Fermentable Nitrogen – Better to Manage in the Vineyard or Winery?

Fermentable nitrogen can be managed in the vineyard through vine nitrogen additions or in the winery through amendments. There has been a preference of winemakers to avoid nitrogen additions in the winery, opting for nitrogen management in the vineyard. However, many growers are concerned about adding nitrogen in the vineyard for fear of overly vigorous vines and potential for reduced wine quality. This session will share results of a multi-year, multi-vintage study where nitrogen applications were made in the vineyard and winery to adjust fermentable nitrogen levels of the fruit and must. Viticulture, wine production, and sensory results will be shared, including a technical tasting.

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Speaker Bios

Dr. Patty Skinkis is the viticulture extension specialist and an associate professor at Oregon State University. Patty conducts applied research and provides outreach and education programs for the Oregon winegrape industry. Her research program focuses on applied viticulture and whole plant physiology studies designed to understand causes and management of vine vigor / vine balance and impacts on fruit composition and wine quality. Her research also includes work on bud fruitfulness, yield management, fine-tuning canopy management methods, sustainable viticulture production, and understanding factors that drive industry production decision-making. As extension specialist, Patty develops educational programs and informational publications for the industry statewide. Her outreach efforts include bringing industry members together in technical groups to foster information exchange between university and industry. Her efforts in outreach expand beyond Oregon, as she is involved in national extension efforts and serves as vice president of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.
Dr. James Osborne is an associate professor and enology extension specialist in the Food Science and Technology Department at Oregon State University and a member of the Oregon Wine Research Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Washington State University in 2005 researching interactions between wine yeast and malolactic bacteria, after which he spent time in his native New Zealand working at the University of Auckland and Delegat Winery. His current research focuses on the impact of wine microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria, Brettanomyces, and non-Saccharomyces yeast on wine quality. James is the statewide enology extension specialist for Oregon providing outreach programs for the Oregon wine industry. This includes the development of industry workshops and seminars to aid in the transfer of relevant research results to commercial application as well as technical workshops focused on various enology topics. In addition, James teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in support of the enology and viticulture program at Oregon State University.
Dr. Paul Schreiner is a research plant physiologist at the USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory in Corvallis and conducts research on root and nutrient physiology of grapevines, including the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Current research goals are to: 1) characterize nutrient requirements of grapevines based on physiological performance and fruit and wine quality attributes; 2) understand how management practices influence root and AMF development, diversity of AMF in roots, and vine performance; and 3) understand how other soil organisms alter root and AMF functions in vineyards. Paul received a B.S. in biochemistry in 1985 and a Ph.D. in plant physiology in 1992, both from Penn State University. Paul has worked on mycorrhizal fungi since 1988 and on grapevine physiology since 1999. He has published 50+ peer-reviewed research papers and 40+ other publications.

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