#170 - June 10, 2011

Iowa - Archived: Wind Speed, Wind Direction and Temperature Data

Iowa has a unique WWW site where one can get archived weather data. The wind speed in knots per hour (1 knot – 1.15 mph), wind direction and temperature data can be found by the hour at the the Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM) time machine WWW site.

This IEM site comes in very handy when trying determine where and when a herbicide may have floated into the vineyard.

(Left) Phenoxy herbicide damage to Frontenac grapes causing shoot, leaf and rachis deformation resulting in poor pollination.

6-9-11 mlw.







IRS – The Wine Industry Audit Technique Guide

Have your vineyard and/or winery ready for that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Audit. Know what the IRS agents are going to look for prior to their arrival. The newly updated IRS Wine Industry Audit Technique Guide (March, 2011) is available Online for you to read or better yet, your accountant to read. It is a dry 14 pages, but it is a fairly easy read. Suggest bookmarking or printing.

Thanks to Bob DesRuisseaux at - Prairie Fire Winery - Paxico, KS for bringing this to my attention.


DMACC offers Online Seasonal Issues in the Vineyard Series Again in 2011

The June online Seasonal Issues in the Vineyard have been scheduled for the dates listed below. The sessions start at 9pm and generally last about an hour. For more information about these sessions see Wine Grower News #165.

Seasonal Issues in the Vineyard June 13

Seasonal Issues in the Vineyard June 27


5th annual 2011 Mid-American Wine Competition at DMACC

The 2011 Mid-American Wine Competition will be held July 8-10, 2011, in Iowa and will focus only on the wines of the Midwest. The competition will be open only to commercial wineries of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The competition is held on the campus of the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, which is just north of Des Moines. The college has the longstanding Iowa Culinary Institute which provided the infrastructure for the competition.

The Chief Judge for the Mid-American Wine Competition is noted wine expert and veteran wine judge, Doug Frost of Kansas City. Frost is one of only three people in the world to earn the title of both Master of Wine and Master Sommelier.

The Competition director is Bob Foster, founder and first director of the San Diego National Competition. Foster has been a wine judge and competition director for over 25 years and also directs the Temecula Valley Wine Competition in California. He is a long time wine judge for the Missouri State Fair Wine Competition and the Jefferson Cup Wine Competition held each year in Kansas City.

Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari, Director of the Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State University is a technical adviser to the competition and also serves as one of the wine judges.

All bonded wineries in the Midwest region are invited to enter. Any winery needing additional information may contact the competition at winecompetition@dmacc.edu .


Entry Deadline for Iowa State Fair Amateur & Commercial Wine Competition

The entry deadline for both the Iowa State Fair Amateur and Commercial wine competition is July 1st, 2011. Entries will be judged on Saturday, July 30th. Winning entries will be displayed to the public at the Wine Experience in Grandfather's Barn at the Iowa State Fair, August 11 to 21, 2011.

A charge of $3.50 per entry will be made in the Amateur competition with 1 bottle of wine required per entry. A charge of $25 per entry will be made in the Commercial competition with two bottles required per entry.

Full details of the Iowa State Fair Amateur wine competition and entry form can be found here:

Full details of the Iowa State Fair Commercial wine competition and entry form can be found here:

Questions about the commercial wine competition should be directed to Barbara Rasko at: (515)-210-3571.


Winery Sustainability & Design Workshop – Springfield, IL

When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 9, 2011
Where: Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) Trutter Center, 5250 Shepherd Rd, Springfield, IL
Who: Dr. Bruce Zoecklein, Virginia Tech University
Cost: $150 each, includes lunch and booklet
Sponsored by: LLCC’s Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts Program & the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA)
Registration: Contact Megan Pressnall, director of external relations for IGGVA, at 217.726.8518 or megan@illinoiswine.com
Details & Flyer: http://www.illinoiswine.com/cgi-bin/news/news.pl?record=13

PS: I will be attending this event and have room for several riders. I will be leaving Indianola, IA Friday a.m. and driving back Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Mike White – cell 515-681- 7286 or mlwhite@iastate.edu


Save the Date – Pre-Vintage Wine 2 – day seminar: July 12 & 13

Arrangements are being put together right now for a two day pre-vintage winemaking seminar dealing with sparkling wine and fermentation practices. Larry Mawby of L.Mawby Vineyards in Sutton Bay, Michigan and Michael Jones of Scott Labs will team up to speak about sparkling wine production. Sigrid Gersten-Briand of Lallemond Inc. and Michael Jones will be speaking about fermentation practices.

