Sixteen years of cold-climate cultivar evaluation
Production of grapes and wines in Nebraska faces significant challenges, including diverse geophysical conditions, a continental climate and extremes of precipitation. Selection of genotypes appropriate for production of grapes suitable for quality wine production in Nebraska involved initiation of research plantings of over 100 cultivars and selections on four test vineyard sites, three in eastern Nebraska and one in western Nebraska. Studies included observations of time of spring bud burst (and resultant cold temperature damage in some years), winter survival, phenoxy herbicide tolerance, disease susceptibility, harvest parameters and yield. Based upon data acquired from 1998 through 2013, genotypes have been rated for potential for commercial vineyard establishment. By combining data on winter survival, tolerance to stresses, and fruit and wine characteristics, a map of the diverse zones of the state has been constructed in which recommendations can be found for cultivar choice when considering vineyard establishment in Nebraska. This information can also be employed when contemplating changing cultivars in existing vineyards due to vine damage or because of market changes. Cultivars are listed for the specific hardiness categories and bud break characteristics, thus enabling appropriate cultivar choices to be selected for specific regions of Nebraska. Comments on wine quality from cultivars selected are also provided.
Read, P.E. and Gamet, S.J. (2016). Sixteen years of cold-climate cultivar evaluation. Acta Hortic. 1115, 23-28
Vitis spp., grapevines, cold-hardiness, hybrid grapes, stresses, bud-burst