Chardonnay Grapes

Saturday, August 1, 1998

Crop: Chardonnay Grapes
Result: Yielded a brix of >22 whereas the control areas had a brix of 17-18.
Location: Temecula, California

Background

A large-scale, independent controlled field study completed in Southern California investigated the potential for Agrostim to improve plant growth and vigor and increase crop yield. These expanded Agrostim wine grape studies were conducted during the 1998 “El Niño” anomalous weather pattern year.

“El Niño” weather patterns on the Western United States are characterized by heavy rainfall throughout the year and 1998 was no exception throughout the State of California where wide spread flooding destroyed many crops and entire towns.

Study Design and Findings

Agrostim was applied at a rate of 4 pounds per acre as a foliar spray. The control acreage received the standard synthetic chemical regime for the area. The standard synthetic chemical fertilizer generally provides a yield approximately 5 tons per acre.

Due to the weather impact of “El Niño,” vine and grape growth was generally retarded in the area. On 23 September 1998, the Agrostim treated grapes had a brix of 20 whereas the standard synthetic chemical treated grapes had a brix of 15-16.

On 15 October 1998, Agrostim treated vines yielded a brix of >22 whereas the control areas had a brix of 17-18. The Agrostim grapes were picked yielding a yield of 6 tons per acre.

Finally, on 13 November 1998, the control grapes reached a brix of 21. The grapes were picked yielding an average of 3.5 tons per acre. A significant quantity of grape clusters were ruined by fungal growth that occurred during the extra month required to bring the grapes to an acceptable brix. November was characterized by heavy rains and cold nights.

Results

The Agrostim treated plants outperformed the control plants as follows:

Grape yields increased 20% over normal year yields
Grape yields increased 42% during this “El Nino” year
Grapes were harvested 1 month earlier
Grapes maintained an increased brix level in the maturing fruit of approximately 25% during the growing season