#185 - November 29, 2011

$498,000 grant for economists to study cool climate wineries

Miguel Gómez, assistant professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University is working to identify the keys to success for the newest cool-climate wine regions in the eastern United States.

A four-year project, funded by a $498,000 grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture, is a joint effort among Gómez, Michigan State University professor Brent Ross and project director Fabio Chaddad from the University of Missouri.

Their goal is to figure out what factors increase the survival and growth of wineries in their first five years and then translate them into business practices and plans for regional development.

Details here: Economists help cool-climate wine growers, 11-16-11, Cornell University:


Empty Nest Winery – Iowa’s newest!

Empty Nest Winery held their grand opening on Saturday, 11-26-11.

Check them out here:

Dave and Pam Kruger
Empty Nest Winery
1352 Apple Road
Waukon, IA 52172
Ph: 563-568-2758
e-mail: emptynestwinery@gmail.com or info@emptynestwinery.com
Homepage: http://www.emptynestwinery.com


Midwest wineries win at International Women’s Wine Competition

The first International Women’s Wine Competition was held in 2007 in Santa Rosa, California. A competition judged entirely by women, thus helping professional wine buyers and consumers identify wines that women enjoy – and ultimately helping wineries sell more wine. According to a Vinexpo 2009 survey, women choose and buy eight out of every 10 bottles of wine that are drunk at home.

The 2011 competition was held in Sonoma County, California on November 1 & 2. Over 700 wines from around the world were ranked by 24 women judges.

The following Midwest wineries won awards at this competition:

Prairie Berry Winery - Hill City, SD
Euro-American Red Hybrid Varietal – Nouveau Phat Hogg Red - Corot noir – Silver
Euro-American White Hybrid Varietal – 2010 Brianna – Silver
Fruit Wines – Nouveau Cranberry – Silver
Red Ass Rhubarb – Silver
Mead – Nouveau Raspberry – Bronze
Native American Red Varietals – Nouveau Calamity Jane – Bronze
Rose Blend – Nouveau Pink Slip – Gold (56% White Zinfandel & 44% Steuben)

St. James Winery – St. James, MO
Fruit Wines – Nouveau Blueberry – Bronze
Nouveau Raspberry – Bronze
Other Red Varietals – 2007 Norton – Bronze
Other White Varietals – 2010 Vignoles – Gold

Stone Hill Winery – Hermann, MO
Euro-American White Hybrid Varietal – 2010 Traminette – Silver
2010 Reserve Traminette – Bronze
Other White Varietals – 2010 Dry Vignoles – Gold
Sparkling Rose – Nouveau Brut Rose - Bronze

Tassel Ridge Winery - Leighton, IA
Best of Class Rose Blend – Nouveau Pink Catawba
Euro-American White Hybrid Blend – Nouveau Prelude – Bronze
50% St. Pepin & 50% Muscat
Fruit Wines – Nouveau Cranberry – Bronze
Rose Blend – Nouveau Catawba - Gold

Two Saints Winery – St. Charles, IA
Blush Varietals – 2010 Frontenac Blush – Bronze
Other White Varietals – 2009 Espiritu - Silver

Wilde Prairie Winery – Brandon, SD
Euro-American White Hybrid Blend – 2009 Prairie Gold – Silver
Fruit Wines – 2009 Rhubarb Strawberry - Bronze

Check out this 2:28 min. video taken right after the competition by Wine Oh .TV:


2012 Annual Call for Entries to San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition!

It is time to submit your winery’s finest for the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition! Widely acclaimed as the largest competition of American wines in the world, this renowned event is accepting entries from across the country to be evaluated at the annual judging, a prestigious and extensive process that takes place over a four-day period in January. All results are then immediately posted on www.winejudging.com and many of the award winners will have the opportunity to be showcased at the exclusive Public Tasting in San Francisco, February 18, 2012 (mark your calendars – it is a sold out event each year).

