#176 - July 22, 2011

Aug. 11 to 21, Volunteer for the IA State Fair “Wine Experience”

Due to VERY popular demand, Iowa State Fair Board has said YES again to the 3rd annual "Iowa Wine Experience" display and events scheduled in and around "Grandfather's Barn at the Iowa State Fair. Once again the pressure in on to get the 88+ volunteers needed to pull this off. For 2 years running The Wine Experience has been listed in the top 10 things to do at the Iowa State Fair. We estimated that 75, 000+ people walked through the Wine Experience each of the last two years. Our daily grape competition stomps have been a huge attraction. We have increased from 9 to 12, the number of Competitive grapes stomps we will be doing each day this year.

144 rounds of competitive grape stomps will be done this year. 3 stompers and 3 muckers per round. 12 rounds per day.

You do not have to be part of the Iowa vine/wine industry to volunteer.

What will you do: - smile - talk to people - serve wine & crackers - listen to music - help with the grape stomping contests each day - other duties as assigned - Give directions to other State Fair exhibits - tidy up the place

Suggested Attire: Typical casual State Fair clothes.

Working conditions: Best location at the fair. Grandfather's Barn is on top of the hill and surrounded by large shade trees and out of the way of the huge crowds at the base of the hill. The state fair shuttle has a "stop" right outside of Grandfather's Barn

Fringe benefits: - free parking tickets - free State Fair entry tickets - free bathroom facilities - free water - free shade - free music - free to promote your vineyard and/or winery with pictures, brochures, etc...

Why: To help promote the Iowa Wine Industry.

The State Fair starts on Thursday, August 11th and ends on Sunday, August 21st. We are looking to fill the following shifts each day of the fair:
Shift 1 Day - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shift 2 Evening - 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Wine Experience is sponsored and financed by the Iowa State Fair. Barb Rasko (MakeMineWine magazine) has once again agreed to be the superintendent of this display. I have also agreed to help with many of the details and daily duties to make this a HUGE success again this year.

This is a GREAT opportunity to promote the Iowa grape & wine industry to the 1 million+ people from around the world who attend this event. We are very appreciative of the Iowa State Fair Board's efforts and support to make this happen.

(Left) There is even a kid’s tent at the Wine Experience.










Let me know if you can help by telling me what days and shifts you could be available. I will then get back to you ASAP.

Contact: Mike White mlwhite@iastate.edu or cell: 515-681-7386
I will need the mailing address you want your tickets sent to and your cell phone # for communication on the Fairgrounds.

PS1: Check out the Iowa State Fair here: http://www.iowastatefair.org/
PS2: 2010 Iowa State Fair grape stomp video, 8-21-10 – 9 min.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrG4wA0N7-U



The 34th Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) starts this Sunday. The 2011 RAGBRAI host communities are: Glenwood, Atlantic, Carroll, Boone, Altoona, Grinnell, Coralville, and Davenport, Iowa. Information on Alcohol vendor licensing along the route can be found here on the Iowa Alcohol Beverage Division education WWW page here:


You can apply for one of their alcohol license permits via their licensing system here: https://elicensing.iowaabd.com/


Snooth - 20 part series on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Wineries

Snooth does not sell wine. Instead they offer users an unique shopping experience that lets them interact with wineries, merchants, fellow wine lovers, and wine professionals from all over the globe. When users are ready to make a purchase, they can compare prices and shop from over 10,000 wine merchants worldwide as well as review the wine and their buying experience to help others in the future.

Since its launch in June 2007 Snooth has become the world's largest and most comprehensive online wine destination, featuring millions of reviews and hundreds of thousands of wines. Snooth also powers the wine results for many other major sites including Epicurious (Conde Nast) and My Recipes (Time Inc), and, through its extended network, reaches an audience of over 10M unique users per month.

