#162 - April 16, 2011

Building the Iowa Wine Culture Through Improved Quality – Report Completed

Back in Wine Grower News #125 – 5-7-10 we announced that the ISU Extension Value-Added Agriculture Program (VAAP) and the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute (MGWII) would be collaborating to conduct a study this year titled, “Building the Iowa Wine Culture Through Improved Quality,” to create the first-ever “State of the Viticulture Industry” quality report for Iowa.
This entire study was funded by the ISU Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
Results of this study can be found in this 15 page document entitled: , “Building the Iowa Wine Culture Through Improved Quality,” here:


Selected Grape Grafting Resources

The ability to graft grapes (scion stock) onto a different cultivar root stock is one way vineyard growers can change the grape cultivar for future harvests without tearing out the existing vines. Grafting can also be used to decrease or increase the vigor of the fruiting scion, increase the cold tolerance of the above ground vine and provide additional pest resistance.

The following pictures are of Dr. Paul Domoto applying tree wound dressing to a side graft (left) and a cleft graft (right) during a grape grafting workshop held at Black Creek Vineyards located just northeast of Pella, Iowa on 4-12-11.


SuggestedReference Books:

Hartman, H. T., and D. E. Kester. 2001. Plant Propagation Principles and Practices, 7th Ed., Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Garner, R. J. 2003. The Grafter’s Handbook, The Royal Horticulture Society, London (distributed in the U.S. by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY)


Selected WWW Resources:

  1. Grafting Grape Vines, e-Xtension:
  2. Grafting & Budding Fruit Trees, Univ. of MN:
  3. An Illustrated Guide to Field Grafting Grapevines, Northwest Berry/Grape Network:
  4. T or Shield Budding, Texas A&M:
  5. Chip Bud Grafting in Washington State Vineyards, Washington State University:
  6. T-Bud Grafting Grape Vines, UCDavis:
  7. Grapevine Propagation, Midwest Grape Production Guide, Ohio State Univ. Bul. 919: http://ohioline.osu.edu/b919/0006.html
  8. Grafting Grape Vines, Univ. of CA Extension, Tulare Co.:
  9. Chip Budding, eXtension: http://www.extension.org/pages/32924/chip-budding

Note: A quick search of “grape grafting” on YouTube will also bring up plenty of videos.


Report from the Midwest Aronia Berry Conference – April 8 + 9 in Des Moines

The Midwest Aronia Berry Association held their first Midwest Aronia Berry Conference on Friday-Saturday April 8+ 9 at the Merle Hay Holiday Inn in Des Moines. I was told by the people working the registration desk that 235+ people attended the Friday sessions and 300+ people attended the Saturday sessions. There were about a dozen vendors with displays and two of the speakers came from Poland where aronia berries are a commonly grown commercial crop.

The topics covered at the conference included:

  1. Antioxidant testing methods
  2. Government regulations with health claims and processing.
  3. Grower contracts
  4. Aronia berry production in Poland
  5. Mechanical harvesting
  6. Iowa Organic Certification
  7. The future of aronia berry processig in the U.S.
  8. Getting started with aronia berry production
  9. Large scale aronia berry production in Poland and new cultivars

The conference was well attended and a lot of information and experiences were shared. There is definitely a market for aronia berry products in the U.S. From what I learned at the conference, much of the large processor market is being supplied with juice coming from Eastern Europe. In my opinion, ...growing the aronia berries will be the easy part of this new industry. Developing a stronger market awareness, a larger variety of products and a processing infrastructure will be needed to expand this locally grown industry. This industry will not mature overnight. This kind of stuff takes time.

(Left) Charlie Caldwell (grape grower – winemaker – aronia berry grower and past president of the Midwest Aronia Berry Association) displays a bottle of his homemade Aronia wine.









(Left) a flat of aronia berry (SuperBerry) plants displayed by Wild Plums nursery of Clarkson, NE.






(Left) Vaughn Pittz of Sawmill Hollow Family Farm of Missouri Valley, IA. displayed aronia berry juice, wine, jelly, salsa, jams and other products they sell. Vaughn and his wife Cindy operate the largest aronia berry farm in the U.S.









(Left) Joanna Skorzynska of Firma Waremczuk in Poland spoke about her company’s line of currant/aronia berry mechanical harvesters. Attendees at the conference seemed to show the most interest in this Joanna-3 single side row harvester.








