Effect of vine age on vine performance of Shiraz in the Barossa Valley, Australia

D. Grigg, D. Methven, R. de Bei, C. M. Rodríguez López, P. Dry, C. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Old vineyards are often suggested to be superior to younger ones, a claim that has scarcely been investigated scientifically. The aim of this study was to investigate if vineyard age influences vine performance. Methods and Results: Five commercial Shiraz vineyards in the Barossa Valley, SA, were selected; each site contained younger vines, which had been vegetatively propagated from older vines on the same site. Measurements of vegetative growth and reproductive development were obtained over three seasons. Results show that the effect of vine age is difficult to measure and separate from seasonal and site interactions. Vine age was strongly correlated with trunk circumference. Vines aged 49 years showed more similarities with older vines (93–168 years old) than with younger vines (6–28 years old). Conclusions: Vine age had an impact on grapevine reproductive performance. Older vines produced a yield greater than that of younger vines. Greater vine size, measured by increase in trunk circumference over time, may be a key determining factor in increased reproductive capacity. Significance of the Study: Vine age is commonly attributed to superior vine performance, as a precursor to fruit and wine quality. Our findings suggest that increasing vine age had a positive effect on reproductive performance in terms of yield, contrary to popular belief. This establishes a starting point for future studies that are underway to quantify if these findings have an effect on fruit and wine composition and sensory attributes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Journal of Grape and Wine Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Inc.


  • Shiraz
  • Vitis vinifera
  • fruit mass
  • old vines
  • vine balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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