRA website at apps.omafra.gov.on.ca/scripts/english/crops/agriphone/article.asp?ID=1891.
This data will help growers and processors determine when the time is best for
grapes to be harvested.

“This
service will allow for information to be shared among grape growers and
winemakers,” says CCOVI director Debbie Inglis. “And is an example of how CCOVI
works together with growers and wineries to meet their needs”

Willwerth
was hired this summer to help CCOVI support grape growers and winemakers with
applied research and outreach focused on priorities identified by the industry.
The CCOVI Analytical Services lab opened its doors in March of this year. This
initiative is part of the $1.4 million in funding under Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC)
Developing Innovative Agri-Products initiative, which
supports industry-led research and innovation and is part of CCOVI’s heightened
emphasis on outreach to the grape and wine industry.


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