Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Balancing Quality And Quantity In The Vineyard

Date:
January 20, 2000
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Research in Australia shows that grape yield and fruit quality can vary widely within quite small areas of vines - hence the advent of precision farming techniques in the vineyard

The delicate art of balancing wine grape quality with higher yield is likely to become easier for grape producers with the advent of precision farming techniques in the vineyard.

Research by CSIRO, Southcorp Wines Pty Ltd and the Viticulture CRC in the Coonawarra has shown that grape yield and fruit quality can vary widely within quite small areas of vines - the result, at least in part, of changes in soil type, nutrient supply, depth and moisture.

As a result, some parts of a grape block being managed conventionally may be highly profitable while others, only metres away, may be making a substantial loss, says CSIRO Land & Water researcher Dr Rob Bramley.

Precision viticulture offers the grape producer a low-cost way to overcome this, by fine-tuning the management of particular areas of the vineyard to achieve the desired combination of quality and yield.

This could be vital to ensure the future competitiveness and sustainability of Australia's $800 million wine export trade, says Southcorp's Dr Tony Proffitt.

"The aim of our research is to establish to what extent yield and quality are influenced by manageable variations in soil properties," Dr Bramley told an International symposium on cool climate viticulture in Melbourne today.

"The industry's conventional wisdom is that higher grape yields mean lower quality. I have a feeling this may not always be the case: subtle changes in fruit quality may well be influenced by subtle variations in soil chemistry and nutrient availability - which can be controlled by careful management.

"In other words, there may be a good opportunity to optimise both yield and quality to achieve the best financial outcome for the producer or the best environmental solution, if that is the goal."

Early results from the Coonawarra experiment suggest this is the case. The researchers have found evidence of a significant variation in yield, crop maturity and key quality indicators such as colour and acidity according to the nature of the soil that the vines are growing on.

"These early findings encourage us to believe that fruit quality is a more controllable factor that many people assume."

Dr Bramley says that many grape producers would like to be able to have more control over their production system.

He and Southcorp Wines' Dr Proffitt have identified the main advantages of precision management in the vineyard as:

more efficient use of inputs such as fertiliser, sprays, water etc.

ability to show that best-practice has been used in grape production

improved quality control, leading to segregation of crops at harvest

harvesting according to quality specifications

improved harvest scheduling

more precise sampling of vineyards to aid management decisions

an improved basis for paying grape growers

improved vineyard design.

The cost of precision viticulture is not as great as many might imagine, Dr Bramley and Dr Proffitt say. While it requires the purchase of a yield monitor using satellite navigation (about $26,000) and some diagnostic analysis of soil and plants, over five years the total costs should work out at around $4 to $5 per tonne of grapes.

"We feel precision viticulture offers a low cost means to improve grape and wine production, with downstream benefits which will ensure the continued growth and competitiveness of the industry," Dr Proffitt says.

"This is very new technology to our industry, and not many people are aware of all it has to offer.." he says.

"It's one way to ensure the Australian wine industry remains both competitive and sustainable a long way into the future."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Balancing Quality And Quantity In The Vineyard." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 January 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000118213744.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2000, January 20). Balancing Quality And Quantity In The Vineyard. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000118213744.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Balancing Quality And Quantity In The Vineyard." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000118213744.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Lion Cubs Make Debut at Belgrade Zoo

Raw: Rare Lion Cubs Make Debut at Belgrade Zoo

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Two white lion cubs were born in Belgrade zoo three weeks ago. White lions are a rare mutation of a species found in South Africa and some cultures consider them divine. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sweet Times for Hard Cider Makers

Sweet Times for Hard Cider Makers

AP (Oct. 16, 2014) With hard cider making a hardcore comeback across the country, craft makers are trying to keep up with demand and apple growers are tapping a juicy new revenue stream. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Meet Garfi the Angry Cat

Meet Garfi the Angry Cat

Buzz60 (Oct. 16, 2014) Garfi is one frowny, feisty feline - downright angry! Ko Im (@koimtv) introduces us to the latest animal celebrity taking over the Internet. You can follow more of Garfi's adventures on Twitter (@MeetGarfi) and Facebook (Garfi). Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins