Mitigating grapevine winter damage in cold climate areas

Rahemi A., Fisher H., Carter K., Taghavi T. (2022): Mitigating grapevine winter damage in cold climate areas. Hort. Sci. (Prague), 49: 59–70.

download PDF

Growing grapes in cool climate areas is the same front type challenging due to the high risk of winter injury. Passive and active methods can be used to reduce or prevent cold damage and protect the vineyards. Passive protection methods are generally cultural practices and performed before cold damage events, such as cultivar and rootstock selection. The proper scion-rootstock combination would ideally help the vines acclimate earlier in the fall, allowing them to withstand colder weather in the fall and winter and de-acclimate later in the spring to minimise the late spring frost damage. The introduction of new North American hybrid cultivars accompanied with other cultural practices has increased the hope for developing viticulture in areas with lower cold hardiness zones. Furthermore, active protection methods are usually performed at the time of cold damage events to protect the vineyard by preventing or reducing the loss of thermal energy from vine tissues. The objective of this manuscript is to review the viticulture challenges in cold climates and mitigate the risks with Ontario, Canada as an example of a cold climate area.

Adams D.B. (2017): Genetic analysis of cold hardiness in a population of Norton (Vitis aestivalis) and ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ (Vitis vinifera) hybrids. Missouri State University, [Ph.D. Thesis.]: 60.
Anderson J.L., Richardson E.A., Kesner C.D. (1986): Validation of chill unit and flower bud phenology models for ‘Montmorency’ sour cherry. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 184: 71–78.
Andrews P.K., Sandidge C.R., Toyama T.K. (1984): Deep supercooling of dormant and de-acclimating Vitis buds. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 35: 175–177.
Anonymous (2016): Grape growing in Minnesota, Minnesota Grape Growers Association: 183. Available at (accessed Oct 20, 2020).
Blue M. (2018): Grapevines that can handle cold temperatures. Home Guides, SF Gate. Available at (accessed Oct 18, 2018).
Bradshaw T. (2016): Growing grapes in Vermont. University of Vermont. Available at (accessed Sep 17, 2018).
Bradshaw T.L., Kingsley-Richards S.L., Foster J., Berkett L.P. (2018): Horticultural performance and juice quality of cold-climate grapes in Vermont, USA. European Journal of Horticultural Science, 83: 42–48.
CCOVI, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. (2018): Vine Alert. Brock University. St. Catherin. ON. Available at
Chien M., Moyer M. (2014): Cold injury in grapevines. Extension. Available at (accessed Sep 17, 2018).
Centinari M. (2016): Winter notes: What is going on in your vineyard right now? Pennsylvania State University. Available at (accessed June 11, 2019).
Clark M., Hemstad P., Luby J. (2017): ‘Itasca’ Grapevine, a new cold-hardy hybrid for white wine production. Horticultural Science (Prague), 52: 649–651.
Clore W.J., Wallace M.A., Fay R.D. (1974): Bud survival of grape cultivars at subzero temperature in Washington. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 25: 24–29.
Corrales-Maldanado C., Orozco-Avitia A., Vargas-Arispuro I. (2010): Organic alternative for breaking dormancy in table grapes grown in hot regions. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 5: 194–198.
Cousins P. (2005): Evolution, genetics, and breeding: Viticultural applications of the origins of our rootstocks. In: Proceedings of the Grapevine Rootstoscks: Current Use, Research and Aplication, 2005 Rootstock Symposium. Feb 5, 2005, Osage Beach, Missouri.
Črepinšek Z., Štampar F., Kajfež-Bogataj L., Solar A. (2012): The response of Corylus avellana L. phenology to rising temperature in north-eastern Slovenia. International Journal of Biometeorology, 56: 681–694.
Dami I. (2007): Freezing and survival mechanisms of grapevines. In: Proceeding of the Understanding and Preventing Freeze Damage in Vineyards, Columbia, USA: 13–20.
Dethier B.E., Shaulis N. (1964): Minimizing the hazard of cold in New York vineyards. Cornell Extension Bulletin 1127.
