HORT*3430 DE Wine-Grape Culture

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2022 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.

The history and impact of grape-growing in the New World will be presented and studied. Grape (Vitis) taxonomy (ampelography) and physiology will be studied as it relates to the Old World/New World wine growing. The physiology of fruiting and vegetative balance for managing wine quality in the vineyard will be studied in detail, especially as it pertains to cool climate and northern limit grape growing for premium wine quality. End product management and wine regions of the world will be briefly discussed.


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:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Discuss the role of many Vitis species in the development and maintenance of the modern wine market;
  2. Discuss the role of cropping/vegetative balance in a vineyard in terms of physiological principles;
  3. Discuss the relationship between vineyard management and wine quality, especially under challenging climatic conditions;
  4. Make better informed decisions about the role of ‘terroir’ and/or site selections in vineyard performance and perceived fruit/wine quality
  5. Develop a well-documented, critical discussion paper concerning a specific physiological aspect of the cultivated grapevine, using good 

Lecture Content:

The history and impact of grape-growing in the New World will be presented and studied. Grape (Vitis) taxonomy (ampelography) and physiology will be studied as it relates to the Old World/New World wine growing. The physiology of fruiting and vegetative balance for managing wine quality in the vineyard will be studied in detail, especially as it pertains to cool climate and northern limit grape growing for premium wine quality. A short discussion of end product management and wine region of the world will round out the course.

Topics to be covered include:

Unit 1: Grape history

Unit 2: Anatomy of a grapevine

Unit 3: Developmental physiology

Unit 4: Soil and Terroir

Unit 5: Vineyard planning

Unit 6: Vine balance

Unit 7: Vineyard management I: The young vineyard

Unit 8: Vineyard management II: The mature vineyard

Unit 9: Vineyard management III: The problem vineyard

Unit 10: End product management

Unit 11: World wine regions


Labs & Seminars:




Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Mark Learning Outcomes Assessed

On-Line Quizzes (2)

20% (2 x 5%)


Discussion Reports

15% (2 x 5% + 5%)


Major Paper
(Outline + Final)

35% (10% + 25%)


Comprehensive Written Exam


Additional Notes:

Some assistance to be provided for those unfamiliar with the scientific literature.

During the first three weeks, a topic of interest will be chosen by the each student, derived essentially from the topics of the various weekly units. Once chosen, a recent, peer reviewed paper will be assigned as the basis for the student major paper. The student will summarize an assessment of the content, including other opinions from the literature and develop an experiment to demonstrate an application to Ontario viticulture. This will integrate the lecture information with the science available in the literature and apply it directly to the local commercial environment.

Final examination:

Please refer to Web Advisor for exam schedule and location.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:


  1. Wine grape production guide for eastern North America
    Author(s): T.K. Wolf (editor).
    Publisher: Natural Resources, Agriculture and Engineering Services (NRAES), Co-operative Extension, P.O. Box 4557, Ithaca, NY  14852-4557 (2008)
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:


Course Website

CourseLink (powered by D2L’s Brightspace) is the course website and will act as your classroom. It is recommended that you log in to your course website every day to check for announcements, access course materials, and review the weekly schedule and assignment requirements.


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


Other Resources:

Papers from the scientific literature as assigned.

Field Trips:


Additional Costs:


Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

All assignments for this course should be submitted electronically via the online Dropbox tool.

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 six days at which time access to the Dropbox folder will be closed.

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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