‘Noiret’, an interspecific red hybrid winegrape released by Cornell University in 2006, produces varietal wines with moderate tannin structure that lack hybrid character (Reisch et al., 2006). Vine growth habit was originally described as semiupright to semitrailing, and the cultivar has been reported to produce lower yield than ‘Concord’ (Vitis labruscana) with an average yield over a 10-year period of 5.6 kg/vine (2.7 kg·m−1) compared with 7.6 kg/vine (3.6 kg·m−1) for ‘Concord’. Average pruning weight over the same period was 1.5 kg/vine (0.71 kg·m−1) in ‘Noiret’ compared with 2.0 kg/vine (0.95 kg·m−1) for ‘Concord’ (Reisch et al., 2006) when grown on 2.1-m vine spacing.
While many growers are interested in planting ‘Noiret’, there is little research to provide guidance as to the appropriate viticultural practices for this cultivar. It is unclear whether vines of ‘Noiret’ should be own-rooted or grafted because of questions of winterhardiness, phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae) susceptibility, and vine size (Reisch et al., 2006). Growers in New York have planted ‘Noiret’ own-rooted, or grafted onto rootstocks, such as ‘101–14 Mgt’, ‘3309C’ (Vitis riparia × Vitis rupestris), and ‘Riparia Gloire’ (V. riparia). Questions also remain concerning the appropriate selection of training system and vine spacing. Reported observations of vine growth in Geneva, NY (Reisch et al., 2006), were based on plantings of vines growing at 2.1-m spacing on a cane-pruned umbrella kniffin system. Lacking specific recommendations, growers in the Finger Lakes region of New York have planted ‘Noiret’ on a variety of training systems [low cordon with vertical shoot positioning, umbrella kniffin, high wire cordon] with vine spacing ranging from 6 to 9 ft (1.8 to 2.7 m). Anecdotally we are aware of growers who, as a result of high vigor, have removed every other vine of original plantings so that spacing is as great as 16 ft (4.9 m) between vines.
Because of the recent release of this cultivar, there is little information available on best management practices. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of training system, vine spacing, and rootstock on vine growth, yield components, fruit composition, and consumer preference for ‘Noiret’ wines produced from a young vineyard.
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