Dokoozlian N.K. (1999): Chilling temperature and duration interact on the bud break of ‘Perlette’ grapevine cuttings. Horticultural Science (Prague), 34: 1054–1056.
Erez A., Fishman S., Linsley-Noakes G.C., Allan, P. (1990): The dynamic model for rest completion in peach buds. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 276: 165–174.
Fennell A. (2004): Freezing tolerance and injury in grapevines. Journal of Crop Improvement, 10: 201–235.
Fiola J.A. (2018): Timely Viticulture, Understanding Grapevine Bud Damage. Available at (accessed Oct 18, 2018).
Fishman S., Erez A., Couvillon G.A. (1987): The temperature dependence of dormancy breaking in plants: Computer simulation of processes studied under controlled temperatures. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 126: 309–321.
Fraser H., Slingerland K., Ker K., Fisher K., Brewster R. (2008): Wind machines for minimizing cold injury. Infosheet, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs: 8.
Fuller M.P., Telli G. (1999): An investigation of the frost hardiness of grapevine (Vitis vinifera) during bud break. Annals of Applied Biology, 135: 589–595.
Goffinet M.C. (2000): The anatomy of low-temperature injury of grapevines. In: Proceedings of the ASEV 50th Anniversary Meeting, Seattle, Washington, June 19–23, 2000: 94–100.
Goffinet M.C. (2004): Anatomy of Grapevine Winter Injury and Recovery. New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, New York, 21.
GGO, Grape Growers of Ontario (2016): Available at (accessed Jan 1, 2017).
Gu S., Ding P., Howard S. (2002): Effect of temperature and exposure time on cold hardiness of primary buds during the dormant season in ‘Concord’, ‘Norton’, ‘Vignoles’ and ‘St Vincent’ grapevines. The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 77: 635–639.
Gu S., Read P.E., Gamet S. (2005): Rootstock influence on scion performance. In: Grapevine Rootstocks; Current Use, Research and Application. Proceedings of the 2005 Rootstock Symposium: 57–60.
Guo X.W., Fu W.H, Wang G.J. (1987): Studies on cold hardiness of grapevine roots. Vitis, 26: 161–171.
Hedrick U.P., Booth N.O., Taylor O.M., Wellington R., Dorsey M.J. (1908): The Grapes of New York. State of New York, Dept. of Agriculture. Fifteenth Annual Report, vol. 3. J.B. Lyon Co., Albany, NY. Part II.: 564.
Hemstead P.R., Luby J.J. (2000): Utilization of Vitis riparia for the development of new wine varieties with resistance to disease and extreme cold. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 528: 487–490.
Hou L., Zhang G., Zhao F., Zhu D., Fan X., Zhang Z., Liu X. (2018): VvBAP1 is involved in cold tolerance in Vitis vinifera L. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9: 726.
Howell G.S. (2005): Rootstock influence on scion performance. In: Grapevine Rootstocks; Current Use, Research and Application. Proceedings of the 2005 Rootstock Symposium: 47–55.
Hubackova M., Hubacek V. (1984): Frost resistance of grape buds on different rootstocks. Vinohrad, Bratislava, 22: 55–56.
Huglin P. (1978): Nouveau mode d’Évaluation des possibilités héliothermiques d’un milieu viticole. Comptes Rendus de l’Académie d’Agriculture de France, 64: 1117–1126.
IPGRI/UPOV/OIV, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute/International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants/Office International de la Vigne et du Vin. (1997): Descriptors for Grapevine (Vitis spp.). Available at (accessed Jan 1, 2017).
Jones G.V. (2015): Climate, grapes, and wine: Terroir and the importance of climate to wine grape production. Available at (accessed Oct 19, 2018).
Jones G.V., Schultz H.R. (2016): Climate change: Climate change and emerging cool climate wine regions. Wine & Viticulture Journal, 31: 51–53.
Kaban T. (2009): Cold Hardiness Screening of Grape Seedlings for the Prairies: 28.
Keller M., Mills L.J., Olmstead. M.A. (2014): Fruit ripening has little influence on grapevine cold acclimation. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 65: 417–423.
