A six-year University of California, Davis, study indicates that changing vineyard training and trellis systems can protect grapes from extreme heat waves and other effects of climate change.

One of the most common training systems in U.S. viticulture, vertical shoot positioning uses wires to push leaves and branches upward to afford lower-hanging clusters more sun exposure, according to a news release from UC Davis.

However, those grapes then don’t receive any shade, causing detrimental effects during heat waves, according to a team of researchers led by Kaan Kurtural, professor of viticulture and enology and an extension specialist at UC Davis.

Kurtural concluded that a single high-wire trellis system instead allows the vine leaves to shade the grapes without reducing color or quality, the news release said.

Kurtural and his colleagues published the study in the Frontiers in Plant Science journal. To read more, visit: frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2022.1015574/abstract.

by Ross Courtney