Winery in Wisconsin.

Multi-State Coordinated Evaluation of Winegrape Cultivars and Clones

Principal Investigator

Matthew Clark

Department and College

Department of Horticultural Science in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Project Number

21-091

Funding Type

Multi-State

Partnering States

  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennslyvania
  • Wyoming

Project Start and End Date

October 1, 2017-September 30, 2022

Project Summary

Testing of new cultivars and clones is typically limited to a few areas. Coordinated, multi-state testing is needed to evaluate adaptation in a variety of environments. With changing climate and increased weather variability, cultivar adaptation, including physiological hardiness and robustness to changes in insect and disease pressure will be an increasing issue. This multi-state project will leverage substantial investments made in breeding programs, and help evaluate genotype x environment interactions.

Sustaining these efforts over several years is a requirement to fully evaluate winegrape cultivars and clones over the life cycle of a typical vineyard and across multiple years of weather occurrences. This is especially important for inland 'continental climate' regions, which are more subject to extreme swings in temperature than more maritime-influenced climates. Availability of grapes adapted to these continental climates has greatly increased interest in grape growing, as has the emergence of the farm winery segment in the East. However, planting a poorly-adapted cultivar in the wrong place is a costly mistake. Vineyards can face expensive replanting and retraining costs after winter injury. Even if a cultivar produces adequate yields, poorly adapted cultivars may ripen inconsistently, and produce inferior wines.