Complete cluster zone leaf removal of ‘Pinot noir’ was initiated at three separate pre-véraison growth stages (bloom, grain-pea size, and bunch closure) and maintained leaf free until harvest, for four growing seasons (2008–2011).
Fruit anthocyanin composition was examined at harvest for the last two vintages (2010 and 2011) and compared to a control-no cluster zone leaf removal. Experiments were conducted at two commercially operating Oregon vineyards (site A = 420 rootstock/‘Pinot noir’ 115 scion and site B = 3309C rootstock/‘Pinot noir’ 777 scion).
All clusters contained the five anthocyanins typically found in ‘Pinot noir’. Leaf removal at bloom and maintained until harvest produced maximum anthocyanin accumulation in ‘Pinot noir’ grapes (site A = 85.24 mg/100 g and site B = 125.06 mg/100 g), compared to no leaf removal (control; site A = 57.91 mg/100 g and site B = 97.56 mg/100 g).
Even leaf removal at bunch closure (last leaf removal initiation period) increased grape anthocyanin (site A = 73.22 mg/100 g and site B = 118.93 mg/100 g) compared to control, but total anthocyanins were lower than grapes from bloom leaf removal (first time period).
Results differed slightly by vineyard site and rootstock/scion combination.
(We recommend that you consult the full text of this article)