This two day seminar is being sponsored by the Iowa State University Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute.

Details will be available soon.

Contact: Tamara Martin 515-294-3308 or tkmartin@iastate.edu


Upcoming Vine/Wine Courses at Highland Community College, Wamego, KS

Upcoming courses at Highland Community College

VIN114 Spring/Summer Viticulture Tech-- 9a-5p, Saturdays, July 9, 16, 23, 30;
(2 Credit Hours)

*ENO116 Intro to Enology-- 9a-6p, Saturdays Aug 13, Sep 10, Oct 1, Nov 5, Dec 3 (3 Credit Hours)

*ENO130 Intermediate Enology-- 9a-6p, Saturdays Aug 20, Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 12, Dec 10 (3 Credit Hours)

*VIN293 Soils for Viticulture-- 9a-6p, Saturdays Aug 27, Sep 24, Oct 29, Nov 19, Dec 17 (3 Credit Hours)

*The dates have changed for Fall classes to accommodate student requests.

Scott Kohl. VESTA Kansas Coordinator
Wamego Campus Director
Highland Community College
500 Miller Drive, Wamego, KS 66547
785-456-6006 (Office), 785-456-6008 (Fax) or skohl@highlandcc.edu


Notable Quotables

  1. “In addition, he cannot sell wine on the premises, advertise his business at the site or use oak barrels. The bizarre ban on oak was a result of zoning board concerns that these traditional vessels might leak wine into the ground.”
    From: Baltimore Micro-Winery is One of a Kind, 6-9-11 - Wines & Vines Magazine
  2. “So the old adage -- that the booze industry survives in a recession because people drink even when they're broke -- appears to be true.”
    From: Alcohol Sales Thrive in Hard Times, 6-9-11 – CNN Money
  3. If the eggs are always scrabbled when they come into the winery, you will never be able to make a souffle.”
    From: Clark Smith inferring that good grapes are required to make good wine at his 6-(7+8)-11 Wine Chemistry Workshop


Marketing Tidbits

  1. Web designer unveils secret to Online wine sales, page 71, May 2011 -568- winebiz.com.au
  2. Telling your Wine Business, Vineyard or Winery Story, 6-2-11, My Local Wine Business
  3. Advertisers: Beware of using Flash, 6-6-11 – Wine Industry Insight
  4. Wineries: 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Customer Service, 6-7-11 – Vin 65 Blog
  5. Pottawattamie County, IA - Winery Permit Rule Ok’d, 6-8-11 – Omaha World Herald
  6. Manito, IL - Manito board denies TIF funds for Willett’s Winery expansion, 6-8-11 – Journal Star
  7. Dear Wine Writer or (How Not to Invite a Journalist to Your Event), 6-9-11 - Vin-ed
  8. GO TEXAN or Go Thirsty (Good idea from the TX Dept. of Ag for marketing local state wines!)


Show n Tell

On June 7 & 9 the ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Institute hosted a wine chemistry workshop with Clark Smith at Iowa State University. The workshop was well attended. 50 people from eight states showed up (AR, CO, IA, KS, MN, NE, SD and WI). Some of the best winemakers in the Midwest were in attendance. Most of the participants I talked to enjoyed the workshop and felt the information was very good. Each participant took home a 450 page syllabus. Pictures below:

(Left) Clark Smith often used animated gestures to spice up his presentation and keep people’s attention. Several wines were tasted during his two days of presentations. 6-7-11









(Left) Clark Smith’s presentation leaned heavily on organic chemistry concepts. 6-8-11










(Left) Clark Smith posed for a group photo with the staff at the ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute after the successful workshop was completed. From Left to Right: Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari, Clark Smith, Tammi Martin, Jennie Hansen, Jun Dang and Mike White. 6-8-11









On Thursday, 6-9-11 I visited Fox Ridge Winery located just northwest of Traer, Iowa. The owners: Gwen & Mike Seda started planting grapes in 2004. They, with the help of their son Josh constructed the winery themselves. They opened up the winery for business in May of 2010. Mike was on the road working his “full time” other job when I arrived. Gwen who is the winemaker greeted me with some very nice wines and gave me the VIP tour. Below are some pictures of my visit:

