Accomplishments

Accomplishments

The researchers affiliated with CCOVI have been successful in securing collaborative and individual grants from national and provincial agencies, along with strong support from the Ontario grape and wine industry. These fundings are used to address problems faced by our industry.

Update: Harvesting Innovation for Growth and Sustainability of the Canadian Grape and Wine Industry

    CCOVI researchers and staff have accomplished a number of successes under Growing Forward's Developing Innovative Agri-Products program grant from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada under the lead of the Grape Growers of Ontario. To read more about these accomplishments click here.

Research areas:

Oenology and Viticulture
Icewine production
Contributors: Dr. Reynolds (CCOVI), Dr. Inglis (CCOVI) and Dr. Pickering (CCOVI)

Contributions:

  • Icewine fermentation best practices were developed for successful fermentation
  • The effect of grape hangtime and freeze-thaw cycles on sensory properties of Icewine was determined
  • The basic chemical composition of Icewine juice/wines was determined
  • The Icewine authentication was based on odour active compounds in wine and unique chemical profiling 
  • Yeast strain contribution to Icewine quality was assessed
  • Natural Icewine microfloral were identified and the potential of indigenous yeast to support Icewine fermentation was assessed

TOP

Multi-coloured asian ladybeetle (MALB) and juice/wine quality
Contributors: Dr. Pickering (CCOVI), Dr. Inglis (CCOVI), Dr. Sears (University of Guelph), Dr. Hallet (University of Guelph) and Dr. Ker (CCOVI)

Contributions:

  • The taint compound - isopropyl methoxy pyrazine – was identified 
  • The tolerance limit for MALB in grapes/vineyards has been identified 
  • Dead MALB do not release taint after 7 days
  • 7 spot lady beetle also causes taint 
  • 4 grape compounds were identified that stimulate MALB – bait trap potential
  • Development of a fining agent targeted at the taint
  • Tetrapaks show potential to remove the taint

TOP 

Evaluating vine buds winter hardiness
Contributors: Dr. Ker (CCOVI), Dr. Fisher (University of Guelph), Hugh Fraser (OMAFRA) and Ken Slingerland (OMAFRA)

Contributions:

  • The temperature at which 10% and 50% of the vine buds die was established for the 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 winters for 11 grape cultivars across the Niagara Region
  • This data is posted on CCOVI website and KCMS website for growers’ access each week
  • Important information was generated and used for the efficient management of wind machines – such as key risk temperatures during dormant period 
  • Over 400 samples are processed each week during dormant season

TOP 

Management of grape sour rot
Contributors: Dr. McFadden-Smith (CCOVI Affiliate, Brock University, OMAFRA) and Dr. Inglis (CCOVI)

Contributions:

  • In 2007, the causal organisms for grape sour rot were identified from one vineyard – yeast and bacteria 
  • These causal organisms are capable of inducing disease on previously healthy, uninjured fruit (sour rot is not always only a result of fruit injury)
  • Spray treatments targeting yeast and bacteria are needed

TOP 

Factors impacting terroir-based wine quality
Contributors: Dr. Reynolds (CCOVI) and Dr. Brown (CCOVI Fellow, University of Guelph)

Contributions:

  • Block-specific wines within a vineyard differ in character based on vine water status so that wines can be marketed separately in a premium category
  • The validation of VQA sub-appellations based on sensory characteristics of wines
  • Irrigation scheduling for a positive impact on wine quality

TOP 

Effects of resveratrol
Contributors: Dr. Stuart (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University) and E. Robb (Brock University)

Contributions:

  • The compound resveratrol is protective against human diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart disease and cancer
  • Gaining a better understanding of the mechanism of resveratrol protection
  • Determine effective ways to add resveratrol to diet to maximize beneficial effects of resveratrol

TOP 

Grape flavour compounds
Contributors: Dr. De Luca (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University), D. Hall (Brock University), Dr. Wang (University of Toronto), B. Wiens (Brock University) and Dr. Gosh (Brock University)

Contributions:

  • The identification of proteins responsible for aromas typical of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling
  • The identification of the role played by aroma protein in Chardonnay Musqué, Cabernet Franc and other vinifera grapes
  • The identification of proteins responsible for pigmentation of wine grapes
  • Determining the ripening profiles for specific wine grapes

TOP 

Flavour perception and wine
Contributor: Dr. Pickering (CCOVI)

Contributions:

  • Flavour perception studies show different types of taste groups: from super-tasters to non-tasters
  • Individuals with enhanced tasting abilities seem to have a stronger flavour perception 
  • Flavour perception studies can be used as predictors of wine style preferences and for market segmentation of wine consumers

TOP 

Accelerated grape breeding
Contributors: Dr. Somers (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre) and Dr. Fisher (University of Guelph)

Contributions:

  • The platform technology to breed grapes
  • The introduction of simple as well as complex traits such as cold tolerance 
  • The potential to maintain wine quality attributes of V. vinifera varieties plus improved adaptation
  • The potential to design and plan introduction of new varieties consistent with vineyard management strategies

TOP 

Yeast and vinification
Contributors: Dr. Van der Merwe (CCOVI Fellow, University of Guelph), Dr. Inglis (CCOVI), Dr. Shelp (University of Guelph) and T. van Rooyen (Niagara College Teaching Winery)

Contributions:

  • Addressing sluggish/stuck fermentations by understanding sugar metabolism during stressed fermentations
  • The development of efficient Icewine producing yeast
  • The characterization of new genes needed for amino acid and higher alcohol metabolism during fermentation for production of more complex wines

TOP 

Optimizing grape quality
Contributors: Dr. Bowen (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), C. Bogdanoff (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Usher (CCOVI Professional, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Lowery (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Cliff (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Neilsen (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Abrams (National Research Council of Canada), Dr. Owen (National Research Council of Canada) and Dr. Zaharia (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre)

Contributions:

  • Characterization of plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) levels in Merlot grapes in southern Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
  • ABA applied pre-veraison increases colour pigmentation in grapes
  • On sandy soils, commercially tolerable water stress slightly reduces grape size, enhances colour pigments but has little influence on tannins
  • Long-term goal to develop irrigation regimes that conserve water and produce high quality grapes

TOP 

Climatic analysis of the Niagara viticultural area
Contributor: Dr. Shaw (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University)

Contributions:

  • The climate is similar to France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy regions for growing degree days, monthly mean temperature, precipitation and sunshine hours
  • The regional climatic limitations for viticulture include low temperature causing high risk of freeze injury in late spring, early autumn and winter as well as heavy and poorly drained clay soils

TOP 

Plant pathology
Contributors: D. O’Gorman (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), P. Haag (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre) and Dr. Úrbez-Torres (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre)

Contributions:

  • The development of disease diagnostic assays to identify and detect new or emerging diseases in vineyards of British Columbia
  • The survey of grapevine trunk disease in the Okanagan Valley to identify the extent of the problem and assess the potential impact on the industry
  • The study of fungal epidemiology as it relates to the development of disease management recommendations for the vineyard

TOP 

Freezing stress tolerant grapes
Contributor: Dr. Nassuth (CCOVI Fellow, Guelph University)

Contributions:

  • Molecular markers were designed for use in breeding for stress tolerant
  • In cooperation with grape breeder Dr. Helen Fisher produced breeding material for freezing stress tolerant grapes
  • Showed grape genes are involved in freezing stress tolerance that can also affect drought stress tolerance, plant growth and flowering time
  • Further investigation is needed to find the combination of genes most desirable in stress tolerant winegrapes for the industry well as heavy and poorly drained clay soils

TOP 

Sustainable management of grapevine pests
Contributors: Dr. Lowery (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Bowen (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), C. Bogdanoff (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Usher (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Neilsen (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Smirle (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Cossentine (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre) and J. Cory

Contributions:

  • The studies of phytoplasma, leafroll virus, and other insect-borne grapevine diseases
  • The management of grapevine pests and the enhancement of a number of beneficial insects with modified groundcover vegetation
  • The non-chemical approaches for the control of grape pests, including altered production practices, antifeedants, and biological control
  • The evaluation of reduced-risk insecticides for the control of grapevine pests

TOP 

Optimizing nutrition and soil quality
Contributors: Dr. G. Neilsen (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. D. Neilsen (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Forge (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Bowen (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), C. Bogdanoff (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Usher (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Lowery (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), D. O’Gorman (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre), Dr. Millard (Macaulay Land Use Research Institute) and Dr. Midwood (Macaulay Land Use Research Institute)

Contributions:

  • The measurement of the effects of nitrogen timing on fermentation and grape quality in the Okanagan, BC
  • The development of optimum fertigation and foliar nutrition strategies for grapes
  • On sandy soils, organic amendments and mulches can improve soil moisture, nutrient retention capacity and soil biodiversity
  • The long-term goal to develop optimum nutritional and irrigation strategies to produce high quality grapes and sustain soil quality

TOP 

Wine and tasting wine
Contributor: Dr. Jackson (CCOVI Fellow, wine writer, author)

Contributions:

  • The wine production may be an art, but its birth is through applied science
  • The technical know how is essential to maximizing consistent wine quality and commercial success
  • Ready access to the latest information is vital to survival in a dog-eat-dog world
  • It is critical to know that reality, and the perception of reality, are not necessarily the same

TOP 

Wine business
Consumer behaviour and wine purchase
Contributors: Dr. Mantonakis (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University), P. Rodero (Agro-Business Engineering School), Dr. Lesschaeve (Vineland Research and Innovation Centre) and Dr. Hastie (University of Chicago)

