#177 - August 1, 2011

PDF Version: 

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.

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

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

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.


(Left) There is even a kids tent at the Wine Experience.

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.

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.

I will need the mailing address you want your tickets sent to and your cell phone # for communication on the Fairgrounds.

Contact: mike white mlwhite@iastate.edu or cell: 515-681-7386

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


“FREE” Buy/Sell Grape Classifieds

I see that a few buyers and sellers have already posted their “Grapes For Sale” or “Grapes Wanted” on the Iowa Wine Growers Association’s (IWGA) classified ad section. There is NO CHARGE to post grapes or equipment for sale on this WWW site:

Note: Most of the Midwest State vine/wine associations also have FREE grape exchange advertising available to growers and sellers. Winedustry.com is another good cold climate winegrape regional FREE classified ad WWW site for grape buyers and sellers. http://www.winedustry.com


Now’s the Time to Use Petiole Analysis to Manage Vineyard Nutrition

by Paul Domoto, ISU Extension fruit specialist (domoto@iastate.edu )

Proper pruning, crop load management, vineyard nutrition are the primary way for maintaining a healthy, productive vineyard. In maintaining the proper nutrient levels, petiole analysis is a very effective management tool because it will tell you how much of each mineral nutrient the vines are able to obtain from the soil, and can identify nutrient shortages and excess, and identify cases where one nutrient may be competing with another. It is not an exact science because it can’t tell you how much more or less of a nutrient to apply, but if practiced on an annual basis, it will allow you to fine tune your vineyard fertility program.

For grapes grown in the Midwest, the period from mid-July to mid-August (or early veraison) is the best time to conduct a petiole analysis. This is because both nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) in plant tissue declined during the growing season and the rate of decline is slowest during this period. Also, because N and K decline during the growing season, it is best to sample the same time each year when conducting petiole analysis on an annual basis. I often tell growers to collect petiole samples on August 1 – it’s easy to remember and it falls in the middle of the sampling period.

Collecting Grape Petioles for Tissue Analysis:

is a guide for collecting a sample, and lists Midwest laboratories that perform the service. If you are in Iowa, you can send me your results (some labs will forward the results to me), and I will look them over and make recommendations. If you are in a neighboring state, there is a listing of Extension specialist that can be contacted.

Paul A. Domoto, Professor & Extension Fruit Specialist
Dept. of Horticulture, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1100
Ph: (515)294-0035 Fax: (515)294-0730 or Domoto@iastate.edu


WGGA Summer Vineyard Walk – Kewaunee, WI

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

When: 4 p.m., Satuday, 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:


ISU - NE2010 Research Vineyard Field Day –Baldwin, IA

When: 2 p.m., Sunday August 21, 2011
Where: Tabor Home Winery, 3570 67th St. Baldwin, IA 52207 ph:877-673-3131
Who: Dr. Paul Domoto, ISU Fruit Specialist will review the 30 new cultivars planted.
Questions: Contact Paul Tabor at: iowawine@netins.net
Note: Music in the Vineyards series will occur after the field day.


Notable Quotables

“If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it”

--- Albert Einstein


Marketing Tidbits

  1. How To: Get Journalists to Tell Your Story, 7-25-11 – Mashable:
  2. 5 Simple Tips for Better Business Web Sites, 7-31-11 – Mashable:


Show n Tell

The Iowa Wine Growers Association’s bus trip to the Southwest Michigan State University Viticulture field day was held from Tuesday, July 26 to Thursday, July 28. The first stop on our trip was Lavender Crest Winery in Colona, IL where Martha and “Ritt” Rittmueller (owners) met with us and gave us the VIP treatment.

(Left) Group picture with Martha & Ritt Rittmueller front and center. 7-26-11









(Left) Ritt Rittmueller led the tour of the wine making operations at Lavender Crest Winery. 7-26-11

After we finished up at Lavender Crest Winery, we took off to visit the Round Barn Winery in Barota, MI. Unfortunately we did not make it. Traffic jams on I-80 in the Chicago area delayed our intended arrival way past the opening hours at Round Barn Winery. We instead took off for the Day’s Inn motel in Benton Harbor, MI. We ended the day with a late meal and adult refreshments at a nearby Applebee’s.

The following morning we all headed for the Southwest Michigan State University Research and Extension Center to attend their 22nd Viticulture field day. Staff at the Center estimated that over 250 people were in attendance. Except for a short rainfall event over the noon hour, the weather was very nice. The educational vineyard talks, demonstrations, vendor exhibits, meals and wine social were GREAT! Pictures below:



(Left) Prototype single high wire trellis vine comber developed at the SW MSU research farm.







(Left) Homemade air assisted vineyard sprayer with gas leaf blower, upright booms and a horizontal boom for herbicide spraying. The leaf blows the leaves around to get better coverage.












(Left) Vacuum assist leaf puller mounted on front of tractor.







(Left) Hydraulic driven horizontal / vertical hedger operating in the vineyard.













(Left) Paul Klodd of DRS Manufacturing from Jefferson, IA was present to demonstrate his NetterGetter.








