IVAS 2022 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 IVAS 9 IVAS 2022 9 Predictive Breeding: Impact of véraison (onset of ripening) on wine quality

Predictive Breeding: Impact of véraison (onset of ripening) on wine quality


Grapevine breeding focuses on high wine quality and climate-adapted grapevine varieties with fungal disease resistances to be cultivated in a pesticide-reduced and sustainable viticulture. While a number of resistance loci can be identified in marker-assisted selection (MAS), no adequate tools for an early detection of the highly important wine quality potential is available up to now. This is mainly due to the enhanced complexity of multifactorial traits and interrelated parameters. Implementation of quality traits to MAS has the potential to improve grapevine breeding efficiency considerably and is demanded by breeders. These traits bear the potential for an early negative selection of poor quality genotypes in recently germinated seedlings and could lead to an early identification of high quality genotypes in advanced breeding stages. In recent decades, the effects of global warming led to a well-documented earlier flowering and ripening in viticulture with strong impact on wine quality. A number of traditional grapevine cultivars show the tendency to ripen too early in most years in the wine growing regions of Germany. To deliver future climate adapted cultivars this has to be considered during selection.
The véraison called onset of ripening is characterized by berry softening, onset of sugar and aroma accumulation, switch from organic acid formation to degradation, and for red cultivars start of coloration. Thus, véraison marks the transition from berry growth to berry ripening.
Date of véraison was recorded for a ‘Calardis Musqué’ x ‘Villard Blanc’ white wine F1 population with 150 genotypes. Data of 17 individual datasets obtained over a period of 22 years and from three different field plots were included. Based on a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach and a novel bioinformatics pipeline to deliver highly informative haplotype-based markers (HBMs), a high density genetic map with 2,260 genome-wide distributed HBMs was used for quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis.
The major QTL for véraison, Ver1, on chromosome 16, was validated. The improved data density and a locus-specific marker-densing (LSMD) approach narrowed down the postulated region from about 5 Mb with hundreds of genes to 174 kb encoding 13 genes including one strong candidate gene. Minor QTLs were observed on chromosomes 2, 7, 13, 17, and 18.
This knowledge is the starting point to develop suitable tools like MAS markers for grapevine breeding to select genotypes with the desired ripening time. In addition, unraveling the impact of véraison on quality determining constituents such as organic acids, sugars and aroma compounds will allow us to breed in a more targeted approach those new varieties, which are better adapted for future climatic conditions.


Publication date: June 23, 2022

Issue: IVAS 2022

Type: Article


Schwander Florian1, Röckel Franco1, Frenzke Lena2, Wenke Torsten3, Siebert Annemarie4, Vestner Jochen4, Fischer Ulrich4, Wanke Stefan2 and Töpfer Reinhard1

1Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof
2Technische Universität Dresden, Institut für Botanik
3ASGEN GmbH & Co. KG
4DLR Rheinpfalz, Institute for Viticulture and Oenology

Contact the author


Veraison, quantitative trait loci, haplotype-based markers, locus-specific marker-densing, marker-assisted selection


IVAS 2022 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Vineyard soils and landscapes of the Burgundy Côte (France): a historical construction worth preserving

The construction of vineyard landscapes along the Burgundy Côte is the result of geological processes and of human labour. Substratum diversity in this vineyard is the result of a very long history explained by the diversity of Jurassic sedimentary facies and Tertiary tectonic activity. The nature and thickness of Quaternary deposits (Weichselian scree debris and alluvial fans) reflect sediment dynamics concurrent with the last glaciation.

AOC valorization of terroir nuances at plot scale in Burgundy

In the highly competitive global wine market, Burgundy has a long-established reputation to maintain. The vine and wine sector in Burgundy is based on a five-level ranking of AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) wines and of the plots where the grapes are grown.

The revision of the delimitation of the AOC “Champagne”

The Champagne vine-growing region has played a pioneering role in the delimitation of appellations of origin (AOC). The implementation of the Act of July, 22nd 1927 has led to drawing up lists of vine plots based on the criterion of vine cultivation antecedence.

Building of a hierarchy of wines based on terroirs: an initiative from the producers of Muscadet

The Muscadet area is situated in the southeast of Nantes, close to the Atlantic coast. It constitutes the western extension
of the French vineyard “Loire Valley”. The Muscadet is renowned and often spontaneously linked to a white wine.
However it remains misconceived as an ordinary wine, lacking authenticity.

How the physical components of the terroir can differently intervene in French wines DPO definitions.Example of Côte de Nuits in Burgundy

European regulations describe what elements must be given in the specifications of DPO determination ; mainly production conditions, links between quality and products characteristics and the physical traits of the production area. These elements are given in the “link to terroir” paragraph relating natural and human factors, detailed product characteristics linked to the geographical area and at last interactions between product originality and the geographical area.