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An Update on New Metrics: Looking at Grapevine Response to Crop Load

by Richard Carey
August 20, 2019

In Drones, Sensors, Satellites and Cameras: New tools for managing a vineyard for sustained production, an article published on August 5, it was reported that Dr. Nick Dokoozlian, vice president of viticulture, chemistry and enology at E&J Gallo Winery in Modesto, CA, gave a talk at ASEV-Eastern Section on the “New metrics: examining grapevine response to crop load through a different lens.”

He stated that canopy size determines the vine’s ability to ripen fruit; digital viticulture allows the measurement of leaf area to fruit weight and yield to pruning weight; crop load impacts sugar and color, and then asked, “What else matters?” The answer is complicated, with many inter-related factors.

Dokoozlian and his team have developed a 100-point metric scale to define flavor/brix relationships, and using this scale, have figured out that many of the flavor/brix relationships are disconnected, mostly due to undercropping, which, in turn, is related to hang time and growers waiting until 26° brix to pick the grapes.

They are working on models that can be used in many different environments and with different grape varieties. The overall topic of how to define ripeness of the grape and how best to manage the vineyard to get the best out of every square meter will be addressed by Dokoozlian and the team in an article they are planning to publish in the scientific press.

We will provide an in-depth update for growers and winemakers as details become available. 

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