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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: USING LATE SEASON FOLIAR N SUPPLEMENTS TO IMPROVE WINE QUALITY

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Determine if late season foliar N applications can increase grape berry N concentration, content fermented wine flavor compounds. 2. Compare conventional soluble synthetic N sources to soluble organic N sources for their suitability to supplement grapevine nutrition with late season foliar applications. 3. Evaluate the effect of late season foliar N application on plant N concentration (fruit, leaves, petioles) as well fruit amino acid concentrations and other secondary metabolites (e.g., phenolics) which may have health benefits to the consumer. 4. Evaluate the effect of late season foliar N application on canopy vigor.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Two vineyards, Merlot (red) and Riesling (white), will be identified. The vineyards will be well established (>9 years old), managed with regulated deficit irrigation and trained to a bilateral cordon. Replicated plots will be established in each vineyard. Rows will be chosen so that there are no missing vines in each plot. A single rate of liquid urea will be used for the conventional N fertilizer, since it is readily absorbed, does not burn, and provides only N. Materials will be applied weekly for 5 different applications beginning at veraison and ending in mid-September. To evaluate any influence of nutrient solution run-off from plant leaves, pans will be placed under the canopy in a known area during the spray events and the amount of run off collected and extrapolated to the plot size. Blade and petiole samples will be collected, prior to foliar spraying, at bloom and veraison in the second year to determine if the previous year’s foliar treatments influenced plant N concentration. Yield, plant nitrogen measurements, and harvest fruit quality data will be analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) as the plot design is a randomized complete block design. Fermentation rate data will be analyzed as a time series. For secondary metabolites and phenolic compounds, relationships to in field treatments will be evaluated through the use of traditional ANOVA and regression analysis as well as principle component analysis to evaluate any changes in composition related to N treatments.


3.Progress Report:

In a commercial Riesling vineyard with a history of low N, we applied late season N using both foliar and soil applications and adding either 15 or 30 lbs/A N across a 5 week period. Vine growth parameters were measured throughout the growing season. Fruit was harvested, with yield components evaluated, and fruit quality parameters were measured. Wine was made and fermentation rates were tracked. 2012 is the second year of the study for this project. This research was conducted in support of objective 1B of the parent project.


Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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