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.

Grapevine virus disease and vector control - Wendy McFadden-Smith

Survey Ontario vineyards for rate of incidence of leafroll and red blotch virus; determine rate and mode of transmission; evaluate vector populations and role; investigate impact on plant physiology and fruit quality, develop mitigation strategy for vector control


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

  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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

  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


Insight 2019

OGWRI, using funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will be sponsoring Insight 2019. 

The 2018 Insight Conference was held Tuesday, March 5, 2018 at the Performing Arts Centre, downtown St. Catharines.