GiESCO 2019 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 GiESCO 9 Advancement of grape maturity – comparison between contrasting varieties and regions

Advancement of grape maturity – comparison between contrasting varieties and regions


Context and purpose of the study – Grapevine phenology has advanced across many regions, nationally and internationally, in recent decades under the influence of increasing temperatures, resulting in earlier vintages (Jones and Davis, 2000, Petrie and Sadras, 2008, Tomasi et al., 2011, Webb et al., 2011. Earlier vintages have several ramifications for the wine industry. There are direct implications on quality, due to the fruit ripening during the hotter conditions of summer and early autumn, which then impacts grape composition and wine style (Sadras et al., 2013, Buttrose et al., 1971, Mira de Ordũna, 2010). There are also indirect implications where the fruit is perceived to ripen at a faster rate and the crop reach optimum maturity over a shorter period (Coulter et al., 2016). This can result in the grapes being harvested according to the winery processing schedule rather than when they are optimally ripe. This study aims to advance our understanding of the response of different varieties and regions to warming temperatures.

Materials and Methods – This research utilized an historical data set, covering 18 years, multiple varieties and four separate vineyard sites located in different climatic zones in Victoria, Australia. The data were analysed using mixed models to understand differences in the day of year maturity changes between varieties and vineyard sites.

Results – The data analysis suggested that the rate of advancement of day of maturity as a function of seasonal Growing Degree Days (September to March) varies significantly between varieties with some varieties being quite resistant to the temperature increases being experienced. There is some evidence that later ripening varieties are advancing their day of year maturity at a more rapid rate than earlier ripening varieties which helps to explain the vintage compression being observed in Australia. While yield had a significant association with the day of year maturity for some varieties, this was found to be an additional effect and not at the expense of the response to temperature indices. An understanding of how different varieties are responding to changing climates will assist in future planting decisions and determine how to best adapt to climate change. It will also demonstrate the degree of genetic variation available in modern grape varieties in response to changing vineyard climates, which varieties are the most resilient and how they may best be managed.


Publication date: September 27, 2023

Issue: GiESCO 2019

Type: Poster


Wendy CAMERON1, Sigfredo FUENTES1*, EWR BARLOW1, Kate HOWELL1 and Paul R. PETRIE2

1 University of Melbourne, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, VIC 3010, Australia

2 South Australian Research and Development Institute, Waite Research Precinct, Urrbrae, SA 5064, Australia

Contact the author


day of year maturity, growing degree day, spring index


GiESCO | GiESCO 2019 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Physiological and growth reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt to row orientation and soil water status

Advanced knowledge on grapevine row orientation is required to improve establishment, management and outcomes of vineyards on terroirs with different environmental conditions (climate, soil, topography) and in view of a future change to more extreme climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological and viticultural reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.

Effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California

San Joaquin Valley accounts for 40% of wine grape acreage and produces 70% of wine grape in California. Fruit quality is one of most important factors which impact the economical sustainability of farming wine grapes in this region. Due to the recent drought and expected labor cost increase, the wine industry is thrilled to understand how to improve fruit quality while maintaining the yield with less water and labor input. The present study aims to study the interactive effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on yield and berry compositions of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California.

The effects of cane girdling on berry texture properties and the concentration of some aroma compounds in three table grape cultivars

The marketability of the table grapes is highly influenced by the consumer demand; therefore the market value of the table grapes is mainly characterized by its berry size, colour, taste and texture. Girdling could cause accumulation of several components in plants above the ringing of the phloem including clusters and resulting improved maturity. The aim of the experiments was to examine the effect of girdling on berry texture characteristics and aroma concentration.

Application of a fluorescence-based method to evaluate the ripening process and quality of Pinot Blanc grape

The chemical composition of grape berries at harvest is one of the most important factors that should be considered to produce high quality wines. Among the different chemical classes which characterize the grape juice, the polyphenolic compound, such as flavonoids, contribute to the final taste and color of wines. Recently, an innovative non-destructive method, based on chlorophyll fluorescence, was developed to estimate the phenolic maturity of red grape varieties through the evaluation of anthocyanins accumulated in the berry skin. To date, only few data are available about the application of this method on white grape varieties.

Different yield regulation strategies in semi-minimal-pruned hedge (SMPH) and impact on bunch architecture

Yields in the novel viticulture training system Semi-Minimal-Pruned Hedge (SMPH) are generally higher compared to the traditional Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). Excessive yields have a negative impact on the vine and wine quality, which can result in substantial losses in yield in subsequent vintages (alternate bearing) or penalties in fruit quality. Therefore yield regulation is essential. The bunch architecture in SMPH differs from VSP. Generally there is a higher amount but smaller bunches with lower single berry weights in SMPH compared to VSP.