Undergraduate Thesis Or Project

 

Development of viticultural practices to improve winegrape performance : effect of crop level on fruit composition of Pinot noir grapes grown in the Northern and Central Willamette Valley, Oregon Public Deposited

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  • A broad range of factors influence wine grape quality and manipulation of these factors has stimulated interest among grape growers, wine makers, and research scientists alike. One such factor affecting wine grape quality is crop level, particularly for Pinot noir. Since the capacity of a vine to ripen fruit depends largely on the rate of photosynthesis and accumulation of carbohydrates, it follows that a quantitative crop level may be related qualitatively to fruit composition. Heat summation plays an important role in the accumulation of sugar and the rate of other metabolic processes occurring during ripening. In cooler climate regions, some cultivars are slow to ripen and cluster thinning may be employed to advance ripening (14,22). Moreover, of all factors affecting fruit ripening, crop level is the most important one which growers can manipulate (22). Many experiments have been conducted to determine the ideal crop load of several varieties grown in various climates (1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15,16,22). Results from these studies showed that the vines exhibited yield compensation, producing larger clusters with larger berries, a trait not necessarily desirable to wine makers. To avoid yield compensation, clusters should be thinned at veraison, after the final number of cells per berry has been established. At this point, further growth is by cell enlargement due to the import of sugars and water. This growth is accompanied by other changes in fruit composition such as a decrease in acid levels, an increase in anthocyanin levels, and changes in aroma and flavor compounds, each contributing to the quality of the grape (Candolfi-Vasconcelos, 1998. Personal communication).
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