#172 - June 24, 2011

IWGA Bus Trip to Michigan Viticulture Field Day

The Iowa Wine Growers Association is hosting a bus trip to attend the 22nd Annual MSU Viticulture Field Day held on Wednesday, 7-27-11 at the Southwest Michigan Research & Extension Center near Benton Harbor, MI. This is one of the largest vineyard field day events held in the Midwest. They typically get over 200+ people in attendance . The vineyard demonstrations and large vineyard equipment trade show is well worth seeing. This event always ends with a fun and tasty steak fry with plenty of Michigan wine put on by the Michigan Grape Society.

(Above) WindStar Lines of Carroll, Iowa will be providing the transportation on this trip.

The trip starts out on Tuesday morning, 7-26 at Summerset Winery in Indianola and heads for Benton Harbor, MI. The tour will be stopping at Lavender Crest Winery in Colona, IL for lunch and Round Barn Winery, Distillery and Brewery in Baroda, MI in the afternoon before arriving at the Days Inn & Suites in Benton Harbor, MI that evening. The entire Wednesday will be spent attending the MSU Viticulture field day. The trip back on Thursday will include a stop to visit with Dan Nitz at Arrowhead Vineyards in Baroda, MI and then lunch at Anderson Winery in Valparaiso, IN. The bus will arrive back at Summerset Winery late Thursday evening, 7-28.

The cost of this tour will be $60 for IWGA members and $85 for non-members. This will cover the transportation and the field day registration which includes Thursday’s lunch and steak fry. Participants will be responsible for all other costs. The Days Inn & Suites at Benton Harbor has a block of double queen-bed rooms for $80 and single king-bed rooms for $70 plus tax. Participants need to make their room arrangements here by July 9th to get these reduced prices.

Information about this tour is posted on the Iowa Wine Growers Association WWW site here: http://iowawinegrowers.org/2011/06/iwga-michigan-wine-tour/

Details of Viticulture Field Day is posted here: http://www.agbioresearch.msu.edu/swmrec/news.html

Attendance will be limited.

I hope to see you there. It will be a GREAT trip!! mlw

PS1: Summerset Winery in Indianola, IA has a 7-room Bed n Breakfast available for lodging prior and after the tour.

PS2: There will be bus stops along the way at Iowa City, IA and Lavender
Crest Winery at Colona, IL to pick up riders.


MAST Looking to place International interns into wineries

I received an e-mail from Sue Riesgraf, one of the International Coordinators working for MAST at the University of Minnesota. Sue mentioned that she has several potential internship candidates from Germany, France and Eastern Europe who would be interested in working in a winery. MAST interns typically have two or more years of education and/or experience in the field that they want to work in. Host families are expected to provide housing and fair wages equivalent to a 40 hour work week to these interns for a period of 4-12 months depending on circumstance.

MAST International is an international agricultural exchange program at the University of Minnesota providing practical and academic training in American agricultural and horticultural production. The program mission is to improve global understanding by providing educational and cultural enrichment through international exchange. MAST interns are placed all over the U.S.

Here is a chance to add a little International ambiance to your winery! mlw

You can contact Sue here:
Sue Riesgraf, International Coordinator
MAST International College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
University of Minnesota
135 Skok Hall, 2003 Upper Buford Circle, St Paul, MN 55108
Office: 800-346-6278, Fax: 612-625-7031
e-mail riesg003@umn.edu


International Cold Climate Wine Competition Call for Entries

What: 3rd Annual International Cold Climate Wine Competition
(Commercially Bottled Wines Only)

When: Thursday, August 18, 2011

Where: University of Minnesota

Deadline to send in entry Fees: 4:30 p.m. CST, Monday, 8-8-11

Deadline to receive Wines: 4:30 p.m. CST, Friday, 8-12-11

Cost per Entry: $40

Primary Sponsor: Minnesota Grape Growers Association

Details here: http://mngrapegrowers.com/competition


Christmas Tree Knives for Hedging, Topping & Skirting

It is that time of year again. People are starting to contact me about where to buy those Christmas tree shearing knives that I have recommended in the past. These knives work very well in trimming back bushy vines. Unfortunately, “bushy vines” generally denotes too much vigor and a vine that is out of balance with its crop load and/or environment. Generally speaking, it

is better not to cut off excess vegetation unless it causes undue shading of the fruit, hampers other vineyard operations, or significantly reduces airflow
through the vineyard.

Hedging, topping or skirting are best done when plant vegetative growth is slowing down (ie…last 2 weeks prior to veraison) but not after veraison. Pruning the canopy back after veraison can have a negative effect on fruit ripening. Trimming back the shoots too early in the season will stimulate
lateral shoot growth negating the reason for trimming in the first place. It can become a vicious cycle in over vigorous vineyards.