Kemp B., Willwerth J., Jasinski M., Onguta E., Inglis D. (2017): A comparison of clones from Champagne and Burgundy grown in Ontario for sparkling wine production, Brock University, St. Catharines, CA. Available at (accessed Sep 23, 2020).
Ker K. (2013): Assessing bud injury to grapes. Brock University, St. Catharines, CA., Calibrate your vineyard. Workshop: Growing Grapes in Ontario’s South Coast. February 12, 2013, Burning Kiln Winery, St. Williams, ON.
Khanizadeh S., Rekika D., Levasseur A., Groleau Y., Richer C., Fisher H. (2004): Growing grapes in a cold climate with winter temperature below –25 °C. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 663: 931–936.
Kovaleski A.P., Londo J.P., Finkelstein K.D. (2019): X-ray phase contrast imaging of Vitis spp. buds shows freezing pattern and correlation between volume and cold hardiness. Scientific Report, 9: 14949.
Kurtural K., Wilson P.E., Dami I.E. (2008): Vineyard Site Selection in Kentucky Based on Climate and Soil Properties. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, HO-87: 1–4.
Londo J.P., Johnson L.M. (2014): Variation in the chilling requirement and budburst rate of wild Vitis species. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 106: 138–147.
Londo J.P., Martinson T. (2015): Geographic trend of bud hardiness response in Vitis riparia. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 1082: 299–304.
Londo J.P., Martinson T. (2016): Grapevine winter survival and prospects in an age of changing climate. Research News: Cornell Viticulture and Enology Program Research Focus 2016-1: 7.
Londo J. (2017): Genetics and physiology of cold stress in Grapevine. USDA. Available at
MGA, Manitoba Government Agriculture (2018): Available at production/fruit-crops/grape-growing-in-manitoba-and-on-the-prairies.html (accessed Oct 20, 2018).
Martinson T. (2011): Assessing winter cold injury to grape buds. Available at (accessed Oct 2, 2018).
Meier M., Fuhrer J., Holzkämper A. (2018): Changing risk of spring frost damage in grapevines due to climate change? A case study in the Swiss Rhone Valley. International Journal of Biometeorology, 62: 991–1002.
Miller D., Howell G.S., Striegler R.K. (1988a): Cane and bud hardiness of selected grapevine rootstocks. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 39: 55–59.
Miller D., Howell G., Striegler R. (1988b): Cane and bud hardiness of own-rooted white ‘Riesling’ and scion of ‘White ‘Riesling’ and ‘Chardonnay’ grafted to selected rootstocks. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 39: 60–66.
Mussell A., Willwerth J., Fisher H. (2011): Grape varieties in Ontario wine regions, understanding the potential and the risks. Grape Growers of Ontario Publication.
Nassuth A. (2013): Can grapes avoid getting frostbite, Presentation, OSCWGA, Simcoe Research Station, ON, May 24, 2013.
Nixon L. (2001): Grape growers have their own language: foxy, earthy, Valiant. Farm & Home Research, 52: 1–7.
North M., Workmaster B.A., Atucha A. (2021): Cold hardiness of cold climate interspecific hybrid grapevines grown in a cold climate region. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 72: 318–327.
OIV, The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (2016): Table and dried grapes, FAO-OIV Publication: 64.
OIV, The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (2017): Distribution of the world’s grapevine varieties, OIV Publication: 54. ISBN: 979-10-91799-89-8. Available at
Outreville J.F. (2009): Wine production in Québec. Conference Paper, Bacchus Goes Green, Dijon, France, July 2009. Available at
Perry R.L., Sabbatini P. (2015): Grape rootstocks for Michigan. Michigan State University, MSU Extension bulletin, 3298: 8.
Pierquet P., Stushnoff C. (1980): Relationship of low temperature exotherms to cold injury in Vitis riparia. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 31: 1–6.
Plocher T.A., Parke B. (2001): Northern winework: Growing grapes and making wine in cold climates. In: Plocher T.A., Parke R.J. (eds): Winework Inc. Minnesota, USA, 178.
Pool R.M., Howard G.E. (1984): Managing vineyards to survive low temperatures with some potential varieties for hardiness. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Cool Climate Viticulture and Enology: 184–197.