You can read “An SEO Guide for Wineries Part 1” and sign up for their Blog to receive the other 19 as they are written here: http://blog.snooth.com/2011/07/21/an-seo-guide-for-wineries-part-1/


Late Season Grape Petiole Testing

Petiole tests are an additional method to use along with soil tests to determine fertility needs once the vineyard is established. It is commonly recommended to take soil samples of a vineyard every 3-5 years. Most soils have a buffering capacity that does not allow their fertility status to change abruptly from year to year. Petiole tests can change each year. They are more of a snapshot in time. Comparing petiole tests to their respective soil test will give a vineyard manager a much better picture of what “REALLY” is happening in the vineyard.

Petiole tests can be used as a trouble-shooting tool to determine what may be wrong with individual vines. It is always good to take separate samples from both the vines in question and the normal vines to have a comparison. Petiole tests are often taken on a regular basis to monitor the fertility status of the individual areas and cultivars in a vineyard.

Petioles (stem portion of the leaf) are the tissue recommended for determining the nutritional needs of grape vines. Obtaining a representative sample is critical. Optimum nutrient ranges are based on petioles sampled at specific times during the season. The following guidelines can be used for proper sampling and handling procedures:

  1. Full bloom and veraison (approx. early August in Iowa) are the two times of the
    season to sample grapes. The full bloom sample is primarily used for nitrogen and boron. The veraison sample is more reliable for all the other nutrients.
  2. At least 25-50 vines should be selected for a sample collection. Vines not typical of the vineyard should be avoided.
  3. Vines should be of the same age, cultivar, and rootstock growing on similar soil/site conditions.
  4. For full bloom sampling, take the petioles from leaves opposite the bottom flower cluster. For samples taken at veraison, take the petioles from the most recently developed matured leaf.
  5. Collect 75-100 petioles. Short petioled varieties like Marechal Foch will need 150 to 200 petioles collected. Do not pick more than one petiole from any one shoot and do not sample any petioles connected to heavily diseased, insect or mechanical damaged leaves.
  6. Dusty or dirty petioles should be rinsed with distilled water and patted dry with a paper towel. Place the collected samples in a paper bag and send into a testing laboratory. Make sure to record all the necessary information required by the testing laboratory.
  7. Make sure to contact the testing laboratory prior to sending in the petiole test. You want to do it right the first time!

(Left) Petiole identification – UC Davis

Many factors can affect the nutrient composition of plant tissue. Soil moisture, soil fertility, diseases, insects, crop load, weather, and cultural practices can directly affect petiole tests. When properly used, petiole testing will provide the most reliable method to determine fertilizer needs for established vineyards. Comparing petiole tests from year-to-year will show a more reliable trend over time. Charges will vary between laboratories, but most fees will range between $25 - $35 for a complete petiole analysis.


Additional Resources:

  1. Midwest Small Fruit Pest Mgt. Handbook: http://ohioline.osu.edu/b861/index.html
  2. ISU Petiole Sampling Guidelines with a list of plant analysis labs: http://viticulture.hort.iastate.edu/info/pdf/leafsampling.pdf
  3. Iowa Dept. of Ag list of soil test labs certified to do business in Iowa. Many of them will to petiole tests: http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/feedAndFertilizer/certifiedSoilTesting.asp
  4. Midwest Grape Production Guide, p. 139 Plant Analysis, Ohio State Univ..:
  5. Grape Petiole Analysis, 8-12-11, Dr. Imed Dami, Ohio State University:
  6. Petiole Gathering Video, 8-20-08 – Cornell Univ. Lake Erie Regional Grape Program: http://www.youtube.com/user/LERGPvids#p/u/12/5gAp9gwl4rs


Grape Harvest Workshop – Shelbyville, IL

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with lunch afterwards, Saturday, 7-30-11

Where: Willow Ridge Vineyards & Winery, Rt. 2, Box 343-A. Shelbyville, IL 62565
Ph: 217-738-2323

Cost: $20

Sponsored by:
Viticulture Enology Science & Technology Alliance (VESTA)

Illinois Department of Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension

RSVP: Dr. Elizabeth Wahle, 618-650-7050 x-17 or wahle@illinois.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





MGGA Summer Picnic – St. Croix Vineyards - Stillwater, MN

What: Minnesota Grape Growers Association’s Annual Summer Picnic
Education Sessions - membrane press, trellis systems, UMN ultivar
research trials
Winery tours at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m and 1:30 p.m.
Live Music from noon to 3 p.m.