Founded in 1983 as the modestly sized Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition, the SFCWC broke world records in 2007 with 3,800 American wines entered, officially designating it as the largest competition of American wines in the world. In 2011, over 60 experts within the media, trade, hospitality and education industries from around the country witnessed an astounding 5,050 entries – a number that, once again, solidified the SFCWC’s reputation as the premier competition of American varietals throughout the United States…and the world.

According to Robert Fraser, Executive Director of the Competition, “We are amazed at the response we continue to receive each year. We invite all wineries to join us on the cutting edge of the wine industry throughout the United States.”

Sign up now -- wine entry information and forms are available at www.winejudging.com


Tri-State Fruit and Vegetable Growers Symposium – Sioux City, IA

Fruit and vegetable growers are invited to attend the Tri-State Fruit and Vegetable Growers Symposium Friday, Dec. 2, 12:00 – 5:15 p.m. at Stoney Creek Inn in Sioux City, IA.

Featured speakers include South Dakota State University Professor of Forestry John Ball with an overview of specialty crops and Tim Vala of Vala’s Pumpkin Patch near Omaha, NE providing marketing tips.

Growers can choose from afternoon fruit and vegetable production and marketing sessions provided by University Extension horticulture specialists and experienced local growers covering fruit trees, aronia berries, grapes, ethnic vegetable varieties, bugs and organic pest control, and community supported agriculture strategies.

The symposium is planned in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, University of Nebraska Extension, and South Dakota State University Extension. For more information or to register call Woodbury County Extension at (712) 276-2157 or visit www.flavorsofnorthwestiowa.org


Pre-conference “Wine Evaluation 101” Seminar &
2011 Fall – University of Nebraska Viticulture Workshop

Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Dec. 3, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Downtown Lincoln Holiday Inn, Lincoln, NE


Dec. 2 Wine Evaluation 101
$40 each
$25 for additional guest

Dec. 3 Fall Viticulture Workshop
$70 for an Nebraska Winery & Grape Growers Association (NWGGA) member
$50 for additional person from same firm
$80 for non-member

Online Registration: http://go.unl.edu/wine

Hardcopy registration and Agenda: are in the Oct./Nov. Nebraska Vinelines Newsletter found here: http://agronomy.unl.edu/viticulture


Winery Sanitation Workshop – HCC-Wamego, KS

What: Winery Sanitation Workshop with Patricia Howe of ETS Laboratories

When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday & 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, 12-(3-4)-11

Where: Highland Community College -Wamego, KS

Topics: http://www.vesta-usa.org/main/index.php/current-students/practicum-workshops/winery-sanitation

$75 each which will cover lunch on Saturday and includes tours at OZ Winery in Wamego and Tallgrass Brewery in Manhattan as well as presentations by Joe Lutomske of New World Winery Equipment and Alan Westfall of Westfall Company, Inc.

No Charge for VESTA VIN 148 students

Sponsored by:
Viticulture Enology Science & Technology Alliance (VESTA)
Highland Community College -Wamego

Registration: Space is limited, so please either complete this registration form or contact Scott Kohl:

Scott Kohl, Wamego Campus Director V&E Program Director
Highland Community College 500 Miller Drive Wamego, KS 66547
Office: 785-456-6006, fax: 785-456-6008


Wine Microorganisms Workshop – WI

When: 9 a.m. -8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 & 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011

Sponsored by: VESTA Rend Lake College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Conjunction with the VESTA class “Introduction to Wine Microorganisms”

Instructor: Paul Gospodarczyk: Certified Sommelier, VESTA Instructor, Executive Director of Today’s Wine Professional, and Winemaking Consultant

Comments: Both days are open to students. Day 2 is open to the industry and other participants. On Saturday, Dec. 10th, attendees will enjoy a special tour of wineries along the Great River Road led by Paul Gospodarczyk, including: Danzinger Vineyards in Alma, WI, and Elmaro Vineyard in Centerville, WI, where visitors will have the opportunity to see a variety of production techniques, processing equipment, and strategies for sanitation and uses of microorganisms. On Sunday, Dec. 11th, Wine: Maximizing Microorganisms, will be our theme. At Elmaro Vineyard in Centerville, WI, Paul will present lectures on the uses of microorganisms in wine production and defect prevention, and will host a hands-on wine defect identification workshop.

