HORT*1120 DE Grape and Wine Science

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2023 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This course will examine whole plant physiology as illustrated by the perennial system of a grapevine. Students will investigate all the primary functions of a green plant, with each function then related to a grapevine and how it functions in nature. Each function of the vine will be connected to the ultimate effects on fruit quality and by extension, wine quality throughout the course.

Pre-Requisite(s): None
Co-Requisite(s): None
Restriction(s): HORT*3430. Not acceptable for students in the BSC, BSC(Agr) or BSC(Env) programs.
Method of Delivery: Online


Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Undergraduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture


Distance Education

Semester Offering:

  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

This course is offered through Distance Education format only.

Learning outcomes:

This course will be a journey through the life of a grapevine, exploring all the fundamentals of its existence as a green plant. A plant responds to its natural environment and, as a cultivated plant, to the conditions and restraints imposed by the vine grower. The response of this plant results in fruit and eventually wine of different qualities and character. The connections among plant physiology, the environment and the producer’s manipulation of the vineyard environment in an agricultural context will be explored and related back to that amazing beverage – wine.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
  1. Analyze vineyard problems (e.g., diseases, pests, poor leaf canopy, nutrition and soil/water issues) that could impact final grape and wine quality/flavours and suggest vineyard management strategies to solve them;
  2. Analyze the red and white wine making processes to identify the critical junctures at which winemakers can manipulate the characteristics of the final product;
  3. Discuss where grapes and wine fit into Old World and New World history;
  4. Describe grape families, their anatomy, and propagation, including how they work at the cellular level (e.g., photosynthesis, respiration, and carbon partitioning), and the whole plant level (e.g., growth cycle of a grape vine including flowering, fruiting, and dormancy);
  5. Describe the origin of appellation systems and ‘terroir’ as used in Old versus New World wine regions;
  6. Describe winemaking techniques that can emphasize local ‘terroir’ or create ‘recipe’ wines of predictable character; and
  7. Characterize wines and other grape products through reported sensory evaluations and published criticism.

Lecture Content:

This course will consist of 12 units with a posted outline for each unit. Each unit begins with a short video introduction, after which the written text presents information on a number of topics related to the unit objectives. Learning activities, assignments, and opportunities for discussion are introduced.

  • Unit 01: Where Do Grapes Fit in History?
  • Unit 02: Where Do Grapes Fit in the Plant Kingdom?
  • Unit 03: Grapevines: How Do They Work? I
  • Unit 04: Grapevines: How Do They Work? II
  • Unit 05: Grapevines: How Do They Work? III
  • Unit 06: Grapes: What is the Connection to Wine? I
  • Unit 07: Grapes: What is the Connection to Wine? II
  • Unit 08: Wine: How Does It Work? I
  • Unit 09: Wine: How Does It Work? II
  • Unit 10: Wine: How Does It Work? III
  • Unit 11: The Ultimate End Product
  • Unit 12: Summary
Labs & Seminars:


Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Mark Learning Outcomes Assessed

Unit Quizzes (10)



Group discussions & Reports



Major written project
(outline + full paper)

Outline = 5%
Paper = 20%


Final written exam



Unit Quizzes
Each week there will be a short, multiple choice quiz, to be completed by the end of Sunday of the week in question. The weekly quizzes will be strictly on the content of that week only. The first quiz has a value of zero, since it is placed within the first week of the term while you are getting familiar with the course structure, but the questions are still of overall value to the assessment of the course. All other quizzes will be assigned a value of 2%, for a total of 20%. Students will only have one attempt for each quiz and this one attempt will be automatically timed (20 minutes) by the learning management system. Each quiz will consist of 7 multiple choice questions, randomly generated for each student from a central pool of questions for those units.

Group Discussions and Reports
Students will be assigned randomly to a discussion group, consisting of about 10-15 students. The group number assignment can be found in Groups. Select Groups from the Tools dropdown menu on the navbar.

Each group will be expected to post discussions concerning two general topics, one during weeks 2 through 4, and one during weeks 7 through 9. The discussion fora will be private and not viewable by other groups. Access to the group discussion area is through the Discussions link located in the top navigation bar. The first week of the assigned period (Week 2 or Week 7) should be used for preparing and presenting a post. The second week (Week 3 or Week 8) is for continued discussions and replies/alternate opinions shared with your colleagues, with the last discussion posts due by midnight Sunday (Week 3 or Week 8). At this point, access for further discussion posts will be closed, but existing posts within your group can be viewed for report writing. The third week is for preparing your individual report, due midnight Sunday (Week 4 or Week 9).

