Designer Grapevines for World Premium Wine, funded by the Foundation for Research Science and Technology and New Zealand Winegrowers, is an integrated research programme aimed at delivering to the wine industry the tools, technologies and protocols required to ensure the long-term success of New Zealand’s high-quality, ultra premium wines. The programme brings together viticulturists, plant physiologists, molecular biologists and biochemists from Plant & Food Research and Lincoln University, alongside a dedicated technology transfer manager from New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW).
The Designer Grapevines programme aims are to understand the causes and consequences of variability in fruit composition and the effect that this variability has on style. The fundamental hypothesis is that differences in the timing and duration of the developmental stages of individual berries, from flower initiation to harvest, are the key drivers determining variability. Controlling and eventually managing this variation will result in greater synchrony of berry development and provide the industry with decision support tools in the production of premium wines.