a tool that measures the cold-hardiness of grapevines and warns growers when to turn on their frost-fighting wind machines, protecting crops and the local economy.
Ontario’s $3.3-billion grape and wine sector represents half of the Canadian industry, and preventing winter injury to grape vines is a constant concern. That’s why Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is taking steps to avoid millions of dollars worth of cold-weather damage. Working with local wine grape growers and Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc., Brock researchers developed VineAlert, a program that measures the cold hardiness of grapevines and warns growers when to turn on their frost-fighting wind machines.
VineAlert helps Ontario’s grape industry avoid up to $13.8 million in lost sales from a single severe cold weather event, as well as $11.7 million in lost sales while damaged vines recover in subsequent years, and $29.1 million in vine renewal and replacement costs.