Students will be evaluated on their contributions to the group discussions. Students will be required to post at least one prepared original comment and develop at least one thoughtful response (not just "I agree", etc.) to another student's posting within their group. Engagement in these discussions is necessary to enable writing of the Discussion Report. See details under Assessments in CourseLink

Major Project
This will be an individual project, comprised of a short outline due at mid-term break and a full, completed paper due at the end of term class. You need to choose a grape variety to study for your project.
Your task is to discuss the following:

  • Describe the variety in relation to its centre of origin.
  • How it will be affected by moving it to another location?

You may have chosen an Old World or a New World variety. You may want to move it from the Old World to the New World, from the northern hemisphere to southern hemisphere, from the Mediterranean to a cool climate, from the Mediterranean to a tropical climate, etc. You should choose a location different from the traditional site of production or origin, preferably one where grapes are likely to survive. More details can be found under Assessments in CourseLink.

Online Final Exam
The exam will be comprehensive, covering the whole course. Questions will be grouped by subject and will be short answer format. Subjects will be presented to the class prior to the exam for preparation and choice of study material.
The final exam will be delivered online via the Content and DropBox tool.

University of Guelph degree and associate diploma students must check WebAdvisor for their examination schedule. Open Learning program students must check the Open Learning Program Final Examination Schedule for their examination schedule.

Final examination:

Please refer to WebAdvisor for exam schedule and location.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:

Title: The Production of Grapes and Wine in Cool Climates
Authors: David Jackson and Danny Schuster
Edition / Year: 2007
Publisher: Dunmore Publishing
ISBN: 9780909049171
Call number: SB388.J32

On 2-hr reserve, library use only

You may purchase the textbook at the Guelph Campus Co-op Bookstore or the University of Guelph Bookstore. Please note that DE textbooks are located in the Distance Education section of the University of Guelph Bookstore.
Recommended Texts:



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For this course, you will be required to access course reserve materials through the University of Guelph McLaughlin Library. To access these items, select Ares on the navbar in CourseLink. Note that you will need your Central Login ID and password in order to access items on reserve.
For further instructions on accessing reserve resources, visit How to Get Course Reserve Materials.
If at any point during the course you have difficulty accessing reserve materials, please contact the e-Learning Operations and Reserve Services staff at: Tel: 519-824-4120 ext. 53621 Email: libres2@uoguelph.ca Location: McLaughlin Library, First Floor, University of Guelph
Lab Manual:


Field Trips:


Additional Costs:


Course Policies:

Grading Policies:
The Discussion Reports, Major Project Outline, and Major Project Final Paper should all be submitted electronically via the online DropBox tool. When submitting your assignments using the DropBox tool, do not leave the page until your assignment has successfully uploaded. To verify that your submission was complete, you can view the submission history immediately after the upload to see which files uploaded successfully. The system will also email you a receipt. Save this email receipt as proof of submission.
Be sure to keep a back-up copy of all of your assignments in the event that they are lost in transition. In order to avoid any last-minute computer problems, your instructor strongly recommend you save your assignments to a cloud-based file storage (e.g., Google Docs), or send to your email account, so that should something happen to your computer, the assignment could still be submitted on time or re-submitted.
It is your responsibility to submit your assignments on time as specified on the Schedule. Be sure to check the technical requirements and make sure you have the proper computer, that you have a supported browser, and that you have reliable Internet access. Remember that technical difficulty is not an excuse not to turn in your assignment on time. Don’t wait until the last minute as you may get behind in your work.
If, for some reason, you have a technical difficulty when submitting your assignment electronically, please contact your instructor or CourseLink Support.
Late Policy
If you choose to submit your individual assignments to the DropBox tool late, the full allocated mark will be reduced by 5% per day after the deadline for the submission of the assignment to a limit of seven days at which time access to the DropBox folder will be closed.
Extensions will be considered for medical reasons or other extenuating circumstances. If you require an extension, discuss this with the instructor as soon as possible and well before the due date. Barring exceptional circumstances, extensions will not be granted once the due date has passed. These rules are not designed to be arbitrary, nor are they inflexible. They are designed to keep you organized, to ensure that all students have the same amount of time to work on assignments, and to help to return marked materials to you in the shortest possible time.
Course Policy on Group Work:


Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Not applicable.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students  to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.

University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS), formerly Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD), as soon as possible.

For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email sas@uoguelph.ca or visit the Student Accessibility Services website: http://www.uoguelph.ca/csd/.

Course Evaluation Information

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