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, July 24, 2011

Where: St Croix Vineyards & Winery, 6428 Manning Ave., Stillwater, MN
55082 Ph: 651-430-3310

Lunch: Potluck – bring a covered dish

Online Flyer: http://mngrapegrowers.com/summer-picnic

Volunteer Opportunity: Assist with grilling or parking. If you can help out, please contact Missy@mngrapes.org or (612) 203-3969


WGGASummer Vineyard Walk – Kewaunee, WI

What: Wisconsin Grape Growers Association (WGGA) Summer Vineyard Walk

When: 4 p.m., Saturday, August 13, 2011

Where: Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery, N2185 Sleepy Hollow Road, Kewaunee, WI 54216 Ph: 888-932-0044

4:00 p.m. Registration
4:30 p.m. Welcome & Parallel 44 Wine Tasting
5:30 p.m. Vineyard Walk with Dr. Rebecca Harbut, UW-Extension Fruit Specialist
6:30 p.m Dinner & Social Hour

Cost: $45 each for WGGA members and $55 each for non-members. Includes wine tasting, dinner and two tickets for glasses of wine.

Register by contacting: Becky Rochester, Grape Marketing Coordinator at becky@wigrapes.org or 503-428-6331 by Friday, August 5th, 2011. You can pay at the door.

Lodging: Kewaunee Inn 866-264-5744 -or- Harbor Lights Lodge 866-267-9053

Full Details and Flyer here:


Notable Quotables

“90-95% of winery websites stink because they say little about the winery and even less about the wines.”
Why Most Winery Websites Stink, 7-21-11 – Washington Wine Report

“According to the Beverage Information Group's recently released 2011 Liquor Handbook, total spirits consumption rose 1.9% in 2010 to 192.1 million 9-liter cases. This marks the 13th straight year spirits consumption has gained ground.”
From: U.S. Spirits Consumption Continues 13th Year of Growth; Consumers Slowly Return to On-Premise, 7-19-11 – PRN Newswire


Marketing Tidbits

  1. Building a Wine Brand, 7-21-11 – Hein on Wine Blog


Show n Tell

(Left) Picture of grape press Rob Anderson, Central City, IA constructed. The basket is made out of 1”x2” red oak and measures 22” high and 19” in diameter which would make it 27 gallons. The whole thing is held together by stainless steel bolts. The jack is a 12 ton pneumatic that will hook up to an air compressor. I has an off/on switch. The bottom tray has a ¾” hole that will drain intot a 5 gallon bucket.

Rob has a 1 acre 4 year old vineyard of Brianna called “Broken Bridge Vineyards”.









(Left) I found this Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) on the “ISU Extension – Warren County” sign in from of my office in Indianola, IA. The larva feed on Oak, Maple, Sweet Gum, Sassafras and pines. There is a high amount of variation within the colors of the adults which are always yellow and purple but can vary. Generally there is more purple on the forewing and more purple on males. Adults emerge before sunrise and mate after midnight the next day. Females lay eggs at dusk singly or in groups of 2-5 on both surfaces of host plant leaves. The eggs hatch in about 2 weeks, and the larva are solitary feeders. Pupation takes place in underground burrows. There is one generation per year. Adults do not feed.

I stopped by the ISU Entomology Department on the ISU campus this week. Dr. Donald Lewis showed me their two Japanese Beetle traps that they put behind their building shown in the (Lower Left) picture. Note the crabapple tree in the background that has been almost completely defoliated by the adult Japanese Beetles. Different types of attractants were being used in the two traps. They replaced the small catch basin that was attached to the trap on the right with a 30 gallon plastic trash can because of all the beetles they were catching. You can read the latest information from ISU Horticulture on Japanese Beetles here in the 7-13-11 issue of ISU Horticulture Home Pest News: http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2011/7-13/japanesebeetle.html





Japanese Beetles are also becoming a problem in Iowa corn and soybean fields. See “Japanese Beetle Activity Increases in Iowa", 7-22-11 ISU Integrated Crop Management News here:

(Above and below) Sweet Cherry tree at ISU Horticulture Research Station showing the top leaves defoliated by Japanese Beetles.


