News and Reviews - Winter Wine Touring
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Wine-Country Tidbits

Reviews of Pacific NW wines     


Cold Hardiness System alerts growers
during winter months

Using a sophisticated system they designed, WSU viticulturist Markus Keller and his team are measuring the cold hardiness of grapevine. The system allows them to collect data from buds and wood pieces from a range of grape varieties in order to determine “critical” temperatures for each variety
temperatures at which the tissues freeze and are killed.

The system is now being used as a model for programs working in grapes and other crops around the world.

Each week the team adds new information to their Web site, which growers use to track the changes in cold hardiness throughout the winter season.  Based on this information, growers can decide whether to run their wind machines or use other measures of frost control.

This year, for the first time, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is participating in the project. Ste. Michelle viticulturists collect samples from their extensive variety collection each week, and that information is used to supplement samples collected by Keller’s team.

The service is funded by WSU, the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers through the Washington Wine Industry Foundation and the Washington State Concord Grape Research Council.

Visit the Grape Cold Hardiness Web site:
The site has year-round value for grape growers, including information on Powdery Mildew, precipitation, growing degree days, and evapotraspiration.

Want the scientific low down on how Keller’s team is collecting cold-hardiness data? Fire up your browser and visit the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture to download the paper by Mills, Ferguson
and Keller.




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Copyright © 2003   Susan R. O'Hara.   All rights reserved.
Last revised:  September 09, 2016