VIT406 Vine Physiology and Performance (8)

To apply vine physiology in a practical vineyard situation requires a basic knowledge and understanding of the grapevine and an ability to evaluate vineyard performance at any particular time in the growing season.
The topics covered in this subject provide a comprehensive review of the vegetative and reproductive growth and development and the interaction of these processes with the vine microclimate.
This is a resource based subject, a set text is recommended but it is expected that students will seek out additional resources on their own, using the library databases to search for relevant information. Some readings as an online resource will be provided.
Students will be expected to spend time in the vineyard to apply their knowledge and understanding as the vines grow across the season to help reinforce their learning of the various topics.
This subject commences in session 1 and concludes in session 2. Students must enrol in both sessions 1 and 2. It is not possible to commence this subject in session 2.
Distance Education students are required to attend a compulsory residential school as a requirement for this subject.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VIT406. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



Two sessions


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to explain the process of carbohydrate production, transport and use in the sinks within the vine in relation to vine balance and the production of grapes fit for purpose
  • Be able to critically evaluate the scientific literature related to grapevine physiology and performance
  • Be able to coherently integrate the vegetative and reproductive growth processes of grapevines and relate these processes to vine performance for grape and wine production
  • Be able to discuss the processes of development physiology of flowering and fruit growth of grapevines and relate these to the production of quality grapes for wine production
  • Be able to describe the influence of the climate and the impact of the microclimatic, including water and nutrients, on vine growth and development and relate these to the vine balance and productivity including the quality and quantity of grape production.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Grapevine growth and development
  • Leaf development
  • Bud dormancy
  • Carbohydrate supply and use
  • Inflorescence development and flowering
  • Berry development and composition
  • Water and nutrients
  • Climate including the microclimate effects on the vine

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

The purpose of the residential school is to provide an opportunity to revise the main theoretical grapevine physiology concepts taught in this subject and to provide a framework for an authentic and rich experience to relate those theoretical concepts to hands-on skill development and applications to grapevine performance and management.

During the residential school students will have an opportunity to develop skills in field measurements of photosynthesis and leaf and shoot development using whole grapevines and measuring carbohydrate reserves in excised grapevine roots and shoots in relation to vine balance and the production of grapes fit for purpose. Students will also develop skills in assessing vineyards for variability.

Special Resources

Students are required to attend the compulsory residential school which will involve travel expenses and a time commitment.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.