The impact of water deficit and salt stress on two important wine grape cultivars, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, was investigated. Plants were exposed to increasing salinity and water deficit stress over a 16 d time period. Measurements of stem water potentials, and shoot and leaf lengths indicated that Chardonnay was more tolerant to these stresses than Cabernet Sauvignon. Shoot tips were harvested every 8 d for proteomic analysis using a trichloroacetic acid/acetone extraction protocol and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Proteins were stained with Coomassie Brilliant Blue, quantified, and then 191 unique proteins were identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight/time of flight mass spectrometry. Peptide sequences were matched against both the NCBI nr and TIGR Vitis expressed sequence tag (EST) databases that had been implemented with all public Vitis sequences. Approximately 44% of the protein isoforms could be identified. Analysis of variance indicated that varietal difference was the main source of protein expression variation (40%). In stressed plants, reduction of the amount of proteins involved with photosynthesis, protein synthesis, and protein destination was correlated with the inhibition of shoot elongation. Many of the proteins up-regulated in Chardonnay were of unclassified or of unknown function, whereas proteins specifically up-regulated in Cabernet Sauvignon were involved in protein metabolism.