MVIP

In 2015, OMAFRA chose OGWRI to administer the Research and Innovation Development (R&ID) portion of the Marketing Vineyard Improvement Program (MVIP).  The goal of the R&ID projects is to improve the quality, productivity and adaptability of grape and wine production by promoting innovative tools, technologies, resources, knowledge and information for grape growing and winemaking. In July 2017 OGWRI entered into an agreement with OMAFRA to continue the MVIP program until March 31, 2020. 

The following Projects were funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for Year 4 (2018-2019):

Refinement of Crop Estimation Accuracy using Dormant Bud Sampling

One of the challenges facing the industry is to accurately estimate crop levels early in the season from the collection of dormant bud samples to estimate primary bud survival and subsequent crop potential.  Where primary bud injury has taken place, the fruitfulness of secondary buds can be highly variable due to cultivar fruiting characteristics. There is a need to further investigate the correlation of primary bud injury, secondary bud fruitfulness and subsequent crop production for multiple cultivars under different environmental conditions and commercial production practices across Ontario. Building on preliminary prior work to date, it is proposed to examine production at multiple sites for the growing seasons of 2017 and 2018 and the dormant periods for 2017/18 and 2018/19 from 173 sample blocks - 156 in Niagara and 17 in SW Ontario with 35 grower cooperators.  This work should provide additional information to establish reliable crop estimation values based on dormant bud survival work and cultivar fruitfulness for multiple cultivars across Ontario.  Having prior season cropping history will also provide additional information that may inform the industry on the impact of crop levels on subsequent dormant period bud survival for cultivars in different regions.

Click here for the final report.

Grapevine virus disease and vector control - Wendy McFadden-Smith 

This project is part of the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster, as part of the AgriScience Cluster program. MVIP funds contributed to the first year of research, final reports will be released to the public in 2023. 

The project focuses on a survey of the major grapevine virus diseases (Grapevine leafroll-associated virus-3; GLRaV-3 and Grapevine red blotch virus; GRBV) and their insect vectors as well as estimating the impact of these viruses on vine health. In addition, the project aims to develop strategic mitigation practices for these viruses.

  • The large-scale vineyard sampling and testing for GLRaV-3 and GRBV were completed as expected.
  • The geolocation and testing of individual vines were completed as expected.
  • The evaluation of the effects of solo and combined infections on cold hardiness was initiated and is being completed this spring.

Grapevine evaluation and cold hardiness program to ensure superior plant material for CGCN and to imrpove the sustainability of the Canadian grape and wine industry - Jim Willwerth

This project is part of the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster, as part of the AgriScience Cluster program. MVIP funds contributed to the first year of research, final reports will be released to the public in 2023. 

  1. Evaluate grapevine material for performance, cold tolerance and quality and improve the sustainability of the entire Grape and Wine Industry;

  2. Assist with selection of superior plant material for the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network as well as future plantings across Ontario.

Update as of March 31, 2019:

This activity is based in Ontario but is in conjunction with sub-activities in Nova Scotia to support the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN). The goal of this activity is to achieve research outcomes that can be integrated into decision-making processes of establishing clean, high performing plant material for the Canadian grape and wine industry and provide superior grapevine selections for Ontario and Nova Scotia’s diverse growing regions in order to optimize vine performance and fruit quality with distinct character. The main objectives of this activity include: 1) Maintaining formal variety x clone x rootstock evaluation blocks to ensure vines remain free of leaf roll associated and red blotch viruses and are ‘true to type’; 2) Determining the best combinations of clone x rootstocks for Ontario’s core V. vinifera cultivars for high performance in varied Ontario climate and diverse soils; 3) Understanding of scion x rootstock combinations and how they perform under various environmental conditions, both during the growing and winter seasons and; 4) Selection of clones that are superior with respect to cold tolerance and reduced freeze injury. Through these objectives we will help to improve vine health, consistency, quality and sustainability of VQA-approved varieties grown in Canada. This research activity will allow our industry to make informed choices for future plantings to reduce risk, increase profitability, and match vine material to site and consumer preference over the long term.
- Harrison Wright and Jim Willwerth, AAFC Kentville and CCOVI at Brock University

TanninAlert: Improving Canadian red wine quality and consumer acceptance through winemaking techniques by grape variety and tannin level - Debbie Inglis

This project is part of the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster, as part of the AgriScience Cluster program. MVIP funds contributed to the first year of research, final reports will be released to the public in 2023.  

