Jean Dodson Peterson, Federico Casassa
Typically, most winegrape cultivars (Vitis vinifera L.) are commercially planted with the expectation being economically productive for 25 years. Generally, the longer the vines are kept in production, the larger the profit margin potential. Despite the economic advantage of prolonged production at a specific vineyard site, damage and decline by the root aphid, phylloxera (Daktulospaira vitifoliae Fitch), nematodes, wood root diseases, and/or poor management practices are all factors that contribute to decreasing vineyard lifespans. In addition to the aforementioned issues, natural reproductive and vegetative decline in old vines can also contribute to this trend. As a result of the rarity, production difficulty, and perceived increase of wine quality, “old” vines have become increasingly sought after by the industry and consumers. Few studies have examined role vine age has in phenological development or wine chemical and sensory attributes. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of vine age on viticultural and enological factors in Vitis vinifera L. cv. Zinfandel.
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