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Comments & Reviews

January 17, 2007 | Daniel Rotlisberger

Good post. From the "viticultural" view, I can understand the outcome of this research. So much research and development has gone into new and improved trellis systems that maximize grape leaf sunlight interception (eg Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) systems). This increased sunlight interception by the leaves allows for the vine to properly mature a higher yield of fruit than the conventional "California Sprawl" systems. The vineyard owners/manager that implement a VSP type of trellis, and also thin the grapes excessively, will cause more "green" flavors in the grapes because of the decreased amount of fruit that the green flavors produced by normal leaf metabolic processes can be spread out over. This can be confirmed by the research of Chapman, D. M. et.al. "Sensory Attributes of Cabernet Sauvignon Wines Made from Vines with Different Crop Yields", in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (Volume 55, Number 4). Hope I did not go too of course on this post...

January 23, 2007 | Ben Bicais

Hi Socowineguy, thanks for mentioning that article, fascinating read. I was particularly struck by Chapman, Matthews, and Guinard’s conclusion that, “the way a given similar yield was achieved had an impact on the sensory results.” They go on to say that pruning leads to, “more astringent, more vegetal, and less fruity” characteristics. Cluster thinning, on the other hand, has “little effect on wine aromas.” All of this confirms that assuming a proportional relationship between lower yields and higher quality is far too basic a view.

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