ABA - Another Tool to Improve Cold Hardiness of Grapes

Abscisic acid or ABA, is a plant hormone, produced by plants for several reasons, primarily to protect plants from environmental (abiotic) stresses including cold.  The viticulture group at OSU attempted foliar application of ABA to investigate whether it would affect cold hardiness of important grape varieties in Ohio.  ABA was effective in increasing cold hardiness of Chambourcin, Cabernet franc, and Chardonnay by 1-8ºF.  As an added bonus and "icing on the cake", ABA also increased red pigments (color) in red varieties.