The main objective of this project is to improve Canadian red wine quality by ensuring grape phenolic ripeness is incorporated into harvest decisions. Scientific knowledge for the Canadian wine industry regarding tannin concentrations in seeds and skins of varieties specific to wine style will be acquired. This will result in red winemaking guidelines tailored to tannin concentrations from the grape tannin database. The program will initially start to build a database in Ontario, but once established, will be extended to the rest of Canada.

Update as of March 31, 2019:

In year 1 of the CGCN project, winemaking techniques were compared among Pinot noir, Gamay, Cabernet franc and Cabernet sauvignon.  Difference testing and consumer preference testing among the treatments for each variety are now underway.

Improving sparkling and still wine quality: preventing high VA, honey-off flavours and other faults that reduce wine quality though natural Canadian indigenous yeast isolates - Belinda Kemp

This project is part of the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster, as part of the AgriScience Cluster program. MVIP funds contributed to the first year of research, final reports will be released to the public in 2023. 

The overall objectives of this project will serve to identify if two “sweet/honey” off-flavours from ethyl phenylacetate (EPhA) and phenylacetic acid (PhAA) are present in Ontario Pinot noir grapes as a result of sour rot infection as well as in sparkling and still wines fermented from those grapes; test consumer acceptance of the compounds in red and sparkling wines; and test if natural indigenous yeast isolates from Canadian vineyards can remove the compounds along with acetic acid. Furthermore, a natural yeast isolated from an Ontario vineyard will be trialed for commercial scale red wine production.

 Update as of March 31, 2019

Two specific aroma compounds have been identified in wine that cause this “sweet/honey” off-flavour, namely ethyl phenylacetate (EPhA) and phenylacetic acid (PhAA). This project will determine the detection and consumer threshold levels of the two compounds Pinot noir red and sparkling wines, establish the percent of the compounds in red and sparkling wines and investigate the use of indigenous yeast to reduce their concentrations.

Mitigation of infestations of multi-coloured Asian lady beetle in Ontario vineyards - Wendy McFadden-Smith

This project is part of the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster, as part of the AgriScience Cluster program. MVIP funds contributed to the first year of research, final reports will be released to the public in 2023. 

  1. Evaluate effectiveness of alternatives for managing Multicoloured Asian Ladybeetle (MALB) infestation using repellants such as potassium metabisulfite, kaolin clay and botanical extracts;

  2. Evaluate the efficacy of the optical sorter on harvesters for removing MALB in the vineyard;

  3. Develop best management practices for managing MALB in Ontario vineyards

 Update as of March 31, 2019

Alternative compounds for managing MALB were initially evaluated under controlled laboratory conditions in 2017. Many of the products tested successfully reduced berry feeding activity by MALB when evaluated within 2 hours of treatment. Additional potential repellents were tested in 2018-2019 in the lab. Based on results from short-term repellency trials, the most repellent products were tested for long-term repellency (3 days) in the laboratory. Many of these products continued to reduce berry feeding activity by MALB with varying degrees of effectiveness. These results meet the intended outcome of research objective 1.

In 2018, an optical sorter was evaluated for efficacy in removing MALB from commercially harvested fruit artificially infested with MALB.  The system reduced the number of MALB in “clean” fruit compared to the initial sample before sorting. These results are working towards meeting the intended outcome of research objective 2, although more trials must be completed.