ISU Wine Lab Goes to Southeast Iowa

Michael L. White, Field Specialist-Viticulture, Central

Problem Statement:

Native wineries and winegrape vineyards in southeast Iowa were established several years later than most of the other vineyards and wineries in Iowa.  The Scenic Rivers Grape & Wine Association was formed in the summer of 2007 with 12 vineyards and 9 wineries. Today the Scenic Rivers Wine Trail is composed of 13 vineyards and 11 wineries (1-Missouri, 3-Illinois, 7-Iowa)  The majority of the wineries on this wine trail are relatively new to the industry and want access to hands-on training to help them reach high standards of wine quality at all of their wineries. Providing hands-on winemaking assistance to this group has been difficult due to their location in extreme southeast Iowa and the relative low density of vineyards and wineries in the area.

Programmatic Response:   

Sandra McLain (Van Buren County Extension Education Director) and Mike White organized a commercial wine making workshop on the afternoon of  Thursday, 7-24-08 at the Roberts Memorial Center in Keosauqua, Iowa.   Twelve people representing 6 wineries and 6 vineyards attended this workshop.  The workshop, led by Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari (ISU Extension Enologist) and Dr. Sebastian Donner (ISU Wine Laboratory Supervisor) provided hands-on training on the identification of wine flaws and methods to eliminate their occurrence in a commercial winery.  


The after meeting evaluation rated the personal and economic value of this workshop as excellent.  They also gave the meeting an overall rating of 4.72 (1 –Poor to 5 –Excellent).  Consistent wine quality is what sells wine and pulls the customers back for more.  Workshops like this will help improve and maintain the wine quality that is produced on the Scenic Rivers Wine Trail.  Some of the key comments included in the after meeting evaluation included: Keep up the good work!, Very informative meeting!, Southeastern Iowa really needs more meetings like this!, Great meeting!  All the respondents would recommend this workshop to others.


131 Commercial Horticulture Production Methods & Systems

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