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Course Description

Rows of wine grapes with mountains in the background

This course will examine whole plant physiology as illustrated by the perennial system of a grapevine. Students will investigate all the primary functions of a green plant, with each function then related to a grapevine and how it functions in nature. Each function of the vine will be connected to the ultimate effects on fruit quality and by extension, wine quality throughout the course.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Analyze vineyard problems (e.g., diseases, pests, poor canopy, nutrition and soil/water issues) that could impact final grape and vine quality/flavours and suggest vineyard management strategies to solve them;
  2. Analyze the red and white winemaking processes to identify the critical junctures at which winemakers can manipulate the characteristics of the final product;
  3. Discuss where grapes and wine fit into New World and Old World history;
  4. Describe grape families, their anatomy, and propagation, including how they work at the cellular level (e.g., photosynthesis, respiration, and carbon portioning), and the whole plant level (e.g., the growth cycle of a grapevine including flowering, fruiting, and dormancy);
  5. Describe the origin of appellation systems and “terroir” as used in Old versus New World wine regions; and
  6. Characterize wines and other grape products through reported sensory evaluations and published criticisms.

Course Topics

  • Photosynthesis
  • Food Production
  • Food Utilization
  • Carbon Partitioning
  • Flowering
  • Fruiting
  • Nutrition
  • Dormancy
  • Fermentation
  • Flavours in the Field

Additional Requirements

Restriction(s): HORT*3430. Not acceptable for students in the BSC, BSC(Agr) or BSC(Env) programs.


Assessment Item Weight
Weekly Quiz (10 x 2%) 20%
Discussions (2 x 10%) 20%
Project Outline 5%
Final Project 20%
On Campus Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

*Course details are subject to change.


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Section Title
Grape and Wine Science
January 06, 2020 to April 03, 2020
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,504.99 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes
Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.
Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) The Production of Grapes and Wine in Cool Climates by D. Jackson and D. Schuster. Dunmore Publishing, New Zealand; 2001 
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