Contributions:

  • External cues such as marketing and advertising influence consumer’s choice during wine purchases
  • A repeated exposure to specific brands make consumer more familiar to such brands and thus more likely to choose them 
  • The effects of serial position on preferences: first wine sample is preferred in a sequence of 2-3 wines while first and last wine samples are preferred for 4-5 wines

TOP 

Creating an identity for the Ontario wine industry
Contributors: Dr. Voronov (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University), Dr. De Clercq (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University) and C.R. Hinings (University of Alberta)

Contributions:

  • Creating symbolic value for the Ontario wine industry
  • Two logics exist that guide positioning strategies for Ontario wineries: the artistic logic establishes artistic acclaim and authenticity (i.e. connoisseurs, writers, competitions, restaurants) and the commercial logic is profit-oriented production driven by market demand (i.e. casual consumers, LCBO, restaurants, banks, regulators)
  • Success depends on complying with both logics

TOP 

Sparkling wine and the Y generation
Contributors: Dr. Cullen (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University) and Dr. Pickering (CCOVI)

Contributions:

  • Study on the factors influencing generation Y to drink sparkling wine
  • Early findings show taste as a main factor of influence for generation Y
  • Enhanced taste sensitivity points to preference toward dryer sparkling wine

TOP 

International market development and exports
Contributor: Dr. Dorozynski (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT))

Contributions:

  • A national export strategy for Canadian wine: long-term strategy for international business development and focused efforts to support exports in key markets abroad
  • Announced by Minister of International Trade on Feb. 2009
  • The Canadian wine initiative: facilitates purchase and serving of 100% Canadian wine, beer and spirits by Canadian embassies and missions
  • Currently 91 Canadian producers participate in program

TOP 

Economic and financial aspects of the wine industry
Contributors: Dr. Cyr (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University), Dr. Shaw (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University) and Dr. Kusy (Brock University)

Contributions:

  • Use of weather derivatives as financial contracts against adverse weather conditions affecting the grape and wine production
  • Examined use of weather contracts: temperatures for icewine production, temperatures during growing season, rainfall during harvest season and winter injury

TOP 

Success draws a crowd
Contributors: Dr. Roberts (CCOVI Fellow, Emory University) and A. Sterling (Emory University)

Contributions:

  • There are more than 100 wineries in Ontario and most of them sell Icewine
  • The Icewine success follows the entrepreneurial efforts of Inniskillin 
  • Subsequent entrants’ success such as more LCBO listings and higher prices for their wine is influenced by their social and geographic proximity to Inniskillin 
  • This is a confirmation of the social structural foundations of identity, reputation and commercial success in this higher-priced wine segment

TOP 

Wine law
Contributors: A. Mayeski (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, Heenan Blaikie LLP), M. Harrison (Heenan Blaikie LLP) and M. Woods (Heenan Blaikie LLP)

Contributions:

  • Providing solutions to the legal challenges faced by wineries
  • Regulatory law; foreign and domestic trade law; marketing and advertising; strategic government relations
  • Assisting wineries to create, market and expand their businesses nationally and internationally

TOP 

What does it take for local restaurants to promote local wines?
Contributors: Dr. Voronov (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University), Dr. De Clercq (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University) and Dr. Thongpapanl (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University)

Contributions:

  • The promotion of local wines requires the cultivation of communities of support where members are well-informed and well-connected
  • Different communities of support are needed to accommodate members similarities/differences and what they confront
  • The support of local wines depends on restaurateurs’ access to relevant human capital (“what you know”) and social capital (“who you know”)

TOP 

The economics of organic wines
Contributor: Dr. Kwong (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University)

Contributions:

  • The derivation of the strategic pricing equilibria with heterogeneous consumers such as traditional vs. alternative consumers
  • The optimal choice when to produce organic wines as a signal of quality

TOP 

Wine culture
Transformation of the Ontario wine industry
Contributor: Dr. Bramble (CCOVI Professional Affiliate, wine author)

Contributions:

  • The origins of institutions such as the LCBO, the VQA, FTA
  • The stories of individuals’ challenges in the wine industry and how they overcame resistance
  • The credit to individuals who worked behind the scenes for change
  • The industry and its next transformation
  • Book published: Niagara’s Wine Visionaries, Profiles of the Pioneering Winemakers 

TOP

The role of grape and wine in the identity of the Niagara region
Contributor: Dr. Ripmeester (CCOVI Fellow, Brock University)

Contributions:

  • The exploration of grapes and wine as heritage markers for Niagara: agriculture and small town tradition; family operation; and small scale production
  • Research grapes and wine as part of the creative economy model for Niagara

TOP 

Clicky