(Left) Mike & Gwen Seda. This picture came from: Wine Making a heady business for Traer couple, 5-17-10, WCF Courier









(Left) Fox Ridge Winery sits atop a hill that looks over the irrigated vineyard. 6-9-11










(Left) Gwen Seda pours a glass of wine on their brushed stainless steel wine counter. 6-9-11










(Left) Sign along county road D65 north of Traer, IA. 6-9-11









(Left) Gwen Seda (winemaker) standing next to variable capacity tank in their wine cellar. The walls are covered with painted sheet metal and the ceiling is 12’ high. 6-9-11







(Left) A gazebo sits next to a line of espaliered apples that run along the east side of the vineyard. 6-9-11








(Left) A bottle of Red Tail wine made from 100% GR 7 grapes grown by their neighbors Art & Nancy Calderwood. Many consider GR 7 only as a blending wine. This semi dry wine was very good and tasted well by itself. I purchased two bottles before leaving. 6-9-11









(Left) A stuffed Red Fox overlooks the gift shop and tasting room at Fox Ridge Winery. 6-9-11









Articles of Interest

  1. Iowa – State Alcohol Sales on the Rise, 6-6-11 – Radio Iowa
  2. The six aromas you don’t want to smell in your wine, 6-9-11 - Huffington Post
  3. A Superstar In The Wine Industry Reveals The Secret To Running A Successful Winery, 6-10-11 – Business Insider


Videos of Interest

  1. The Bottler, 1:55 min. Carlos Creek Winery Tasting Room Managers Angie Kvale and Jana Fisher submitted a video in a national contest offered by 100% Cork. Their clever submission won them an all expense trip for two to Portugal June 18-26, 2011.
    From: Winery Employees Win Trip to Portugal Cork Harvest, 6-4-11 - Winedustry
  2. Mechanical Shoot Positioner in Action, Michigan State University Southwest Research and Education Center, 1.57 min.


Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

  1. Sacramento Home Winemakers: http://sachomewine.org/index.html
  2. Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers newly designed WWW site:


Calendar of Events:

6-18, Winemaking Tips & Techniques, Kite Hill Vineyards, Carbondale, IL. VESTA, Rend Lake Community College and Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Assn. Contact: Rachel Cristaudo, IL VESTA Coordinator Ph: 618) 437-5321 Ext. 1724 or cristaudor@rlc.edu

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

6-23, Effective Spraying of Orchards Course - Galesville, WI Sponsored by the Center for Integrated Ag Systems 6-1 registration deadline. Registration details and brochure: http://www.cias.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/orchardspraybroch042111.pdf

6-25, Effective Vineyard Spraying workshop with Dr. Andrew Landers of Cornell, Univ. ISU Horticulture Research Station, Ames, IA. Details: contact Mike White at mlwhite@iastate.edu .
(Note: This is rescheduled from the 5-21-11 workshop which was cancelled due to airline delays.)

7-9, Winery Sustainability & Design Workshop – Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) Trutter Center, 5250 Shepherd Rd, Springfield, IL. Details & Flyer: http://www.illinoiswine.com/cgi-bin/news/news.pl?record=13

7-(11-14), 36th American Society of Enology & Viticulture - Eastern Section Conference, 1 Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel Baltimore, Maryland. Details: http://www.asev-es.org/

7-(12 & 13), Sparking Wine & Fermentation Practices Pre-Vintage 2-Day Seminar. Sponsored by the Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute. Details soon. Contact Tamara Martin 515-294-3308 or tkmartin@iastate.edu

7- (12-13), 7th Annual Wine Technology Symposium – Napa Valley. Registration & details: http://wineindustrytechnologysymposium.com/

7-(26-28), Iowa Wine Growers Association’s bus trip to the 22nd Annual Michigan State University Viticulture Day on 7-27-11at the Southwest Research & Extension Center near Benton Harbor, MI. Details will be out this week.

8-24, Seedless Table Grape & Winegrape Field Day, Univ. of WI – Madison, West Madison Ag Rearch Station, Questions: Please check blog at: www.universitydisplaygardens.com for more information e-mail Judy at jreithrozell@wisc.edu or Rebecca at harbut@wisc.edu .

11-(16 & 17), 1st North American Wine Tourism Conference – Napa Valley. Details HERE.


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, Nepal, 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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