Topping involves topping the canes at approx. 8-12” above the top wire on our vertical shoot positioned (VSP) trellis systems. Skirting involves trimming the canes approximately 12” above the ground on our downward positioned trellis systems and hedging involves trimming back those wild shoots that stick out the sides of the canopy and will not submit to positioning. It is commonly recommended to leave at least 12-15 nodes (leaves) on those shoots with grape clusters and aim toward a total canopy horizontal depth of 2 to 3 leaves. I put together a brief document summarizing these methods of canopy management here: Canopy Management Concepts

I like to use the Christmas tree serrated blade versus the straight steel blade because the serrated blades will stay razor sharp for several years. The straight steel blades need to be sharpened several times a day under heavy use. These knives normally come with combinations of 10 -18” handles and 12 to 24” blades. They normally cost anywhere from $45 to $65 each. I personally like a handle around 14-18” and a blade around 14-16”. The serrated blades are “VERY” sharp. I strongly recommend wearing long pants when using them. Leg protectors can also be purchased for around $30 to $45 each.

Here are several companies that sell Christmas tree shearing knives:

  1. Evans Christmas Tree Supplies, Mobile, AL: http://www.evanschristmas.com/evansc/Default.asp
  2. Forestry Suppliers: http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=1639
  3. Frazer Knoll, Laurel Spring, NC: http://www.fraserknoll.com/Web%20Page%20-%20Production%20Supplies.htm
  4. Kelco Industries, Melbridge, Maine: http://www.kelcomaine.com/
  5. Kingma Christmas Tree Farm, DeMotte ,IN: http://www.kingmachristmastrees.com/knives_and_leg_guards.htm
  6. Northwoods Evergreen: http://www.northwoodevergreen.com/shearing_knives_gloves.html
  7. Shelton Mfg & Sales, Coon Rapids, MN: 763-433-2854 8. TerraTech, Eugene, Oregon: http://www.terratech.net/group.asp?grp=165

Video Example: Kinkaid Ridge Winery, 2007 Hedging with a Christmas tree knife, 3.36 min.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvu8Ouz0lgQ


DMACC - Mid-American Wine Competition deadline extended to June 30

The June 24th deadline for submitting wines to the 5th annual Mid-American Wine Competition (MAWC) has been extended to June 30th.

In addition, reservations are still being accepted for the only Food-Wine Pairing Competition in the United States. Please visit www.midamericanwine.org for more information.

In case some of the wineries have not received previous e-mails from us, we've included links listed below.

Deadline for Entries: June 30, 2011 http://www.midamericanwine.org/wineform.pdf

Food & Wine Pairing Competition: July 8

Traditional Wine Competition: July 9-10

Randall Vos, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) - Horticulture/Viticulture
2006 S Ankeny Blvd Bldg 4, Ankeny, IA 50023
Ph: 515-965-7310, e-mail: rjvos@dmacc.edu


2011 Seasonal Issues in the Vineyard - Free Summer Online Sessions from DMACC

For commentary and discussion on current issues in Midwest vineyards, attend these free online sessions. If there are individuals interested in requesting topics to go over in this session, please contact me at rjvos@dmacc.edu or 515-965-7310. Our next session is this coming Monday, June 27 at 9pm.

Just click on the following link to join us with your questions and comments:


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. Mike White – cell 515-681-7286 or mlwhite@iastate.edu


ISU Pre-Vintage Wine Seminar: July 12 & 13

What: Pre-Vintage Wine Seminar
Day 1 - Sparkling Wine Production
Day 2 - Fermentation Practices

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Monday & Tuesday, July 12 & 13, 2011

Where: 2311, Food Science Building Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011

Larry Mawby of L. Mawby Vineyards in Sutton Bay, MI
Michael Jones of Scott Labs
Sigrid Gersten-Briand of Lallemond Inc.

Cost: Day 1 only = $75, Day 2 only = $40, Both Days = $95

Register here: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Wine/Events.htm

Limited Attendance: 25 maximum

Sponsored by: Iowa State University Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute

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


Effective Vineyard Spraying Workshop – Rocheport, MO

When: 2 p.m. to Dark, Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Where: Les Bourgeiois Bistro & Vineyards, 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO

Who: Dr. Andrew Landers, Cornell University

Cost: $75 each, includes dinner. Attendance is limited.

Registration & Flyer: http://iccve.missouri.edu/events/sprayworkshop_2011.pdf

Registration Deadline: July 12, 2011

Sponsored by:
Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture & Enology (ICCVE)

Midwest Grower Supply
- Stanberry, MO


ISU How to Attract & Maintain Beneficial Insects - Workshop

What: One-Day workshop exploring how to enhance the ecosystem to attract and maintain beneficial insects.

