Evaluation of the Influence of Common Viticultural Practices on the Chemical and Sensory Characteristics of Wines

The goal of this project is to find critical viticultural parameters that affect the chemical and sensory characteristics of the final wine. Once these parameters are identified, winemakers and vineyard managers can use computational methods developed in our lab in order to suggest the best vineyard practices to use to achieve specific target characteristics in their final wine. We are taking two complementary approaches to this problem. First, we are developing tools for searching through large existing databases of viticultural information to find the most critical factors. A Decision Tree Analysis algorithm has been developed in our lab for this purpose. Second, we are producing Cabernet Sauvignon wines from existing viticultural trials at the Oakville Experimental Station. The 37 wines from the 2000 harvest are made from grapes harvested from vines differing in parameters such as rootstock, irrigation, trellis, pruning, row orientation, and vine density. Juice analysis has begun on these wines, and wine analysis will commence as soon as the processing is completed.