Sensory Attributes, Phytotoxicity, and Production of Grape Cultivars after Treatment with Two Deer Repellents

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  • 1 The University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Biological Sciences East 325, Tucson, Ariz. 85721.
  • | 2 USDA-APHIS, Animal Damage Control, Denver Wildlife Research Center, 9701 Blomberg Street, Olympia, Wash. 98512.
  • | 3 The University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Biological Sciences East 325, Tucson, Ariz. 85721.
  • | 4 The University of Arizona, Plant Sciences Department, Forbes 439, Tucson, Ariz. 85721.

The objective of our experiment was to determine if the application of two deer repellents to six grape cultivars (Vitis vinifera L.) caused significant phytotoxic effects, production losses, or altered the sensory characteristics of wine. We evaluated fifteen single vine plants from six different cultivars in a randomized block design that included the two repellent treatments and an untreated control. During spring 1997, we applied repellents biweekly from budbreak until flowering (2 Apr. to 14 May). Plantskyyd was applied more frequently than recommended by the product label (for trees) due to rapid emergence of unprotected shoot growth in vineyards. Hot Sauce and Plantskydd caused some initial minor phytotoxicity during 1997, however, the yield and phytotoxicity of treated plants were similar to controls by harvest. A panel detected a significant difference in the color, aroma, or taste of `Chardonnay' wine made from grapes treated with repellents compared to wine made from untreated control grapes (P = 0.001 for Hot Sauce; P = 0.05 for Plantskydd). We conclude that Hot Sauce and Plantskydd did not cause serious production losses or phytotoxic effects for the six cultivars treated. However, both Hot Sauce and Plantskydd significantly altered the sensory attributes of Chardonnay wine, which may preclude the use of chemical repellents in wine grape vineyards under the experimental conditions applied in our study.

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