Details & Registration: Pre-registration is required. Please see form. Participants must be 21 years of age. http://www.vesta-usa.org/main/index.php/current-students/practicum-workshops/vin210


WI Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Conference – Registration Now Open

When: Sunday – Tuesday, January 15-17, 2012

Where: The Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells

Cost: $55 each for Wisconsin Grape Growers Association (WGGA) members, $65 for non-members.

Hotel Rooms: must be booked with your conference registration in order to receive our negotiated price of $99.95

Agenda: Sunday night - WGGA Wisconsin Food & Wine Pairing Dinner for additional cost of $65
Monday – WGGA Annual Meeting

Speakers Include:
-Judy Reith-Rozelle and Rebecca Harbut, UW-Madison: Update of the UW-Madison research projects on table grapes and wine grapes.
-Becky Rochester, WGGA Grape Marketing Coordinator: Results of the Wine and Grower Survey.
-Tim Rehbein, Vernon County UW-Extension Agent: Economics of wine grapes.
-Grower Panel: Discussion of experience with different varieties across the state.

CLICK HERE for conference registration form. Don't forget to renew your WGGA Membership for 2012 and save $10 per person on your conference registration. CLICK HERE for a WGGA Membership Form. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Contact: Becky Rochester
WGGA Grape Marketing Coordinator
Ph: 503.428.6331 or becky@wigrapes.org


Registration Now Open – Midwest Grape & Wine Conference - St. Charles, MO

What: 27th Midwest Grape & Wine Conference and Trade Show
When: Conference: February 9-12, 2012 and Trade Show: February 10-11, 2012
Where: St. Charles Convention Center, St. Charles, MO
Full Details & Registration: http://www.midwestgrapeandwineconference.com/


Cold Climate Conference 2012

Complete Details Here: http://mngrapegrowers.com/conference


WSU French/Italian Mediterranean Chartered Wine Cruise

Monday – 5/28 Nice, France (embarkation point)
Tuesday – 5/29 Calvi, France
Wednesday – 5/30 Portofino, Italy
Thursday – 5/31 Livorno, Italy
Friday – 6/1 Portoferraio, Italy
Saturday – 6/2 Rome, Italy (debarkation point)

Sponsored by: Washington State Viticulture & Enology Program
Hosts: WSU Viticulture & Enology Director Thomas Henick-Kling, Dean Daniel Bernardo ’85, and other WSU Cougar wine community leaders.
Cost: Pricing starts at $2,450 per person.
Details: http://cahnrsalumni.wsu.edu/cruise/


Notable Quotables

“Known primarily for its status as the world’s top wine marketer by volume, E&J Gallo is also one of the leading U.S. spirits marketers.”

From: Gallo’s Mix Of Spirits Brands Creates Dynamic Growth Trends, 11-16-11 – Shaken News
Dailey: http://www.shankennewsdaily.com/index.php/2011/11/16/1950/gallos-mix-of-spirits-brands-creates-dynamic-growth-trends/

“USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) allocated $213 million for export promotion activities through two USDA international market development programs: the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) and the Market Access Program (MAP). – The California Wine Institute received $6,938,144”

From: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service 11-16-11 News Release:


Marketing Tidbits

  1. Affluents Are Heavy Social Networkers, Both Online and Offline, 11-16-11 –
    Media Post Blog: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/162476/affluents-are-heavy-social-networkers-both-online.html
  2. 70% of Online Video Ad Viewers Visit Site or Buy, 11-17-11 Media Post Research Brief:
  3. Boozing It Up for the Holidays: Data Shows Holiday Stress Means 27% More Drinking, 11-22-11 – PRNewswire: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/boozing-it-up-for-the-holidays-data-shows-holiday-stress-means-27-more-drinking-134319673.html


