Agro-thermal Heat Treatment of Grapevines in the Okanagan Valley [fi20]
|Status||in progress: Mar 2019 to Mar 2021|
|Project Lead||Quails’ Gate Estate Winery|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Quails' Gate Estate Winery|
|Other Partners||University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus, AAFC Summerland Research & Development Centre|
This project will trial and evaluate the effectiveness of an agro-thermal heat treatment machine to reduce the impacts of temperature extremes and increasingly variable temperatures on wine grape production in the Okanagan.
When temperatures do not follow historical seasonal patterns, fruit yield and quality can be impacted. This project will evaluate how agro-thermal heat treatment affects three issues that directly impact yield, quality and management costs for the wine industry:
- extreme and variable temperatures during critical grapevine phenological stages that determine fruit set and final yield
- fungal disease pressure, which increases under variable wet and warm conditions
- extreme winter freezing events that increase the severity of bacterial diseases, such as crown gall of grapevines
Agro-thermal heat treatment technology has been shown to increase fruit set and yield, decrease the use of agro-chemicals, enhance wine quality and improve profits, but this technology has not been tested in Canada.
Over two years, this project will apply heat treatment to two Quails’ Gate Winery vineyards in the Okanagan Valley as part of regular vineyard management. Research personnel from UBC Okanagan and the AAFC Summerland Research and Development Centre will evaluate the effects and summarize the research findings.
The technology will be demonstrated through two field days, and results will be shared via industry association events and public communications.