Grapes made to grow during cooler months could likely yield a higher quality crop and better wine, according to new research out of California State University, Fresno.
The research explores a method called "crop-forcing" that hasn't been used in the high temperatures of the Valley yet.
By removing buds from newly-set berry clusters on the vine while pruning back shoots and removing leaves and laterals, a second bud will appear several weeks later causing the grapes to ripen later in the growing season when temperatures are cooler.
Being done out of Fresno State's Viticulture and Enology Research Center, the research aims to move the harvest time of certain wine-grape varieties in the San Joaquin Valley from the beginning of September to the middle of November.
According to Dr. Sanliang Gu, Ricchiutu Chair of Viticulture Research, wine grapes produced in California's warmer regions amount to 60 percent of tonnage but only 25 percent of crop value. He added that the crop-forcing method has been used in Australia and some tropical areas.
The method, he said, would produce grapes with characteristics suitable to high-quality wines, including smaller berries, higher acidity, lower pH, deeper color, higher tannins and phenolics and more intense aroma and flavor.
The California State University Agricultural Research Institute provided some of the funding for the research while preliminary experiments have been conducted in vineyard sites at Fresno State and with industry partners in Madera County in 2009 and 2010.
|Last Updated on Monday, 26 September 2011 12:51|