HORT*3430 DE Wine-Grape Culture

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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.

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.

Pre-Requisite(s): AGR*2470 or BOT*2100
Co-Requisite(s): None
Restriction(s): None
Method of Delivery: Online

Take Home Final Exam:

  • Available Date: Monday April 10
  • Due Date: Wednesday April 19 11:59 pm ET
  • Location: Take-home final exam to be submitted via the DropBox tool in CourseLink


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:

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 10%)


Discussion Reports

15% (2 x 5% + 5%)


Major Paper
(Outline + Final)

35% (10% + 25%)


Final Exam


Additional Notes:
Assessment Descriptions
There will be two quizzes, one each at the end of week 6 and week 10. Each quiz will consist of 20 short answer questions, drawn randomly for each student from the Self-Test Questions presented at the end of each unit. You have 90 minutes to complete each quiz. Ensure to review your answers carefully before submitting your quiz, as you will only have one attempt at each.
Throughout the online units of the course, you will be presented with various discussion activities, entitled Open for Discussion. These activities will include several broad questions that you will discuss with the class. These questions will be both philosophical and practical, and take the unit subject matter to a more general or applied level. You will be asked to write a short summary of one topic discussed in weeks 1 through 5 and another summary of a topic discussed in weeks 6 through 9. Reports are due Week 5 and Week 9.
Major Project
During the first two weeks of your course, you will be asked to choose a topic related to one of the unit subjects, detailed under Assessments. It is not relevant whether the unit has been discussed in the course yet when you choose your topic.
Once your topic is chosen, you will be assigned one or two recently published scientific papers pertinent to that general topic. Your task is to discuss this (these) papers in light of the material presented in the course units. You are also expected to search the literature for a minimum of five (5) additional papers related to this topic. A critical analysis is to be drawn as to their relevance, appropriate methodology and their eventual application to practical vineyard production, with Ontario as an example, if appropriate. In addition, you will be asked to design an experiment to expand or pursue unanswered/controversial topics from your literature search. Outline is due Week 5 and project Week 12. Select Content on the navbar to locate Assessments in the table of contents panel to review further details of the Major Project
Take Home Final Exam
This course requires you to submit a take-home final exam to the DropBox tool in CourseLink. The exam will consist of several broad questions regarding vineyard management and viticulture in general. You will be asked to write a brief essay on your choice of four of the subjects, guided by supplementary questions within that subject. Broad referencing is encouraged.
Select Content on the navbar to locate Assessments in the table of contents panel to review further details of the final exam.
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:

The course has a take-home final exam.

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 may 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. 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 six 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.
Obtaining Grades and Feedback
Unofficial assessment marks will be available in the Grades tool of the course website.
Your instructor will have grades posted online within 2 weeks of the submission deadline, if the assignment was submitted on time. Once your assignments are marked you can view your grades on the course website by selecting Grades from the Tools dropdown menu on the navbar. Your course will remain open to you for seven days following the last day of the final exam period.
University of Guelph degree students can access their final grade by logging into WebAdvisor (using your U of G central ID). Open Learning program students should log in to the OpenEd Student Portal to view their final grade (using the same username and password you have been using for your courses).
Rights and Responsibilities When Learning Online
For distance education (DE) courses, the course website is considered the classroom and the same protections, expectations, guidelines, and regulations used in face-to-face settings apply, plus other policies and considerations that come into play specifically because these courses are online.
For more information on your rights and responsibilities when learning in the online environment, visit Rights and Responsibilities.
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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Your responses will not affect your grade.  Course evaluation data are distributed to individual instructors after final grades have been submitted to the Registrar, following the completion of each academic semester.

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