VineAlert program was ready for winter's early blast
Published on November 28 2013
As snow and sub-zero weather blasted Ontario vineyards this week, Brock University was launching its cold hardiness monitoring program.
Operated by Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the VineAlert program is now in its fifth year of helping growers in Ontario’s key grape producing regions protect sensitive varieties that are most at risk from frosty temperatures.
Over the dormant season from October to April, a grape bud’s ability to survive cold temperatures varies. VineAlert indicates at what temperature different varieties would see damage if a cold weather event occurred. This helps growers know when wind machines or other freeze avoidance methods are warranted to protect buds and vines from winter injury.
“VineAlert allows grape growers to be proactive when dealing with winter injury,” says CCOVI viticulturist Jim Willwerth. “It communicates important information about when preventive action may be needed.”