How climate change affects winegrowing

Bruce Zoecklein - 04 Aug 2018

Temperatures will increase between 2.0º and 2.5º C (3.6º-4.5º F) by the end of the century, with the worst-case scenario being an increase of 3º-3.5º C,3 according to estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Copyright © Wines & Vines

UAVs in Viticulture

Australian Vignerons - 11 Apr 2018

The use of UAVs, also known as drones, in agriculture and in viticulture is rapidly increasing. 

Image: Australian vignerons

NDVI in Viticulture - the challenges

Fruition Sciences - 05 Apr 2018

In this article, we offer an overview of the problems encountered with NDVI and how to avoid them.

Grapes and Irrigation Myths Debunked

Yun Zhang and Melissa Hansen - 20 Mar 2018

The irrigation myth, known as the grape berry or wine-dilution theory, is the belief that late-season irrigation increases berry size and dilutes berry sugars and other quality-related components of the grapes. However, research shows post-véraison irrigation does not increase berry size but may reduce dehydration.

Copyright © Wines & Vines

To machine harvest, or not...

Lucinda Heyns - 21 Feb 2018

Researchers from UC Davis recently reviewed all published scientific articles which researched the impact of machine harvesting on wine quality.

Protecting vines against heatwaves

Andrew Spence - 21 Feb 2018

Irrigating vineyards at night during heatwaves can reduce fruit losses by 30 per cent, a scientific study has shown. The project has run at a vineyard in the Riverland, Australia’s largest wine grape growing region, the past two Australian summers.

Surface Irrigation Remains Best Option

Wine Australia - 02 Feb 2018

Conventional wisdom was that sub-surface irrigation was the best way forward if water restrictions were to become the norm. Five years of good science supported by Wine Australia now suggests otherwise.

Winegrape Powdery Mildew App goes global

University of Adelaide - 26 Jan 2018

Grape growers and winemakers around the world will be able to easily assess powdery mildew in the field with the help of a mobile application just released globally.

Uncorking Innovation

Lora Kolodny - 22 Jan 2018

The ancient craft of wine making conjures romantic notions of hand-picked vines, and bare feet crushing grapes. However, wine production today is a thoroughly high-tech affair. 

Virus diversity associated with grapevine leafroll disease

- 18 Jan 2018

Grapevine leafroll disease is the most economically important of the grapevine virus diseases and has been reported to contribute up to 60% loss in yield of fruit. The grapevine leafroll-associated vi...

Virus diversity associated with grapevine leafroll disease

Nicholas Molenaar, Mandi Engelbrecht, Hano Maree & Johan Burger - 16 May 2017

Grapevine leafroll disease is the most economically important of the grapevine virus diseases and has been reported to contribute up to 60% loss in yield of fruit. The grapevine leafroll-associated viruses (GLRaVs) are the collective infectious agents commonly found in GLD-symptomatic grapevines, where Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3) (genus Ampelovirus, family Closteroviridae) is the primary causative agent.

Under-vine Management Impacts Soil Properties and Leachate Composition

Alex Koeberle - 15 Feb 2017

Long-term vineyard sustainability is greatly influenced by soil quality.  This study demonstrates that herbicide application and cultivation may decrease soil organic matter and soil health.  Rather, under-vine cover crops may conserve soil quality over time and also buffer nutrient and agrochemical inputs from leaching into the surrounding environment.

Vineyard cover crops reduce expense, save environment

Melissa Osgood - 11 Jan 2017

Cornell researchers have advice for vineyard managers in cool and humid climates like the Northeast: cover up.

Image: Lucinda Heyns

Assessing and managing potassium concentration in the vineyard

By Michela Centinari - 16 Sep 2016

This short article will review problems related to high/luxury absorption of potassium, briefly discuss how soil mineralogy and pH can affect K uptake, why it is important to regularly monitor vine nutrient status, and what environmental and cultural factors may impact K uptake and accumulation in plant tissues.

Image copyright: Wine & Grapes U.

How grapevines respond to water stress

By Tim Martinson and Alan Lakso - 15 Sep 2016

Moderate water stress at the right time can reduce vegetative growth and help vines achieve the appropriate balance between vegetative growth and fruit yield and quality. Severe water stress limits photosynthesis, and can delay ripening, reduce bud fruitfulness, reduce winter hardiness, and result in sudden vine collapse.

Aster yellows and leafhoppers

by André de Klerk & Roleen Carstens - 18 Aug 2016

Surveys were conducted in vineyards infected with Aster yellows in Vredendal, Waboomsrivier and Robertson to determine which types of leafhoppers occur in the vineyards; which leafhoppers carry the Aster yellows phytoplasma in their digestive tract, making them potential vectors of the disease and whether any of the leafhoppers are definitely a vector of the disease.


Image copyright: WineLand Magazine

Japanese beetle - Common pest in US vineyards

Andy Muza, Penn State Extension – Erie County - 11 Jul 2016

The Japanese beetle has been in the United States since 1916 when it was first discovered in New Jersey. Currently, this pest can be commonly found in all states from Maine to Georgia and as far west as Illinois and Tennessee.

Protecting European wine: Vinbot rover optimises harvest and quality

by Horizon Magazine - 16 May 2016

"The rover uses a laser to measure how much actual sunlight is accessible to the leaf surface. It then pieces together these scans to construct a virtual image of the vine and how much sunlight reaches it."

California winery hires earthworms to clean up its wastewater

The Guardian - 12 May 2016

Everyday earthworms are the latest solution to a thorny problem that most wine drinkers never consider: wastewater disposal.

