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Course Description

Red and green grapes sitting on a marble counter

The history and impact of grape-growing in the New World will be presented and studied. Grape (Vitis) taxonomy (ampelography) and physiology will be studied as it relates to the Old World/New World wine growing. The physiology of fruiting and vegetative balance for managing wine quality in the vineyard will be studied in detail, especially as it pertains to cool climate and northern limit grape growing for premium wine quality. End product management and wine regions of the world will be briefly discussed.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

1. Discuss the role of many Vitis species in the development and maintenance of the modern wine market;

2. Discuss the role of cropping/vegetative balance in a vineyard in terms of physiological principles;

3. Discuss the relationship between vineyard management and wine quality, especially under challenging climatic conditions;

4. Make better informed decisions about the role of ‘terroir’ and/or site selections in vineyard performance and perceived fruit/wine quality;

5. Develop a well-documented, critical discussion paper concerning a specific physiological aspect of the cultivated grapevine.

Course Topics

This course will cover a variety of topics that will enable the learner to gain a better understanding of vineyard planning and operations. Topics will include the history of grapes, the importance and developmental physiology of Vitis in general and the application of these principles to vineyard management for premium wine quality. You will also explore site location and discuss the decisions processes in vineyard planning.

Throughout the course of this journey you will be reviewing the pertinent scientific literature and the original investigations that answered or are still attempting to answer the physiology of the cultivated grapevine. You will have a chance to discuss historic papers and/or recent contributions, including those where there is considerable disagreement. Your final research paper will be a culmination of these discussions.

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): AGR*2470 or BOT*2100


Assessment Item Weight
Quizzes (2 x 10%) 20%
Discussions (2 x 5%) + 5% 15%
Major Project (10% + 25%) 35%
Take-Home Final Exam 30%
Total 100%


Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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