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, 2021 

The following Projects are being funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for Year 6 (2019 -2020):

Pathway markets for cold hardiness in Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, enhanced by treatment with Abscisic Acid Analogs (ABA) 

Prinicpal Investigator: Dr. Jim Willwerth

Project summary: This project will be an enhanced research project concerning ABA analogs and improving freeze tolerance as well as directly linked to the AAFC grape cluster project. To further the above-mentioned project, we will follow, by real-time RT-PCR, the differential gene expression of 15 genes representing important signaling and biochemical pathways involved in cold hardiness. Comparative expression of these gene will be monitored during the acclimation phase, as well as during two phases of deacclimation and two phases of reacclimation. These expression profiles will be performed on control (surfactant-treated) and treated (ABA analog + surfactant) plants. By comparing the expression profiles between the acclimation, deacclimation and reacclimation phases, we anticipate gaining a better understanding of the specific signaling and biochemical pathways that are induced or repressed as a characteristic of these different phases. Furthermore, by comparing the expression profiles between control and ABA analog treatment in any given phases or between phases, we anticipate uncovering key pathways controlling cold-hardiness. The knowledge generated in this project is also stepping-stone in developing expression markers for marker-assisted selection for increased cold tolerance.


Fine tuning PCR detection for quantification of SWD and evaluating fruit susceptibility

Prinicpal Investigator: Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith

Project summary: A reliable PCR method was developed to quantify SWD in ethanol. There were some issues with the degradation of DNA and the accuracy of the methodology in field samples exposed to summer weather conditions and contaminating microorganisms that ferment the samples. Field collected SWD in mouthwash will be tested against a lab standard curve to validate this as a more reliable method for PCR quantification.

Grapes from vineyards of Baco, Pinot noir and Riesling of different maturities will be tested for susceptibility to SWD. Berries of 3 stage of ripeness (pre-veraison, veraison, advanced ripeness) from each cultivar will be exposed to SWD under lab conditions to determine the growth stage (Brix) at which it is necessary to start protecting grapes from SWD. Similar studies will be conducted with stone fruit of different maturity.


Field evaluation of a weather-based model for timing fungicide treatments for grapevine fungal diseases

Prinicpal Investigator: Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith

Project summary: decision support system will be evaluated under Ontario conditions using GGO Davis weather station real time and forecast data at multiple sites. Fungicide sprays will be applied according to grower’s schedule and to that recommended by based on weather, vine growth stage and residual activity of fungicides. Disease will be evaluated on a weekly basis until harvest. The inputs (cost of chemicals as well as application expenses) for the two programs will be tallied at the end of the season.