Articles of Interest

  1. CA: In a California Vineyard, Bluebirds Earn Their Keep, 11-18-11 – New York Times: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/in-a-california-vineyard-bluebirds-earn-their-keep/
  2. Biodynamics are 'emotional black magic': Richard Smart, 11-17-11 – Decantor.com:
  3. CA: Bringing the Tasting Room to the Living Room, 11-17-11 – New York Times:
  4. MN: U grapes help wine industry grow, 11-23-11 – MNDaily.com:
  5. IA: Brick Arch Winery Rises Again in Iowa, 11-27-11 – Midwest Wine Press
  6. CA: California Professor Works to Grow a Later, Tastier Grape, 11-27-11 – Fox News:
  7. AU: 'The enemy' at bay: scientists crack brett gene code, 11-28-11 – Decanter.com:
  8. Egg-Shaped Wine Tanks Whet Appetite, 11-28-11 – Wines and Vines Magazine: http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=news&content=94661&htitle=Egg-Shaped%20Tanks%20Whet%20Appetite&


Show n Tell

On Tuesday and Wednesday, November 15 & 16th, Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari (Director of the Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute) and I ventured up to Northwest Iowa and Southeast South Dakota to visit some wineries, see what they were up to, taste some wines and listen to their needs. We were able to visit the following wineries:

Tuesday, Nov. 15:
Train Wreck Winery - Algona, IA
Calico Skies Winery - Inwood, IA
Strawbale Winery - Renner, SD
Wednesday, Nov. 16:
Schade Vineyard & Winery - Volga, SD
Little Swan Lake Winery – Estherville, IA

We arrived back to Ames, Iowa late Wednesday evening. It was a very informative trip. We are always amazed at how innovative this industry is. Full details and pictures of this trip can be found on my facebook page

Selected pics below:


(Left) L-R, Murli and Steve Larson at tasting room bar in Train Wreck Winery – Algona, IA. 5-15-11









 (Left) At the time of this photo, Train Wreck winery was awaiting approval of their first five wine labels. The shiny countertop is made from the floor boards of a rail car that was probably in the 1924 train wreck that occurred south of Livermore, IA where their vineyard is located. 5-15-11








(Left) Train Wreck winery is located in the renovated old train depot at Algona, IA. 5-15-11






(Left) Calico Skies Winery sits atop a hill just west of Inwood, IA 5-15-11





(Left) Will Kimberley uses his I-pad with a free App called “Square” to make on-premise sales. Credit cards can be swiped for a 2.75% fee. An I-Phone can also be used for this. Everything uploads via WiFi to the Cloud for data storage. Receipts are sent via e-mail or text messaging. Monthly transactions can be downloaded into a spreadsheet program. 5-15-11




(Left) L-R Murli, Will and Ashlee Kimberley (owners) in tasting room of Calico Skies Winery. The tasting room bar was made from scrap lumber and varnished. The event room to the left of the tasting room can hold 300 people. 5-15-11








(Left) Customers in the tasting room can view the wine making procedures though two large picture windows at Calico Skies Winery. 5-15-11









(Left) L-R Don and Suzie South stand on either side of Murli in the tastin groom of Strawbale Winery. The winery walls are made of straw for insulation. The counter and table tops are made of old chalkboards. Customers can wright their order right onto the chalkboards.








(Left) One of the unique and popular events at Strawbale Winery centers around helicopter tours of Christmas lights over the city of Sioux Falls, SD.







(Left) The 5th Quilts & Vines festival was held at Strawbale Winery on 8-13-11. Heirloom Creations co-sponsors this event with Strawbale Winery.