Further reading:

  1. Aronia berry Association of Iowa Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=120222255306
  2. Nutritional Value, Taste Considerations, and Antioxidant Content of Iowa Grown Aronia Berry Food and Beverage Products
  3. Aronia Berry Wine Recipe: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/aronia.asp


Best Practices Wine Workshop, April 26

What: Best Practice Workshops: SO2 Management, Analysis and Calculations, Winery Cleaning & Sanitation, Identifying Wine Faults, Individual Q & A (open topics)

Where & When:

Tuesday, April 26, 1-4:30 p.m.
Heartland Harvest Winery
, 2116 290th Ave. Fort Madison, IA 52627

Cost: "FREE", but advance registration is required!

To Register: Contact Tammi Martin one week in advance with your name, address, e-mail, phone and date of choice. tkmartin@iastate.edu or 515-294-3308

Sponsored by: Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute

Donations are always appreciated: Visit http://www.extension.iastate.edu/wine


Viticulture 201 - First Year through Year Three - 4-23

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, April 23rd , rain date April 30th
Where: Black Squirrel Vineyard, Charlie & Jolene Caldwell.
6 miles East of Council Bluffs on Highway # 6- South on L52 (270thstreet) to 18506.
Map: http://mapq.st/dHCpJL
Sponsored by: Western Iowa Grape Growers Association
Comments: The class will be geared towards anyone who is interested in growing grapes and will cover

  • Plant and Pruning Terminology
  • Training Young Vines
  • Goals of Pruning
  • Pruning Phrases
    • First Pruning Season
    • Second Pruning Season
    • Third Pruning Season
  • Grape Diseases
  • Vineyard Fertility
  • Hands on demonstration

Registration: The class is limited to the first 30 registrants. Pre-registration is non-refundable but is advised. Open to the public.
Cost: Western Iowa Grape Grower members is $15 (for 2 people). Non-member fee is $25 per person. Membership forms will be available, annual membership is $40.
Additional Info: Contact Clifton Burkhart at 712-527-5276 or Clifton@BurkhartVineyards.com

This class is the second in a series of classes to introduce growers to establishing and maintaining a vineyard in the Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska region. Later classes will follow with more advanced topics.

Information on this class may also be found at http://www.westerniowagrapegrowers.org


Comments from Readers

4-13-11 “Thanks....and by the way toilet bowl cleaner works like magic on lime sulfur....as long as it quickly washed and rinsed off and wear face shield etc..

4-14-11 “Well the diluted toilet bowl cleaner (Lysol) worked quite well on cleaning the lime sulfur off the tractor, and didn't ruin the paint (tried it on Ron’s tractor first of course), the downside is the tractor smells like rotten eggs in a shiny toilet bowl... but I bet there is not a speck of bacteria left alive on that tractor.

(if somebody tries this they better wear long rubber gloves, a full face shield and be outside) “

Dave Klodd, Summerset Winery: summersetdave@hotmail.com


Notable Quotables

"I am drinking the stars!" --- Dom Perignon, on his first sip of bubbly Champagne

"He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long"
--- Johann Heinrich Voss

"Wine is the most civilized thing in the world." --- Ernest Hemingway.


Marketing Tidbits

  1. “More than two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) say it's worth paying more for a green product or service that is from a brand that they trust…”

    From: 68%: Green Products Worth Pay More For , 4-12-11 – Marketing Daily


Show n Tell

(Below) Taken from “Foul Stink Bugs Targets Wine Grapes”
4-11-11, US News.

(Below) The Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute wents to Fireside Winery at Marengo, IA for hosting the second of a series of Best Winemaking Practices Workshops on Tuesday, 4-12-11.

This picture shows L-R Jennie Hansen our wine lab technician, Dr Murli Dharmadhikari (Director of the Institute) Dorothy O’brien of (Wide River Winery- Clinton, IA), Garry Penner (Top to Bottom Consulting) and Lauren Chalupsky-Cannon (The Secret Wine Cellar – Shueyville, IA) doing a lab exercise.

(Below) The ISU senior Chemical Engineering 430 class showed up to Summerset Winery in Indianola on 4-12-11. Dave Klodd (winemaker) led a tour of the entire winery and wine making operations. Dave and his wife Heidi hosted the tour and provided the pizza for lunch. Many of the students purchased and shared a bottle of wine to have with their pizza. (Yes, ID’s were checked prior.)

These students are working in separate groups for a senior class project to design a continuous reflux alcohol still to meet the exact specifications provided by Dave Klodd.

(Left) Basal buds starting to expand on 10 year old Reliance grapes growing at Black Creek Vineyards located just northeast of Pella, IA.

Basal bud(s) often called non-count buds that develop at the base of a shoot, closest to the cordon; they are often non-fruiting in Vitis vinifera but can be quite fruitful in hybrid varieties.







