Research

The effects of elevation on winegrape growth, physiology, fruit and wine composition, and vineyard management and winemaking practices are topics that have not been widely investigated. Presented here are the collected abstracts, bibliographic information and – whenever possible – links to full article downloads for published research that addresses these topics. We hope you’ll find it a helpful database and invite feedback or suggestions for additional entries.

In order to identify and summarize this relevant research as well as to determine future research needs, the Elevation of Wine offered two grants of $1,000 each to students at the University of California at Davis and at California State University at Fresno. With the guidance of university faculty, the students searched the major scientific literature databases to compile lists of current scientific research on high elevation topics from around the world. The two groups carried out literature research on different aspects of high elevation viticulture and winemaking, and each group compiled a literature list containing bibliographic information and abstracts of the scientific papers that were found.

At U.C. Davis, Sallie Hess, a graduate student working with Dr. David Smart, Professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, searched for scientific research on high elevation vineyard management, vine physiology, and grape and wine composition and quality. At C.S.U. Fresno, Willow Corson and Jeremiah Timm, two undergraduate students under the guidance of Dr. Robert Wample, Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, focused on the effects of UV radiation levels and climate differences related to elevation on vine physiology and grape and wine composition.

The complete bibliographies with abstracts are available as PDF downloads below. We hope the findings and recommendations from the two scientific literature searches will also provide a foundation for discussions on future needs in high elevation viticultural and enological research. The Elevation of Wine aims to continue promoting high altitude viticultural and enological research and to act as a clearinghouse for vintners from around the world.


High Elevation Viticulture and Winemaking Scientific Literature Search

Compiled by Willow Corson and Jeremiah Timm, Fresno State University. Download the PDF

The Fresno State group focused their viticulture and enology literature search on UV radiation, climate change, cold hardiness and altitude effects. The literature found through their search has been organized into 5 categories:


High Elevation Viticulture and Winemaking Literature Review

Compiled by Sallie Hess, UC Davis. Download the PDF

The annotated list is separated into four main topics: vineyard establishment, vineyard management, plant physiology, and grape composition/wine quality. In a few cases, papers were relevant to more than one category, so an unannotated listing can be found in the second relevant category with a note as to where to find the abstract. There are a few papers not directly related to viticulture, but with interesting implications to plant and soil responses to slopes and altitude, so they were included. Also, following the categorized, annotated list is an unannotated alphabetical (by author) bibliography.