A close-up of a bunch of grapes

Ripe on time: adapting wine grapes to climate change

CSIRO researchers have uncovered a technique which uses naturally occurring plant growth regulators found in all plants to delay ripening of grapes. (4:58)

  • 12 November 2010

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This overcomes an increasing issue of varieties ripening within a shorter timeframe and also unevenly on the same bunch.

The first issue causes logistics problems when wineries must handle a surge of ripe grapes in a much shorter time than they used to and this places pressure on availability of labour, vehicles and winery infrastructure.

The second issue of uneven berry ripening within a particular bunch causes problems for growers trying to optimise the picking time to ensure full sugar and flavour development.

If you have half the berries green and half fully ripe, then you run the risk of the ripe ones going too far or else you get unripe berries in the batch which can carry unwanted flavours that disappear as they ripen.

In this podcast Dr Chris Davies from CSIRO Plant Industry explains how this technique may present a relatively easy and effective method of better controlling ripening.

Read more at Time is ripe for wine grapes.