In August, Dr Glen Creasy was invited to Brock University in Ontario, Canada as the featured speaker for the Triggs International Premium Vinifera Lecture Series. This year, for the first time, the lecture series was held in both Ontario and in British Columbia, expanding its reach to growers, students, and researchers across Canada. The series, which took place over two days in each location, was focused on vine balance, an appropriate theme given the challenges caused by the cool Canadian growing season this year. The theme encompassed balance between the vine and its environment, between different types of management goals, and balance within the vine and the fruit itself. Through public lectures, vineyard-based discussion sessions, and technical workshops, Dr. Creasy addressed issues of vine balance relevant to the specific issues facing the Canadian grape and wine industry.
Speaking of his tours of vineyards in the Niagara Peninsula and the Okanagan Valley, Dr Creasy noted some of the viticultural challenges faced in these regions. “Compared to New Zealand, it’s more of a challenge to grow quality grapes there – there are issues with greater disease and pest pressure, highly vigorous soils and extreme cold in the dormant season, which can kill vines outright. Viticulturists need good knowledge of how vines react to these kinds of events in order to be able to manage them effectively.” Based on the feedback he’s received from the visits and lectures, it was a very successful trip. One participant said, “There was not a person there who did not leave the tours and/or the lectures with a better understanding of viticulture and how it relates to our conditions.”
Brock University launched the Triggs lectures series in 2004 with the aim of bringing international experts in viticulture to Canada to interact with wine industry professionals and researchers. With the expansion of the series to British Columbia this year, the series has helped to link wine regions within Canada, and Dr. Creasy’s involvement strengthens links between Lincoln University and Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute.