Understanding Pinot Noir Grape and Wine Aroma Composition as a result of changes in Vine Balance, year 1 of a 3

Vine balance is important in determining fruit and wine composition. Excessive canopy density is known to produce unbalanced musts, resulting in poor wine quality. In Oregon, crop thinning is normally conducted between fruit set and lag phase to increase the leaf area: fruit weight ratio in order to prevent over cropping, as well as to improve fruit size and composition. Earlier studies have shown that cluster thinning reduces fruit yield and increases the berry weight, soluble solids, and color of table grapes. However, the impacts of the timing and severity of cluster thinning on subsequent berry growth and fruit flavor composition has not been widely investigated. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate such effects in association with grape and wine aroma composition in Pinot noir grapes and wine. Preliminary results indicated that crop thinning had very limited impact on the grape major volatile composition analyzed in 2011 and 2012. However, the composition of other minor and important compounds, such as methoxypyrizes, are still under investigation.