(Image: BioFiltro)

Aircraft pictures helping productivity of Coonawarra vineyards

The Naracoorte Herald - 11 May 2016

Cameras attached to fixed-wing aircraft are providing data to viticulturists which is helping to identify canopy temperature – in order to improve water use and wine quality.

Implications of different pruning strategies

by Hennie Visser in WineLand Magazine - 22 Apr 2016

The decision about which pruning strategy to use is very important. Initial clean pruning may be an option, to be followed later by short pruning. Alternatively these may be combined into one action, or one could even opt for hedge pruning followed by clean and short pruning in one go. This may impact on the canopy management to be applied, as well as bud fertility and therefore yield.

YouTube - Pellenc Optimum grape harvester in action

vinetechequipment - 22 Apr 2016

Pellenc's New Grape harvester: 99.82% clean grapes. Touch screen controls. Up to 43% percent fuel savings with new engine management system. Tier IV engine. Tighter turning. Faster washing and service. 3x Quieter Cab.


Francois Halleen and Lizel Mostert in WineLand Magazine - 13 Apr 2016

Esca is a fairly unknown grapevine disease in South Africa, although the disease has probably existed locally for decades. This article discusses the causative organisms, the symptoms by which the disease may be recognised and basic control strategies.

Image: WineLand Magazine


by Johan Fourie, Antoinette Malan & Niel Kruger in WineLand Magazine - 11 Apr 2016

Plant-parasitic nematodes can reduce crop production by as much as 15% in grapevines under stress (inter alia water stress). An important plant-parasitic nematode associated with grapevines is ring nematode (Criconemoides xenoplax). Ring nematodes damage the roots of all grapevine rootstocks.

Look after your drip systems

by Gert Engelbrecht in WineLand Magazine - 05 Apr 2016

System effectiveness is one of the biggest advantages of drip irrigation. The design of drip irrigation is aimed at minimising water loss as a result of evaporation and/or runoff. In terms of system effectiveness (the efficiency with which water is delivered to the irrigation system from the irrigation dam or tap point on the farm’s border, to the point where it lands on the soil) drip irrigation performs the best with 90%, followed by micro sprinklers with 80% system effectiveness.

Drones in Viticulture

by Anne Alessandri - 05 Apr 2016

The potential drones have in Viticulture as remote sensing tools are enormous. They are capable of acquiring high resolution optical data which can aid precision viticulture greatly. Traditional modes of data collection (satellites and manned aircrafts) have limitations, such as low resolution imagery, cost implications, lack of flexibility and restricted areas (i.e. mountainous areas). The advantages of drones are for instance lower operating costs, fast acquisition of high resolution imagery, flexibility (data can be collected ‘on demand’) and practicality (especially for smaller vineyards).

These probiotics for plants can help feed the world - 23 Feb 2016

Interesting general read on the importance of the microbiota present in soils and their influence on the health of agricultural crops. Various vine and wine researchers around the world are now starting to study the microbiome of vineyards soils, vines, grapes and spontaneous fermentations.

Shaking grapevines disrupts pests’ sex lives

By Kai Kupferschmidt in Science - 05 Feb 2016

When it comes to the sex lives of insects, entomologists sure know how to kill the mood. To keep pests from making love—and little bugs—they have developed all sorts of tricks, like spraying plumes of pheromones that lead love-struck males astray. Now, scientists have developed a new way to disrupt mating: shaking the insects’ perches to disrupt the vibrations that would-be partners normally use to find each other.


Vineyard water management with limited resources

by Hanno van Schalkwyk in WineLand Magazine - 03 Feb 2016

Water management and irrigation scheduling are obviously specific to the area and region and dependent on the wine objectives and production levels to be achieved. The following principles may be important, however, in the development of a strategy where water resources are very limited.

Image: WineLand Magazine

Handling of cover crops

by Conrad Schutte - 18 Nov 2015

Cover crops can be used in various ways in the course of the growing season. The selection of a suitable method depends on various factors that may include the following, inter alia: the vigour of the grapevines, ground water levels, incidence of frost, incidence of undesirable nematodes, the weed status of the vineyard and the current biomass of the cover crop that was planted.

Targeting spray application

by Wine Australia - Research and Development - 07 Oct 2015

Comprehensive research looking at how best to use spray systems for pest and disease control in the vineyard is starting to bear fruit. Data from two years of intensive work are now coming in and the University of Queensland research team, led by senior research fellow Dr Andrew Hewitt and senior research scientist Chris O’Donnell, has begun developing best practice models for use in Australian conditions.

Cane diameter and gross profit

by Mark Eltom, Chris Winefield and Mike Trought in WineLand Magazine - 09 Sep 2015

Pruning is one of the most important aspects of vineyard management, where selecting the optimum cane can be time consuming and difficult. Although the influence of pruning techniques and training systems on vine growth and yield is well documented4,5, little is known regarding the influence of cane diameter on yield and gross profit. Understanding the influence of cane selection on yield allows for a more informed decision regarding harvest logistics, potential financial gains, storage space, equipment usage and matching market demands.

New fruit pest?

by Pia Addison, Vaughn Walton and Kate Mitchell in WineLand Magazine - 12 Aug 2015

Spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), or SWD, is a vinegar fly originating from Asia, but unlike most vinegar flies, D. suzukii is able to attack fully intact susceptible ripening and ripe fruit. Currently, susceptible fruit include blueberries, caneberries and cherries. In some cases, wine and table grapes may be affected dependent on compromised berries due to cracking, disease and bird damage.

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