Evaluation of new disease resistant cultivars in a cool climate region in Australia

B. P. Holzapfel, G. Rossouw, A. Gregson, O. Holzapfel, C. Chopineaux, J. Clark, I. Dry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Wine regions in Australia range from cool to hot climates with differing precipitation and atmospheric temperatures. The productivity and grape composition of a particular cultivar is altered across regions, dependent on optimum varietal requirements. The suitability to a hot climate relates more to heat tolerance of grapevines and maintaining fruit quality. In cool climates, cultivars should be tolerant to frost and cold damage in spring and achieve sufficient ripening at harvest. In addition, disease pressures are more pronounced in a cool climate. Botrytis bunch rot (Botrytis cinerea) and downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) are generally more problematic than in hot climates, whereas powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator syn. Uncinula necator) develops in a wide range of climatic conditions. Therefore, there is a need to assess new disease resistant cultivars across different climates to determine their suitability for grape and wine production. Initially, 40 new white and red wine grape cultivars with disease resistance were assessed in two hot climate wine regions to determine both, vineyard productivity and wine sensory attributes. More recently, the same cultivars were assessed in the cool wine region of Orange, NSW, over two growing seasons. Comparatively, yields from the cool climate were less than half of the hot regions and not all cultivars reached targeted berry sugar levels for wine making. There were considerable differences in must pH, total acidity, and yeast assimilable nitrogen within and between vintages. Similarly, the intensity of sensory attributes differed between vintages, for instance red fruit attributes in red wines were more pronounced in the first vintage. In addition, the overall wine scores were lower in the second vintage and ranking of the different selections was less consistent than observed in hot regions. A comparison of the sensory attributes of the same selection in both, a hot and cold climate, should be considered to make the best choice for winegrowing in either climate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalActa Horticulturae
Issue number1387
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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