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 3 (2017-2018):

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.

Full report will be available April 2018


Investigation into impacts of MOG (Material other than Grapes) on aroma compounds of red wine cultivars

Climate change has caused harvest delays in cultivars such as Cabernet Sauvignon into late November.  Often, foliage has been killed by frost by this point in the season. We were initially informed by a large local wine that many of their tanks of “Bordeaux reds” (i.e. Cabernet franc, Cabernet Sauvignon) from vineyards that had been machine-harvested after the leaves had frosted had developed “rose-like” aromas.  We have since learned that other companies have encountered this problem and are desirous of solutions. Apparently wines from hand-harvested vineyards do not exhibit the floral character. 

CCOVI will carry out sensory analysis on a sub-set of affected tanks and non-affected controls to pinpoint aroma compounds that correspond to the floral aromas. CCOVI additionally plans to combine the MOG levels with different MOG sources (leaves vs. petioles) to ascertain the interactive effects of MOG level and MOG source. 

An interim report will be available April 2018


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

The objective of this project is to explore various repellants which will be pre-screened in lab tests and then tested in the vineyard for their ability to reduce infestations by multi-coloured Asian lady beetle.  The ability of an optical sorter attachment on a harvester will be evaluated for its efficacy in removing MALB compared to without sorter and hand harvested fruit.

Research for this activity is ongoing. 



VineAlert provides growers with an invaluable tool in managing winter injurt mitigation strategies. 

A report will be available end of April. 


Weather Innovations

OGWRI has funded WIN in order to provide growers with access to real time weather information to assist in decision making for quality grape production. 


Insight 2018

OGWRI, using funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs sponsored Insight 2018. 

The 2018 Insight Conference was held Tuesday, March 6, 2018.  The speaker presentations are found in the links as follows:

Is understanding the consumer today like turning water into wine? - Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Dean of the Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University
Canadian Grapevine Certification Network - Jill Windeatt, Administrator, CGCN
Cannabis in Canada - Jeff Ryan, Vice President of Government and Stakeholder Relations, Canopy Growth
Saving the World, One Person at a Time - Jack Bensimon, Co-founder, Bensimon Byrne
LCBO: Looking Forward - Joyce Grey, Chief Customer Office, LCBO
LCBO Sales Trends and Insights - Carolyn O’Grady-Gold, Vice President, Merchandising, LCBO
Wine Boutiques - Michael Tutt, Vice President, Wine Rack, Arterra Wines Canada
Wine in Ontario Grocery Stores - David Harrington, VP Liquor, Optical and COE Services, Loblaw Companies Ltd.