(Left) Close up of Japanese Beetle trap hanging over 30 gallon plastic trash can. The bait is connected to the top portion of the trap.











Comments from Readers

Hi Mike;
Here are a few pictures I took last night. I was running this machine in my Somerset seedless grape rows. The 1st picture is actually LaCrescent rows I had done some days earlier. This machine has been rather expensive to buy and setup. All things being relative and my situation as being generally the lone worker in my vineyard, it has been my salvation! I can get the vines trimmed in a timely manner with minimal effort. I trim about 1 acre per hr. Last year it took me days of hard physical effort to accomplish this work with almost the same results. I am also now able to keep on top of my spray program. I have also less canopy to penetrate with my simple boom sprayer and I keep good airflow with most of the laterals being cut off. I highly recommend not drinking and driving while operating this machine. It does require one pay attention.

Brian Nordschow - (Prairie View Vineyard)
Windridge Implements L.L.C, Decorah, Iowa 52101
office: 563-382-3613 ext. 109
cell: 563-380-1330, fax: 563-382-2820

(Left) Rinieri hedger and vertical boom sprayer mounted on Brian’s Farmall tractor.








(Left) Front view of Rinieri hedger mounted on Farmall tractor.








(Left) Somerset Seedless vines right after hedging with the Rinieri hedger.









(Left) LaCrescent vines recently hedged with Rinieri hedger.










Articles of Interest

  1. IA Wapello Couple Pops the Cork on Their New Business, 7-15-11 - Muscatine Journal
  2. IL Remembering Fred Koehler, pioneer winemaker, 7-18-11 – Chicago Tribune
    (Founder of Lynfred Winery in Chicago suburb away at 83 years)
  3. MO Grape Phenology and GDD Accumulation, 7-18-11 – Missouri State University
  4. Craft Brewers will share tent at the Iowa State Fair, 7-19-11 – Des Moines Register
  5. US wine company introduces new wine dispensing system, 7-20-11 – DBR Catering Equipment
  6. Is organic wine better for you than regular wine, 7-20-11 – Wine Spectator


Videos of Interest

  1. Everything Grape Video Library, Univ. of Vermont:


Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

  1. Univ. of Vermont’s 2011 Grape Phenology WWW site:
  2. Veraison to Harvest, 24 p., 7.56 mb PDF, Riverina Vineyards, Australia


Calendar of Events

7-24, 11 am to 3pm Minnesota Grape Growers Association’s Summer Picnic at St Croix Vineyards & Winery, Stillwater, MN. Flyer: http://mngrapegrowers.com/summer-picnic

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/

7-27, 22nd Michigan State University Viticulture Field Day at the Southwest Michigan Research & Demonstration Farm near Benton Harbor, MI. Full details here: http://www.agbioresearch.msu.edu/swmrec/news.html

7-30, University of Nebraska Viticulture Field Day on Petiole Sampling, Crop Estimation and Summer Vineyard Management, Prairie Creek Vineyards, Central City NE. Details will be announced here: http://agronomy.unl.edu/viticulture/

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

8-13, WGGA Summer Vineyard Walk – Parrallel 44 Vineyard & Winery, Kewaunee, WI. Details and Flyer: http://wigrapes.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/WGGA-Summer-Vineyard-Walk-2011.pdf

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

8-27, University of Nebraska Mechanical Harvester Field Day, Ida’s Vitas Vineyard, Ogallala, NE. The western NE growers associated with the 5 Trails Winery have taken delivery of a machine harvester and will be discussing and demonstrating its merits at this field day. Details will be announced here: http://agronomy.unl.edu/viticulture/

10-(21+22), Small Scale Commercial Winemaking Course, Kimmel Education & Research Center, Nebraska City, NE. Details & Registration: http://www.nercd.com/r/p/119/

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

4-(17-19)-12, License to Steal at the Lodge at Geneva, Ohio. Details soon here: http://nationalwinemarketing.com/


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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