Better Wines Through Science.

Better wine through science. I like this idea.

So do the Italians and the French who have together embarked on a "genome" project to create vines that they hope will result in a number of improvements including:

-vines more resistant to pests
-vines more resistant to disease
-vines that produce grapes that offer greater health benefits to drinkers
-vines that can grow in a variety of terroir previously inhospitable to grapegrowing

One wonders if in the future, as we think back to the wines we are drinking today, if we will be comparing apples and oranges. I think we will be. Yet, you can say the same about today’s wines vs. wines of 50 years ago. Technology has played a significant role in changing the character of wines. There is nothing wrong with this.

Posted In: Wine News


5 Responses

  1. news - July 27, 2005

    Italo-French vine genome project

    Phylloxera vastatrix, Black Goo and the dreaded Pierce disease. As with any agricultural product, scientists and farmers alike are always playing catch-up to Mother Nature's vast array of her own experiments. As markets and tastes shift, so…

  2. Craig Camp - July 27, 2005

    The problem with all this science is that often we seem to take out a lot of the complexity in order to get other characteristics – early ripening for example. Modern vine clones all to often produce clean, fruity wines with no defects, but that lack distinctive personality.
    A prime example of this is here in Oregon, where there has been a rush to plant newly developed French pinot noir clones (the so-called Dijon clones like 777)as they ripen more reliably in cool climates. These clones produce clean fruit-forward wines, but lack in complex aromatics. Older clones, like Pommard, provide loads of non-fruit driven complexity, but ripens later at the same crop load as the Dijon clones.

  3. Jim Caudill - July 27, 2005

    Ah, Tommy, Matanzas has replanted Chardonnay. JSJ is pulling Merlot from across the street at Jackson Park, as well as elsewhere.

  4. tom - July 27, 2005

    How do you take the merlot out of Mantazas Creek? I just dont’ get it.

  5. Al - July 28, 2005

    Craig :
    I think that it’s the winemakers who are responsible for any lack of distinctive personalities in Oregon’s wines.
    They are also largely responsible for the lack of defects – & I applaud them for that.
    Only so much can be attributed to clonal selection, and the heavy hand of the vintner plays a much larger role in the final product.

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