Qrunfleh I.M. (2010): Delaying Bud Break in ‘Edelweiss’ Grapevines to avoid spring frost injury by NAA and vegetable oil applications, [Ph.D. Thesis.], University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 108.
Rahemi A. (2016): Breeding of grapevine rootstocks for adaptability to the environmental stresses. Third National Conference of Grape and Raisin, Research Institute of Grape and Raisin (RIGR), 27–29 September 2016, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran. (in Persian).
Rahman M.A. (2015): Analysis of the Role of; Grape ICE Proteins in the CBF Pathway and Stomatal Development, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Guelph, Canada: 171.
Reisch B.I., Luce S. (2005): Less Risky Varieties, Old and New, NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, New York. Finger Lakes Grape Growers’ Convention, March 4, 2005.
Richardson E.A., Seeley S.D., Walker D.R. (1974): A method for estimating the completion of rest for ‘Redhaven’ and ‘Elberta’ peach trees. HortScience, 9: 331–332.
Shamtsyan S.M., Mikeladze E.G., Abramidze S.P., Radmadze N.G. (1984): The effect of grafting on grapevine frost resistance. Soobshchenija Akademii Nauk, Tbilisi, 113:145–148.
Shaulis N., Einset J., Pack A.B. (1968): Growing cold-tender grape varieties in New York. N.Y. State, Agricultural Extension Stationensiontion Bulletin: 821.
Shoemaker W. (2012): What are Northern Grapes, In: Northern Grapes News, 1: 1–3.
Smiley L. (2016): A Review of Cold Climate Grape Cultivars. Extension of Iowa State University, 147.
Stafne E.T. (2007): Factors affecting cold hardiness in grapevines. Res. Ext. Bull., Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University.
Stenger E. (2016): Environmental influence on cold-climate grapevine (Vitis spp.) Fall acclimation response and fruit ripening. [Ph.D. Thesis.]. North Dakota State University: 208.
Striegler R.K., Howell G.S. (2005): Influence of rootstock on the cold hardiness of potted Seyval grapevines during acclimation and deacclimation. Grapevine rootstocks; current use, research, and application. Proceedings of the 2005 Rootstock Symposium: 94–105.
UMN, University of Minnesota. (2018): University of Minnesota Grape Hardy Varieties, (accessed Dec 12, 2018).
USDA, United States Department of Agriculture (2021): USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map,
Warmund M.R. (2006): Rest completion and susceptibility of blackberry floral buds to low temperature injury. University of Missouri, University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension, Berry Notes, 18: 2–5.
Weinberger J.H. (1950): Chilling requirements of peach varieties. Proceedings of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 56: 122–128.
Westover F. (2006): Compost use in the vineyard. In: Annual winter conference, Virginia Tech. Feb 10, 2006. Available at (accessed Oct 19, 2020).
Willwerth J., Ker K., Inglis D. (2014): Best management practices for reducing winter injury in grapevines. CCOVI, Brock University. Avaliable at
Winkler A.J. (1974): General viticulture. University of California Press.
Wolf T.K., Miller M.K. (2001): Crop yield, quality, and winter injury of 12 red-fruited wine grape cultivars in Northern Virginia. Journal American Pomological Society, 55: 241–250.
Wolf T.K., Pool R.M. (1988): Nitrogen fertilization and rootstock effects on wood maturation and dormant bud cold hardiness of cv. ‘Chardonnay’ grapevines. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 39: 308–312.
Wolpert J.A., Howell G.S. (1985): Cold acclimation of Concord grapevines. II. Natural acclimation pattern and tissue moisture decline in canes and primary buds of bearing vines. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 36: 189–194.
Yilmaz T., Alahakoon D., Fennell A. (2021): Freezing tolerance and chilling fulfillment differences in cold climate grape cultivars. Horticulturae, 7: 4.
Zabadal T.J., Dami I.E., Goffinet M.C., Martinson T.E., Chien M.L. (2007): Cold hardiness of grapevines. Winter injury to grapevines and methods of protection, Michigan State University Extension Bulletin E, 2930: 7–18.
download PDF

© 2022 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Prohlášení o přístupnosti