Source: NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2004
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2017
Grant Year
Project Director
Spayd, S. E.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Horticultural Science
Non Technical Summary
This research project will test the performance of clones of the major global cultivars and of new or previously neglected wine grape cultivars in the different wine grape growing regions within the U.S. This work will improve the competitiveness of U.S. grape growers and wineries by providing performance and quality information that is much needed for planting decisions.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Knowledge Area
205 - Plant Management Systems;

Subject Of Investigation
1131 - Wine grapes;

Field Of Science
1020 - Physiology;
Goals / Objectives
Characterize the viticultural and wine quality potential of emerging cultivars based on regional needs.
Project Methods
Because of the range of climates, soils, and markets included in this project, specific protocols will require broad input from the cooperating experts and the statistician. This proposal only suggests the procedures which will be used to finalize vineyard and cellar protocols. The Guidance Committee will select cultivars for testing in this program. It will solicit suggestions from the wine industry and from technical experts. Examples of cultivars to be included are clones or cultivars with a documented history of production and value in wine production. Additional clones or cultivars may be included because they possess characteristics that may be of value to the industry. Cultivars and clones of potential economic value will be selected and grouped based on interest and need for various states and regions. Although not every item will be tested in every site, all items will be tested over a range of sites so that genotypic influences may be distinguished from environmental influence. All vines will be propagated from a single source. Vitis vinifera cultivars shall be grafted to a standard rootstock that is adapted to the site in question. In most cases 3309, 101-14, or Freedom rootstock will be suitable. Where phylloxera is not endemic, non-grafted vines will be included for comparison. Standard viticultural measurements will be collected each year at each site. Examples are: cane pruning weight, nodes retained at pruning, shoots per vine, shoot length, shoot weight, leaf area, yield per vine, clusters per vine, cluster morphology, berry weight, pest predation and disease status and cold hardiness. Vine phenology will be recorded. Berry sampling will be used to determine harvest date. After harvest, fruit sub-samples will be analyzed for juice soluble solids, pH, total acidity, color and organic acids (tartaric, malic, acetic). The guidance committee will specify the full compliment of components to be measured and the methods to be used. Wines will be produced with standard protocols developed by the guidance committee. Sufficient wine will be produced so that wines from different regions can be evaluated at several locations, and so that examples may be presented to stakeholders. Standard wine analyses, such as pH, TA, residual sugar, color, free/total SO2, malic, lactic, tartaric, and acetic acids, will be performed. The guidance committee will specify the exact components and methods to be used. Sensory analysis will be conducted regionally. Wines from each site will be evaluated at each testing center. Tasting methodology, wine descriptors, evaluator training and testing will be specified by the guidance committee. Sufficient wine will be produced so that presentations can be made to stakeholders in the various production regions. An expert in sensory analysis will be invited to join the technical committee.

Progress 10/01/13 to 09/30/14

Target Audience: North Carolina Vinifera grape growers and wineries Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Elder, K. and S.E. Spayd 2014, January 1. Grape varieties for NC. NC Winegrowers Association Annual Meeting,Winston-Salem, NC How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? NC Winegrowers Annual Meeting Recommendations in phone calls for possible new cultivars to plant. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Publish paper on variety trial Present poster at American Society for Enology and Viticulture

What was accomplished under these goals? A trial of 11 red wine grape (Vitis vinifera)cultivars/rootstock combinations were assessed for viticultural performance in Dobson, North Carolina. The plot was established in 2008 as a randomized complete block design with six replicates. Vine yield, fruit composition, and vigor were measured from 2010 to 2014. Cold damage to buds and 1-year old canes was assessed for the 2013/2014 winter. Average growing degree days for the site were 3,814 with an average of 137 cm (54 in) of precipitation. Cultivars varied in yield (0.90 to 4.59 kg/vine), vegetative vigor (0.21 to 2.30 yield/pruning weight), soluble solids concentration (17.8 to 21.9), titratable acidity (3.8 to 7.2), and pH (3.44 to 3.91). The cultivars Carmenere and Nebbiolo had unacceptably low yields. Carmenere, Grignolino, Nebbiolo, Tinta Cao, and Touriga Nacionale had the highest soluble sugar concentration at harvest. Aglianico, Grignolino, and Nebbiolo had the most desirable titratable acidity and pH. Toruiga Nacionale and Tinta Cao were most affected by the cold and Lemberger was least affected. Results from this study can help inform cultivar selection for similar growing climates.


    Progress 10/01/12 to 09/30/13

    Target Audience: NC Grape growers and winemakers are my primary audience Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Spring Semester 2013, Taught Viticulture (HS 423/523) to 35 undergraduate and graduate students. 2013, February 15. Aspects of canopy management. NC Winegrowers Association AnnualMeeting, Winston-Salem, NC 2013, February 16. State-of-the-state.NC Winegrowers Association Annual Meeting, Winston-Salem, NC 2013, March 18. Nitrogen relations in winemaking. NC Muscadine Growers Association, Elizabethtown, NC 2013,Jun 12Canopy Management, Virginia Tech Univ., Winchester, VA 2013, Jul Concentrations of phenolic compounds in North Carolina wines. Eastern Section, Am. Soc. Enol. Vitic. Organized Symposium on Advances in Red Winemaking as a part of the Eastern Section of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture Annual Meeting. 2013, Aug 20 Current developments in muscadine grape production, Castle Hayne, NC Professional Development: Attended the Annual National Conference for the American Society for Viticulture and Enology and Viticulture, June 2013, Monterey, CA How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? On-farm visits with growers in collaboration with County Extension Agents NC Winegrowers Association Annual meeting presentations (2) and organized a round table NC Muscadine Grape Growers Association workshop and annual meeting presentations Answer e-mail and phone queries Continue research on cultivar adaptability, role of under vine row cover crop width and leaf removal on fruit quality. Organize and participate in industry meetings and workshops Attend state, regional and national meetings What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Continue research on cultivar adaptability, role of under vine row cover crop width and leaf removal on fruit quality. Organize and participate in industry meetings and workshops Attend state, regional and national meetings