(Left) The local Oxbo-Korvan dealer parked a new grape harvester in the vendor area.








(Left) A vine layering demonstration was set up in the vineyard. This homemade layering tool is used to lay the vines into the soil trench. Thin slices of straw are placed on either side of the vine for moisture retention and weed control. The layered plant is connected to the mother plant for 2 years before being separated.

Early in the morning the following day we all boarded the bus to visit Arrowhead Vineyards in Barota, MI. Dan and his wife Heather Nitz are the 5th generation of grape growers on this largest winegrape farm in Michigan. Dan manages the operation with his dad. Arrowhead Vineyards raises both juice grapes and winegrapes. They grow blocks of grapes for 45 different wineries in 10 states on short and long term contracts. They harvest at night and send the semi truckloads directly from the vineyard. Here are some selected pictures:



(Above) Heather and Dan Nitz held the Iowa Wine Growers Association banner when we took a group picture at their 550 acre grape farm. 7-28-11

(Left) Homemade two row under-row weed sprayer. Metal deflector bars around the front tires help keep the vines from the wheels. 7-28-11






(Left) We stopped at Mike Nitz’s (Dan’s cousin) vineyard where Mike talked about growing Cabernet Franc and discussed how he sells his grapes. He had just contracted his Cabernet Franc for $1,700/ton delivered to a winery. He will probably get around 4- 5 tons per acre this season. 7-28-11






(Left) Mike Nitz puts these rigid plastic whiskers on the front of his tractor to keep the vines away from the wheels. 7-28-11

We quickly jumped on the bus after visiting with Arrowhead vineyards and Mike Nitz to have lunch at Anderson’s Winery in Valparaiso, IN. This winery sells hobby wine equipment, green house plants and homemade fudge along with the normal wine tasting and wine gift shop merchandise. They also provide picnic lunches and hayrack rides through their vineyard. Pictures below:






(Left) Sign along the highway.










(Left) These trees in their patio area are actually doubled trunked grape vines shaped into trees. Neeto-Keeno!

On the way back home from Anderson’s winery we made an impromptu stop at Fox Valley Winery in Oswego, IL. I called the owner Dick Faltz on his cell phone one hour ahead of time to warn of our coming. He was gracious enough to leave his vineyard work and drive to the winery to greet us.
Pictures below:




(Left) Dick Faltz (owner) of Fox Valley Winery served up plenty of wine as we went through their huge wine list. Their 3- liter box wines are great sellers. 7-28-11







(Left) Mike Faltz (son) gave us a tour of the wine production facility. He talked about the portable wood oven pizza setup they have on wheels and use at many events. It is very popular.

After dropping off six of our passengers at Iowa City we drove on to Summerset Winery to drop off everyone else. We arrived around 10 p.m. Thursday evening. I want to thank Ron & Linda Mark of Summerset Winery for allowing everyone to park at their winery. I also want to thank Windstar Bus Lines for going out of their way to make this trip FANTASTIC!





Check out the 100+ photos of the IL/MI/IN ENTIRE TRIP on my facebook photo page:


Comments from Readers

“ FYI....I bought two different grapevine hedging knives from two different manufacturers, both with serrated blades, a Brush King and one from Kelco Industries. The blade on the Brushking goes into the handle 2 inches less than the Kelco, the Brushking rivets were not centered and were near the top of the handle because the metal is only half the height of the handle thickness, the rivets were not flush with the handle. The serrations on the Brushking are not as deep. The Brushking handle broke withing ten minutes of light use. After I sort of repaired it and reinforced the handle with a hose clamp it did not hold its sharpness as long as the Kelco. The Kelco was almost $20 less expensive. I've also used a Kelco at home for two seasons of heavy abuse with no damage.” 7-29-11

-Dave Klodd, summersetdave@hotmail.com


Articles of Interest

  1. Missouri Wineries Cultivate Economic Growth, 7-27-11 – CBS St. Louis:
  2. Weak Economy Energizes Second Labels, 7-28-11 – Napa Register
  3. EPA OKs insecticide for stink bug, 7-28-11 – The Packer:
  4. Wineries that cut out middleman show strongest growth, 7-31-1 Press Democrat – Santa Rosa, CA:
  5. A List Of Jaw-Dropping Wine Records Around The World, 8-1-11, Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/wine-world-record-2011-8


Videos of Interest

  1. Winery still moving forward – Winery vs. County, Spring Valley, MN- 7-28-11 – Kimt 3 News,
  2. New Winery to open in Spring Valley, MN, 7-30-11 – Kaal-TV 6 News, 1:46 min.


Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

  1. Check out the 4 years of photos taken while establishing Flyer Otter Vineyard & Winery in Adrian, MI: http://www.flyingotter.com
  2. Wine Release.com: http://www.winerelease.com/


Calendar of Events

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

8-21, ISU - NE2010 Research Vineyard Field Day – Tabor Home Winery, Baldwin, IA 52207. Contact Paul Tabor at : iowawine@netins.net

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.

Share |