Bruno Holzapfel

Research interests

  • Carbohydrate physiology: carbohydrate reserves, reproductive development and vine productivity, management of yield and fruit composition.
  • Grapevine nutrition: nutrient uptake and status, nutrient management on vine productivity and grape composition, root development and function.
  • Environmental physiology: climate variability and climate change, berry ripening and composition, grape variety assessment and adaptability.


Bruno Holzapfel was appointed to NSW Agriculture in 1996 as Research viticulturist after working as a Post-Doctoral Fellow with CSIRO. He is currently Senior Research Scientist with NSW Department of Primary Industries and has more than 30 years practical and research experience in perennial horticulture, with the majority on grapevines.

His research over the past 20 years has focused on understanding the role of nutrient and carbohydrate reserves in determining grapevine productivity, and then using this knowledge to develop improved vineyard management practices. More recently, he is making a major contribution to a national project on new disease resistant grapevine selections and to studies on abiotic stress on grape production.

He has well-established links with a number of institutions in Australia and overseas and gives specific lectures to the Vinifera masters students at Montpellier SubAgro University. He also presents lectures to undergraduate students at Charles Sturt University and is supervising a number of PhD and Master students.

*NSW Department of Primary Industries was formed on July 1, 2004 through an amalgamation of NSW Agriculture, NSW Fisheries, State Forests of NSW and the NSW Department of Mineral Resources.


  • Dipl. Ing. agr.(Master in Agriculture), University of Bonn (Germany) – November 1988
  • Dr. agr. (PhD in Agriculture) University of Bonn (Germany) - November 1993

Current projects

  • Regulating vine potassium and vine nutrition diagnostics
  • Evaluating and demonstrating new disease resistant grapevine varieties
  • Sunburn, cool-night index and extreme temperatures
  • Hazelnut productivity and non-pollination fruit drop in walnuts

Recent publications

Gouot JC, Smith JP, Holzapfel BP, Walker AR and Barril C (2018) Grape berry flavonoids: A review of their biochemical responses to high and extreme high temperatures. Journal of Experimental Botany, 164: 120–133.

Holzapfel BP, Orchard B, Quirk L and Smith JP (2018) Intra-seasonal fluctuation of bud fruitfulness in Chardonnay and Shiraz in two wine regions. Acta Horticulturae, 1229: 249–256.

Rossouw GC, Šuklje K, Smith JP, Barril C, Deloire A and Holzapfel BP (2018) Vitis vinifera berry metabolic composition during maturation: implications of defoliation. Physiologia Plantarum, 164: 120–133.

Rossouw GC, Smith JP and Holzapfel BP (2018) Impact of reduced post-veraison leaf area on the relationship between petiole and fruit composition. Acta Horticulturae, 1217: 45–52.

Rossouw GC, Orchard B, Šuklje K, Smith JP, Barril C, Deloire A and Holzapfel BP (2018) Vitis vinifera root and leaf metabolic composition during fruit maturation: implications of defoliation. Physiologia Plantarum, 161: 434–450.

Mahmud KP, Smith JP, Rogiers SY, Guisard Y, Nielson S and Holzapfel BP (2018) Diurnal root growth patterns in mature grapevines. Acta Horticulturae, 1205: 555–562.

Holzapfel BP, Blackman J, Greer DH and Stoll M (2018) Effect of leaf removal on grape and wine composition in Merlot. Acta Horticulturae, 1205: 547–554.

Mahmud KP, Holzapfel BP, Smith JP, Guisard Y, Nielson S and Rogiers SY (2017) Circadian rhythms in grapevine root and shoot growth and their modulation by photoperiod and temperature. Journal of Plant Physiology, 222: 86–93.

Gourieroux AM, Holzapfel BP, McCully ME, Scollary GR and Rogiers SY (2017) Vascular development of the grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) inflorescence rachis in response to flower number, plant growth regulators and defoliation. Journal of Plant Research, 130: 873–883.

Rossouw GC, Smith JP, Barril C, Deloire A and Holzapfel BP (2017) Implications of the presence of maturing fruit on carbohydrate and nitrogen distribution in grapevines under post-veraison water constraints. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 142: 71–84.

Rossouw GC, Smith JP, Barril C, Deloire A and Holzapfel BP (2017) Carbohydrate distribution during berry ripening of potted grapevines: impact of water availability and leaf-to-fruit ratio. Scientia Horticulturae, 216: 215–225.

Gourieroux AM, McCully ME, Holzapfel BP, Scollary GR and Rogiers SY (2016) Flowers regulate the growth and vascular development of the inflorescence rachis in Vitis vinifera L. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 108: 519–529.

