Ontario’s $3.3-billion grape and wine sector represents half of the Canadian industry, and preventing winter injury to grape vines is a constant concern.
That’s why Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is taking steps to avoid millions of dollars worth of cold-weather damage. By working with local wine grape growers and Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc., the institute is dedicated to the advancement of the Canadian grape and wine industry, helping to solve problems unique to the industry. Through its various programs, a 2016 report demonstrates the CCOVI contributed more than $91-million and the equivalent of 307 jobs to Ontario’s economy in 2014-15.
These programs include Vine Alert, where grape growers are provided with comparative levels of bud hardiness for cultivars at different locations throughout the dormant period, which assists grape growers in managing winter injury. VineAlert helps Ontario’s grape industry avoid up to $13.8 million in lost sales from a single severe cold weather event, as well as $11.7 million in lost sales while damaged vines recover in subsequent years, and $29.1 million in vine renewal and replacement costs.
In addition, the Tender Fruit Alert program provides tender fruit growers with comparative levels of bud hardiness for different fruit types and commodities.
Recently, the CCOVI announced a partnership with the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN) to produce certified, virus-free grapevines for grape growers.
For more information, visit the CCOVI.