    What was accomplished under these goals? Research is continuing to provide information on Vitis vinifera cultivars performance under NC conditions. Carmenere and Nebbiolo can not be recommended as the yield potential for this area is not economically feasible. Tinta Cao and Touriga nacionale performed well in 2013 despite adverse weather conditions. Fruit quality appeared excellent and yields were equivalent to currently produced cultivars. Fruit yield from Carmenere (0.56 kg/m cordon) and Nebbiolo (0.80 kg/m cordon) remained unacceptably low as in previous growing seasons. Yield from other cultivars ranged from 1.99 to 3.45 kg/m cordon with Aglianico having the highest yield. Grignolino produced the heaviest clusters at 270 g/cluster and Carmenere the lightest at 80 g/cluster. Carmenere with its light crop level had the largest and Aglianico with the heaviest crop had the smallest vine size as indicated by pruning weight/m cordon. There were differences in the number of shoots/m cordon with a range of 13 to 17, most cultivars produced 16-17 shoots/m cordon. Individual shoot mass was highest for Touriga Nacionale (42 g/cane) and lowest for Aglianico (11 g/cane). A Ravaz Index (ratio of fruit weight to pruning weight) of 22 indicated that Aglianico was over cropped. Carmenere and Nebbiolo had Ravaz Index values of 1 and 5, respectively, indicating that they were undercropped for the size of the vine canopy. The remaining cultivars had Ravaz Index values between 6 and 11 indicating that yield and vine vigor was relatively in balance. Fruit condition of Touriga Nacionale and Tinta Cao was excellent at harvest in a year of above normal rainfall.


      Progress 10/01/11 to 09/30/12

      OUTPUTS: Presentations to target audience: 2012, February 3. Varietal performance in North Carolina. North Carolina Winegrowers Association Annual Meeting, Winston-Salem, NC 2012, February 3. First Things First, North Carolina Winegrowers Association Annual Meeting, Winston-Salem, NC 2012, March 23 Performance of V. vinifera cultivars in NC. Appalachian State University Workshop, Round Peak Vineyards, Mt. Airy, NC. PARTICIPANTS: Sara Spayd, Viticulturist, NC State University, Raleigh NC Gill Giese, Instructor, Surry Community College, Raleigh NC Lisa Hopkins, Research Technologist, NC State University, Raleigh, NC TARGET AUDIENCES: NC, TN, GA and VA current and potential commercial wine grape growers and winemakers PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

      Growers were informed of varieties that are performing well and those that are not so that they are able to make critical decisions with regard to vine performance. The study is still in process and we need to produce wine from the most promising varieties.


      • No publications reported this period

      Progress 10/01/10 to 09/30/11

      OUTPUTS: A vineyard was established in Dobson, NC in 2008 to compare seven "non-traditional" cultivars with the performance of two sentinel cultivars Cabernet Sauvignon cl. 8 and Merlot cl. 3 with all cultivars. All vines were grafted to 101-14MGT rootstock and vine spacing was 1.8 m in row and 3.0 m between rows. In addition, Cabernet Sauvignon cl. 9 on 101-14 MGT and Merlot cl. 3 on 3309C were included in the study. Yield and fruit composition data were collected in 2011. Information from this project was discussed in my General Viticulture class at NCSU as a part of the cultivar discussion. Results were presented and reported to the NC Grape and Wine Council in February 2011. This project was also discussed as a part of the USDA-SCRI Eastern Grape Project at our annual meeting in Towson, MD in July 2011. PARTICIPANTS: Spayd, S.E., Professor, NCSU, Principal Investigator in NC Giese, Gill, Instructor, Surry Community College, Collaborator Note there are about 30 out-of-state colleagues who are running parallel experiments. The project is also partially funded through a USDA-SCRI grant that Dr. Tony Wolf of Virginia Tech University serves as the lead PI. TARGET AUDIENCES: Southeastern wine grape growers, winemakers, extension personnel and other viticultural researchers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

      In 2011, all cultivars except Carmenere (0.3 kg/vine) and Nebbiolo (2.55 kg/vine) produced commercially viable yields. Merlot cl. 3 produced the highest fruit yields followed by Aglianico, Lemberger, Cabernet Sauvignon cl. 8 and 9, Tinta Cao, Grignolino, and Touriga Nacionale. Harvest date was determined by fruit condition (primary) and Brix (secondary). Touriga Nacionale (DOY 219) and Lemberger (DOY 256) were harvested earlier than the other cultivars at about 21 Brix. Nebbiolo fruit achieved 23.4 Brix but the fruit was severely sunburned. With the exception of Aglianico (3.21), fruit from all cultivars had titratable acid concentrations of less than 2 g tartaric acid/L. Fruit pH ranged from 3.45 (Aglianico) to 3.97 (Carmenere).


      • No publications reported this period