Müller MC, Smith JP, Clark A and Holzapfel BP (2016) Effect of N and water supply on xylem composition in Semillon and Riesling. Acta Horticulturae, 1136: 185–192.

Gourieroux AM, Holzapfel BP, McCully ME, Canny MJ, Scollary GR and Rogiers SY (2016) The amino acid distribution in rachis xylem sap and phloem exudate of Vitis vinifera Cabernet Sauvignon bunches. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 105: 45–54.

Hall A, Mathews AJ and Holzapfel BP (2016) Potential effect of atmospheric warming on grapevine phenology and post-harvest heat accumulation across a range of climates. International Journal of Biometeorology, 60: 1405–1422

Maihemuti K, Holzapfel BP, Smith JP, Guisard Y and Rogiers SY (2016) Root growth during post-harvest irrigation of warm-climate grapevines. Acta Horticulturae, 1115: 95–101.

Holzapfel BP, Smith JP, Greer DH, Dunn G and Hardie WJ (2016) Effects of modifying root temperature in field grown Cabernet Sauvignon on carbohydrate reserve dynamics and vine development. Acta Horticulturae, 1115: 87–93.

Auzmendi I and Holzapfel BP (2016) Optimising leaf area to fruit weight ratio for maximising grape berry weight sugar concentration and colour during ripening. Acta Horticulturae, 1115: 127–132.

Holzapfel BP, Watt J, Smith JP, Šuklje K and Rogiers SY (2015) Timing of N application and water constraints on N accumulation and juice amino N concentration in Chardonnay grapevines. Vitis, 54: 203–211.

Rogiers SY and Holzapfel BP (2015) The plasticity of berry shrivelling in Shiraz: a vineyard survey. Vitis, 54: 1–8.

Rogiers SY, Smith JP, Holzapfel BP and Nielsen G (2014) Shifts in biomass and nitrogen allocation of tree seedlings in response to root-zone temperature. Australian Journal of Botany, 62: 205–216.

Smith JP, Schmidtke LM, Müller MC and Holzapfel BP (2014) Measurement of macronutrient concentrations in grapevine petioles by ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 20: 299–309.

Holzapfel BP and Treeby M. (2013) Vineyard and winery indicators of Shiraz must fermentation behaviour. Vitis, 52: 97–104.

Holzapfel BP and Smith JP (2012) Developmental stage and climatic factors impact more on carbohydrate reserve dynamics of Shiraz than cultural practice. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 63: 333–342.

Schmidtke LM, Smith JP, Müller MC and Holzapfel BP (2012) Rapid monitoring of grapevine reserves using ATR-FT-IR and chemometrics. Analytica Chimica Acta, 732: 16–26.

Rogiers SY, Holzapfel BP and Smith JP (2011) Carbohydrate mobilisation in two grape varieties contrasting in sensitivity to water stress. Annals of applied Biology, 159: 399–413.

Rogiers SY, Smith JP, Holzapfel BP and Hardie WJ (2011) Root temperature and atmospheric CO2 affect C partitioning and fruit set in grapevines. Functional Biology, 38: 899–909.

Hall A, Louis J, Holzapfel BP and Lamb DW (2010) Within-season temporal variation in correlations between vineyard canopy and winegrape composition and yield. International Journal Precision Agriculture, 12: 103–117.

Book Chapters

Guisard Y, Blackman J, Clark A, Holzapfel BP, Rawson A, Rogiers SY, Schmidtke L, Smith JP and Steel C (2014) 7. Viticulture and wine science; production horticulture in Horticulture: plants for people and places, Volume I. Dixon GR and Aldous DE (Eds.), Springer 599 p.

Holzapfel BP, Smith JP, Field SK and Hardie WJ (2010) Dynamics of carbohydrate reserves in cultivated grapevines. Horticultural Reviews, 36: 143–211.

Co-joint appointments

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Charles Sturt University

Professional associations and activities

  • Member of the Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology (since 1994)
  • American Society of Enology & Viticulture (since 2005)
  • Group of International Experts of Vinicultural Systems for Cooperation (since 2011)
  • International Society for Horticultural Science (since 2014)
  • Australian Society of Plant Scientists (since 2017)

Fields of Research

  • 070601 Horticulture crop and development
  • 070602 Horticultural Crop Improvement
  • 070604 Oenology and Viticulture
  • 060705 Plant Physiology

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Carbohydrate physiology
  • Grapevine nutrition
  • Environmental physiology

Contact details

Email: bruno.holzapfel@dpi.nsw.gov.au