The WineGB Viticulture Technical Conference 2018 took place on Thursday 22nd November at Denbies Wine Estate. It was attended by over 150 delegates.

Download the electronic brochure: WineGB Viticulture Conf brochure pdf

The next WineGB Technical Conference will take place  November 2019.   Details will be posted on this website

Expert Speakers: 

Dr Glen Creasy

Dr Moustafa Salim
(University of Geisenheim)

Dr Julien Lecourt
(NIAB/EMR)

Rob Saunders
(AHDB & Hutchinsons)

Dr Martin Lukac
(University of Reading)

Presentations:

  • Fungi in the vineyard – but not the ones you think! – Dr Martin Lukac
  • Effect of site, soil and season on Pinot Noir vine performance and wine quality – Dr Glen Creasy
  • Controlling downy mildew and botrytis by conventional and innovative methods – Dr Moustafa Selim
  • Precision viticulture to optimise grape growing practices to the UK environment – Dr Julien Lecourt
  • Spotted Wing Drosophila – an industry perspective of current findings and future implications – Rob Saunders

The presentations are available for WineGB members.  Please log into the members area.

The conference was organised by the WineGB Viticulture Working Group.

 

PROGRAMME:

9:30 Coffee and registration
10:00 Open and Welcome
10:10 Dr Martin Lukac, Professor of Ecosystem Science, Reading University
Fungi in the vineyard – but not the ones you think!

  • Mycorrhiza, its origin and function in a plant-soil system, such as a vineyard.
  • Aspects of mycorrhizal symbiosis of interest to vine growers: water and nutrient uptake and pathogen resistance.
  • Arbuscular mycorrhizas key role in all of these processes -key findings from vineyards, evidence from other permanent crops and areas for future research which could benefit wine production.
11:00 Dr Glen Creasy
Effect of site, soil and season on Pinot Noir vine performance and wine quality

  • Introduction: Pinot noir in the New Zealand context; Direct vs. indirect soil effects; Irrigation effects; Waipara as a test bed
  • The trial: Three sites +/- irrigation-reduction treatments.
  • Findings: Vine responses across sites/irrigation; Grape composition changes; Wine composition changes (aroma, some sensory).
  • Conclusions: Vines are very plastic and can adapt to new situations; Reduction in applied water had a relatively small effect on fruit; Wine ester-related aroma compounds were most affects by site and treatment; Sensory analysis suggests that site and vintage have larger effects on wine compared to irrigation-reduction.
11:50 Refreshments
12:15 Dr Moustaf Selim, Researcher, University of Geisenheim
Controlling downy mildew and botrytis by conventional and innovative methods

  • A brief overview on the effect of climate change on grapevine fungal diseases
  • Berry sensitivity to different pathogens during development
  • Conventional and innovative methods in controlling downy mildew
  • Effect of climate change (in the last years) on grey (bunch) rot
  • Effect of climate change on grapevine harvest
  • Conventional and innovative methods in controlling grey (bunch) rot
  • Esca: an old/new emerging disease under climate change.
13:05 Morning Panel Discussion
13:25 Research posters by NIAB-EMR and Plumpton College. Visit the WineGB Patrons stands.
Buffet lunch
14:40 Dr Julien Le Court, Head of viticulture research, NIAB-EMR
Precision viticulture to optimise grape growing practices to the UK environment

  • Precision viticulture is a management concept based on measuring and adapting growing practices to inter and intra-vineyard variability in yield and quality.
  • The main goal of precision viticulture research is to define decision support systems (DSS) for whole farm management with the goal of optimising returns on inputs while preserving resources. This concept implies that the cross-effects of the climate and plant physiology on berry and wine quality needs to be measured to optimise growing practices for the UK climate(s).
  • This presenation will focus on the research findings at NIAB EMR, with an overview of the newly funded projects
15:30 Rob Saunders, AHDB and Agronomist with H.L Hutchinson
Spotted Wing Drosophila – An industry perspective of current findings and future implications

  • Profile of Drosophila suzukii; a relative newcomer to the UK, and much more destructive than the native Drosophila melanogaster.
  • Growers will gain an understanding of its identification, favoured habitat, lifecycle, implications and control strategies.
16:20 Refreshments
16:45 Afternoon Panel Discussion
17:05 Launch of Vineyard Manager of the Year Awards and presentation from last winner, Luke Spalding, Ridgeview Wine Estate

Jim Newsome and introduction to the WineGB Yield Project

17:20-17:30 Close

THE SPEAKERS:

Dr Glen Creasy
Title: Effect of site, soil and season on Pinot Noir vine performance and wine quality
The presentation:
Introduction: Pinot noir in the New Zealand context; Direct vs. indirect soil effects; Irrigation effects; Waipara as a test bed
The trial: Three sites +/- irrigation-reduction treatments.
Findings: Vine responses across sites/irrigation; Grape composition changes; Wine composition changes (aroma, some sensory).
Conclusions: Vines are very plastic and can adapt to new situations; Reduction in applied water had a relatively small effect on fruit; Wine ester-related aroma compounds were most affects by site and treatment; Sensory analysis suggests that site and vintage have larger effects on wine compared to irrigation-reduction.
Dr Glen Creasy earned his Plant Science degree at Cornell University, which then segued into a Masters and PhD in viticulture at Oregon State University, followed by two years as a post-doc with the NSW Department of Agriculture in Australia. He took a position at Lincoln University in New Zealand in 1998, where he lectured and did research before moving to southern France in early 2018. Glen has penned many industry articles and book chapters, contributed entries in the Oxford Companion to Wine and with his Dad, Leroy, co-authored the book ‘Grapes’, the second edition of which has just been published. Glen established and managed a small commercial vineyard for sparkling wine production in New Zealand, but is seguing into larger scale production in France with the purchase of a vineyard/winery.

Dr Moustafa Selim
Researcher, University of Geisenheim
Title: Controlling downy Mildew and Botrytis rot by conventional and innovative methods
The presentation:
A brief overview on the effect of climate change on grapevine fungal diseases

  • Berry sensitivity to different pathogens during development
  • Conventional and innovative methods in controlling downy mildew
  • Effect of climate change (in the last years) on grey (bunch) rot
  • Effect of climate change on grapevine harvest
  • Conventional and innovative methods in controlling grey (bunch) rot
  • Esca: an old/new emerging disease under climate change.

Dr Moustafa Selim has an MSc in molecular plant breeding, Giessen Uni, Germany and PhD in molecular plant pathology, from Giessen Uni, Germany. His PhD topic covered the elicitation of grapevine defence responses against Plasmopara viticola (the causal agent of downy mildew). The project aimed at reducing the copper-fungicides input in viticulture to avoid or reduce health and environmental negative effects of conventional/chemical protection methods.
Post-doc: since 2013 at Hochschule Geisenheim University, Dr Selim has been working on grapevine fungal diseases, mainly downy mildew and botrytis. Also Esca, an emerging grapevine trunk disease.

Dr Julien Lecourt
Head of viticulture research at NIAB EMR
Title: Precision viticulture to optimise grape growing practices to the UK environment – R&D at NIAB EMR
The presentation:
Precision viticulture is a management concept based on measuring and adapting growing practices to inter and intra-vineyard variability in yield and quality. The main goal of precision viticulture research is to define decision support systems (DSS) for whole farm management with the goal of optimising returns on inputs while preserving resources. This concept implies that the cross-effects of the climate and plant physiology on berry and wine quality needs to be measured to optimise growing practices for the UK climate(s). Julien’s talk will be focusing on the last findings of his research at NIAB EMR, with an overview of the newly funded projects.
Dr Julien Lecourt is the Head of viticulture research at NIAB EMR, the leading UK research centre in horticulture. Julien joined NIAB EMR in 2014 after the completion of his PhD at the University of Bordeaux. His PhD work focused on the rootstock effect on vines nitrogen uptake and allocation within the plant. Julien leads several large projects funded by the government, mainly Innovate UK, EU and AHDB grants focusing on optimising fruit production through the manipulation of crop systems and especially canopy management. Julien is also the technical manager of the NIAB EMR Viticulture R&D Consortium which gathers the top-leading UK vineyards to carry research activities aiming at increasing British vineyards performance.

Dr Martin Lukac
Professor of Ecosystem Science, Reading University
Title: Fungi in the vineyard – but not the ones you think
The presentation: 
Martin will introduce mycorrhiza, its origin and function in a plant-soil system, such as a vineyard. He will then focus on several aspects of mycorrhizal symbiosis which are of interest to vine growers: water and nutrient uptake and pathogen resistance. Arbuscular mycorrhizas have a key role to play in all of these processes, he will point out key findings from vineyards, draw in evidence from other permanent crops and indicate areas for future research which could benefit wine production.
Dr Martin Lukac has a degree in forestry and a PhD in ecology from Bangor. His early research was on tree root and mycorrhiza growth in elevated CO2, followed by studying various aspects of root productivity and resource uptake efficiency in forests and crop systems. Lately, the research is expanding into figuring out how soil biodiversity contributes to system stability is a range of ecosystems from natural woodlands all the way to agricultural crops. He teaches forestry, climate change impacts on agriculture and background to ecosystem service agenda.

Rob Saunders MSc
Agronomist with HL Hutchinson and AHDB board member
Title: Spotted Wing Drosophila – An industry perspective of current findings and future implications.
The presentation:
The profile of Drosophila suzukii; a relative newcomer to the UK, and much more destructive than the native Drosophila melanogaster.  Growers will gain an understanding of its identification, favoured habitat, lifecycle, implications and control strategies.
Rob Saunders  is committee member of the WineGB viticulture working group, Horticultural Agronomist with H.L. Hutchinson, and board member of AHDB horticulture