One of the research projects being funded by the Pierce’s Disease Glassy Winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Board is taking a closer look at grapevine red blotch virus. The three-year project based at UC Davis will be investigating grape cell wall composition. The cell wall contains many of the precursors for the compounds that help determine flavor in a wine. Researchers are aiming to better understand how red blotch virus interferes with the development of important compounds impacting flavor profile.
“Red blotch and leaf roll inhibit the formation of many of those compounds and where all the compounds end up usually after veraison,” said Steve McIntyre, Chair of the PD/GWSS Board. “Some of those things that we want to end up in the wine, end up in the leaves and that’s why the leaves turn red for one thing. So, this is a study looking at the impacts and how we might mitigate those impacts and potentially be able to make better wine out of grapes that are infected with red lead viruses.”
Listen to the radio report below.