(Above Right) Using a tin can lid is a common practice used to keep the trellis wire from gouging (Above Left) into the wooden post in many vineyards when the wire is run over the top of the post.


Articles of Interest

  1. Wine law - The Senate defeats a proposal to allow North Dakota wine makers to sell directly to stores., 4-11-11 – KX net.com
  2. Wine-Loving Entrepreneur Wins Patent for Unique Wine Storage from Recycled Wine Barrels, 4-14-11 – PR Press
  3. Organic alcohol choices increasing on state sales list, 4-12-11 – Radio Iowa
  4. Domestic Wine Sales Jump 8% in March, 4-14-11- Wines & Vines
  5. Looking for something 'smooth and homey', 4-15-11 Des Moines Business Record (Article about the new Broadbent Distillery at Norwalk, IA )
  6. The Assassin in the Vineyard, May 2011 – Vanity Fair Magazine
    (Long read but good story. Learn about the deep history of the most valuable 4.46 acre vineyard in the world and how someone tried to kill it.)


Videos of Interest

  1. Wine Shelf Collapses, 2-7-11 – YouTube, 1:10 min.
  2. Transplanting 100 Year Old Vines, 4-11-11 – Langmeil Winery, Australia, 3:33 min.


Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

  1. My Equipment Dealer (Online equipment auction): http://www.myequipmentdealer.com/
  2. Virginia Tech Viticulture Research & Extension:
  3. Grape Glossary – e-Extension: http://www.extension.org/pages/32277/grape-glossary
  4. The Grape Doctor: http://eviticulture.org /
  5. List of upcoming Wine Competitions form the Missouriwine.org:


Calendar of Events:

4-(18-21), 14th Wildlife Damage Conference, : Lied Lodge & Conference Center, Nebraska City, NE. Details & Registration: http://joomla.wildlife.org/WildlifeDamage//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=180

4-21, 1 pm -The next Iowa Alcohol Beverage Division commission meeting at the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division offices in Ankeny: http://www.iowaabd.com/about/updates/event/55

4-23, Viticulture 201 - First Year through Year Three, Black Squirrel Vineyard – Council Bluffs. Details: at http://www.westerniowagrapegrowers.org

4-26, 1-4:30 p.m. Best Practice Wine Workshops – 4 Iowa locations “FREE”. Contact: Tammi Martin for details and registration: tkmartin@iastate.edu or 515-294-3308

4-28, Wine Chemistry Basics for Midwestern Winemakers, Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, 4746 N. Ford Rd. Galena, IL. Sponsored by the Northern Illinois Wine Growers Association: http://northernillinoiswine.com/

4-(28 & 29) + 5-(5+6), Northern IL Spring Vineyard Tune-up Workshops, 4 locations. Contact: Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Association – 217-782-6515

4-30 to 5-1, VESTA Winery Sanitation Workshop - Augusta, MO. Further Info: http://www.vesta-usa.org/main/index.php/current-students/calendar/icalrepeat.detail/2011/04/30/30/-/winery-sanitation-workshop

5-(4&5), New Wine Fundamentals Conference, Michigan State University – East Lansing Mariott at University Place. Online info and registration: http://www.spartanhbc.com/

5-(5-8), Kothe Distilling Spring Workshop, Kothe Distilling Technologies, Chicago, IL. Details & Registration: http://www.kothe-distilling.com/en/products/workshops/60-kothe-distilling-technologies-spring-2011-workshop

5-21, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Airblast Sprayer Workshop with Dr. Andrew Landers author of Effective Vineyard Spraying at the ISU Horticulture Research Station, Ames, IA. Contact: Mike White at mlwhite@iastate.edu

6-(4+5), Kothe Distilling Summer Workshop, Kothe Distilling Technologies, Chicago, IL. Details: http://www.kothe-distilling.com/en/component/content/article/15-workshop-information/75-kothe-summer-2011-workshop

6-7, Viticulture Field Day, Missouri Grape Growers Assn. (MGGA) & the Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture & Enology (ICCVE). Details here: http://www.missourigrapegrowers.org/

6-(20-24), American Society for Enology & Viticulture – Portola Hotel & Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, CA: http://asev.org/national-conference-2011/


Total Circulation of 1,350+ recipients in AZ, CA, CO, FL, OH, IA, IN, IL, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, SD, VA, VT, WA, WA DC, WI, Australia, Canada, Israel, Norway & Turkey

Michael L. White,
ISU Extension Viticulture Specialist
909 East 2nd Ave. Suite E, Indianola, IA 50125-2892
ph: 515-961-6237, fax: 6017, cell: 515-681-7286

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Compliance, 3280 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.

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