The Oregon Wine Board is working to increase the impact of its research initiatives this year by committing to fund a project that builds new collaborations and develops new technology to enhance our knowledge base for three years. By doing so, the OWB will increase the impact and overall power of its research funding efforts, encouraging research projects that yield more useful information for the Oregon wine industry.
The OWB research committee made this recommendation in order to find a new way to encourage applicants to think bigger in scope, assemble more powerful collaborations and ask more impactful research questions. To reward an investigator for addressing the points above, the OWB will guarantee more funding over a longer period of time, thereby assuring the project’s success. Furthermore, by fostering the ability to develop a project of this scope, researchers will also collaborate closely with other wine research principals and members of the wine industry.
Dr. Paul Schreiner, research plant physiologist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis, proposed to expand his previous work on the effects of nitrogen on vine growth and fruit composition with the larger question of how to best manage nitrogen inputs in the vineyard and winery to balance productivity and fruit quality with fermentation success and the quality of the wine. To achieve this, Dr. Schreiner will work with wine quality and sensory evaluation researchers’ over the course of the three years. In total, six investigators will work on this project, all of whom are associated with the Oregon Wine Research Institute and together have an aggregate of more than 80 years of wine research experience.
Dr. Schreiner’s research addresses the fundamental issue of whether wine quality can be enhanced more effectively by boosting vine nitrogen status via fertilization or by maintaining lower vine nitrogen status in the vineyard but boosting must nitrogen in the winery. This work will be conducted in both Pinot noir and Chardonnay, as it is suspected that red wine quality and white wine quality may differ in response to nitrogen manipulation. The Oregon wine industry will benefit by understanding how to best manage nitrogen inputs to create optimal wines, maintain productivity and reduce the environmental impact of wine production. The OWB will update members of the industry about the progress of this project in June 2017. For questions, contact John Pratt, OWB research committee chair, or Paul Schreiner.