When: Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. August 4, 2011

Who: Speakers include Iowa State’s Lisa Schulte and Mary Harris, natural resource ecology and management; Kelly Seman and Matt O’Neal,ISU Entomology; Meghann Jarchow, ISU Agronomy; and Practical Farmers of Iowa representative, Sarah Carlson.

Where: The workshop will take place at Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL), five miles west of Ames, Iowa.

Hosted by: Iowa State University’s Departments of Entomology and Natural Resource Ecology & Management, with support from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Registration: Due by July 15 at www.aep.iastate.edu/ent . Lunch will be provided.

Cost: FREE

Lodging: Reduced hotel rates are available through the ISU MemorialUnion.

Full Details, Agenda & Online Registration:


Notable Quotables

  1. “Good wine is a necessity of life for me.”
    --- Thomas Jefferson
  2. “I have lived temperately....I double the doctor's recommendation of a glass and a half of wine each day and even treble it with a friend”.
    --- Thomas Jefferson
  3. “I think it is a great error to consider a heavy tax on wines as a tax on luxury. On the contrary, it is a tax on the health of our citizens.”
    --- Thomas Jefferson


Marketing Tidbits

  1. Study: Only 3-8% of Facebook Fans Paying Attention, 6-22-11 - Screenwerk
  2. Survey: 65% of Deal Buyers Are Already Customers, 6-22-11 – Screenwerk
  3. Online Fact Sheet: U.S. Advertising, Spending & Effectiveness - Nielsenwire


Show n Tell

(Left) This picture of Cottony Maple Scale on grape trunks comes from Joe Ayers in Eagle Bend, MN. Cottony Maple Scales (Pulvinaria inumerabilis) are soft shell scale insects that tend to infest maples, typically Silver Maples,
though they can be found on other hardwood trees and shrubs. This includes grapes. The immature female scales overwinter on the tree or vine. During June to early July, a cottony egg sac is produced by the female under its protective soft shell. Each sac can hold up to 1,000 eggs. The eggs hatch in July and move to the lower leaves where they suck sap along the leaf
mid-veins. They move back to the trunks or twigs in the fall.

Very seldom will the population of this insect reach economic levels in grapes. Weather and a whole host of natural predators typically keep their populations in check.

If control is necessary, an insecticide application when the newly hatched nymphs move to the leaves to suck sap will work well. An application of dormant oil in the fall to the overwintering female scales will also work. Weather and a whole host of insect predators will normally keep these insects in check. Control measures are very seldom required.

These scales definitely attract attention when they are found. Ants are often found tending the scales as they suck plant sap. Honeydew excreted by the scales is collected by the ant and taken back to their colony as feed. A black sooty mold will often form on the excess honeydew formed on the leaf or trunk.

Further information about these unusual insects can be found here:

  1. Cottony Maple Scale, University of Minnesota Entomology department.
  2. Cottony Maple Scale and its Management, Ohio State University:
  3. Cottony Maple Scale,6-15-05 - ISU Horticulture & Home Pest News:


Articles of Interest

  1. Napa – Grape Growers Face Herbicide Resistant Weeds – 6-20-11 – Wines and Vines Magazine
    (Good list of the most popular herbicides being used in CA.)
  2. Nebraska - Wineries receive state funds, 6-21-11 – The North Platte Bulletin
    ($77,755 awarded to four wine industry projects from USDA Valued Added Grant Program)
  3. Does your vineyard need a booster shot, 6-21-11 – Wines & Vines Magazine
    (Using mycorrhizae to improve the growth of grape vines.)
  4. 6 Wind Powered Wineries, 6-22-11 – Eat Drink Better
  5. What’s behind organic and biodynamic wines, 6-22-11 – The Washington Examiner


Videos of Interest

  1. Remember Me - This film was made by Lizzie Palmer in 2006, a15 year old at the time.
    ( This patriotic work is still one of the hottest videos on the internet.)
  2. Making Wine in France’s Coal Country, 6-16-11 – Wall Street Journal, 1:59 min.
  3. University of Massachusetts Tunnel Orchard Sprayer in action, 6-1-11 - Univ. of Mass.
    (Associated article from the Grower Magazine)


Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

  1. ISU Extension Flood Disaster Resources:
  2. e-mail design look book 2011 – responsys


Calendar of Events

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. http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Wine/Events.htm

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

7-19, Effective Vineyard Spraying Workshop at Les Bourgeois Bistro & Vineyards. Registration & Flyer: http://iccve.missouri.edu/events/sprayworkshop_2011.pdf

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 & Flyer: http://iowawinegrowers.org/2011/06/iwga-michigan-wine-tour/

8-4, ISU How to Attract & Maintain Beneficial Insects, Ames, IA. Full Details here:

8-24, Seedless Table Grape & Winegrape Field Day, Univ. of WI – Madison, West Madison Ag Research 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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