New year, new look for wine grape preharvest monitoring program
Published on August 21 2012
The grapes of Niagara’s 2012 vintage will be ready for harvest sooner than those of previous vintages say researchers at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).
Tracking the maturation of grapes in the Niagara region is the focus of a popular preharvest monitoring program that CCOVI launches again this week. The program, now in its third year, has a new look thanks to a website that allows growers and winemakers to track the progress of grapes while being able to compare this year’s data to that of previous harvests.
“Fruit maturity levels at this point in time are close to that of 2010, which some say was the best vintage in Ontario history,” says Jim Willwerth, CCOVI viticulturalist, who oversees the project.
From now to the end of harvest, Willwerth will sample at four sites across the Niagara Peninsula each week tracking key indicators of fruit ripeness for the four most popular Niagara varieties – Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The data measuring sugar levels, titratable acidity, pH and volatile acidity is posted to the website every Tuesday.