(Left) L-R Jim & Nancy Schade and Murli standing in their tasting room. Jim is the current president of the South Dakota Winegrowers Association.








(Left) Here are two bottles of wine that are popular in their tasting room they opened this year in Deadwood, SD. The Aces & Eights card hand on the left represents the hand Wild Bill Hickok held when he was shot in back at the #10 Saloon in Deadwood, SD.








(Left) Picture from along Hwy 14 just southwest of Schade Vineyard and Winery. Jim and Nancy are selling the truck with reefer unit. They are getting a new, larger reefer unit to replace it. They use it to haul wine to their tasting room they opened this year in Deadwood, SD.






(Left) Jim Schade stands next to his unusual hydraulic horizontal basket press his son designed and helped him to build.








(Left) Scott & Diane Benjamin built the original Little Swan Lake Winery in the old dairy barn on their property. They had the old grain elevator moved adjacent to the barn in 2010 from another local farm. Scott worked on the grain elevator for 1.5 years before they opened it up as a bed & breakfast.





(Left) (L-R) Murli, Billie James and myself. Billie James is a local singer who works as the sales/event manager for Little Swan Lake Winery. She is originally from Australia. She is a great people person. She is perfect for their tasting room.






(Left) Scott Benjamin (R) and his daughter Jennie in wine production area of Little Swan Lake Winery.







(Left) This is the bottom floor underneath the old grain elevator that is being used as a barrel room. Note how all the boards are nailed together flat. The entire grain elevator is built this way to withstand the force of stored grains. Scott went through many, many saw blades as he cut out doorways in the old elevator.








Videos of Interest

  1. CA: "Cannabis Chef" infuses wines with medical marijuana, 11-15-11 - 9NEWS.com, 2:36 min.: http://www.9news.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1276844671001&odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|featured
  2. The First Sale is Based on the Wine Label; the Second on What’s in the Bottle, 11-14-11 – Global TV BC, 5:34 min.: http://www.nataliemaclean.com/blog/the-first-sale-is-based-on-the-wine-label-the-second-on-whats-in-the-bottle-global-tv-bc/


Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

  1. Oldest Winery in the U.S., established in 1839: http://www.brotherhood-winery.com/
  2. Winegrape Growers of Australia – Winegrape Contracts help page: http://www.wgga.com.au/
  3. TastingRoom.com: http://www.tastingroom.com/
  4. Scoop it – Vitabella Luxury lifestyle wine:


Calendar of Events

12-2, Tri-State Fruit and Vegetable Growers Symposium – Sioux City, IA. Sponsored by: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, University of Nebraska Extension, and South Dakota State University Extension. Details: www.flavorsofnorthwestiowa.org

12-(2 & 3), Pre-conference “Wine Evaluation 101” Seminar & 2011 Fall – University of Nebraska Viticulture Workshop. Hardcopy registration and Agenda: are in the Oct./Nov. Nebraska Vinelines Newsletter found here: http://agronomy.unl.edu/viticulture

12-(3 &4), Winery Sanitation Workshop – HCC-Wamego, KS. Registration details:

12- (4-9), Hands-on Whisky Distilling Workshop, American Distilling Institute, Stillwater Spirits (611 2nd St.) Petaluma, CA: http://distilling.com/workshop.html

12-(10 &11), Wine Microorganisms Workshop – WI. Sponsored by: VESTARend Lake College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Details & Registration: Pre-registration is required. http://www.vesta-usa.org/main/index.php/current-students/practicum-workshops/vin210

1-(6-7)-12, Kansas Grape Growers & Winemakers Annual Conference, Topeka, KS
Details here: http://kansasgrapesandwines.com/

1-(15-17), WI Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Conference - : The Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells. Details: http://wigrapes.org/events-schedule

1-(24-26)-12, Unified Grape & Wine Symposium, Sacramento Convention Center • Sacramento, CA: Details here: http://www.unifiedsymposium.org/

2-(2-4)-12, Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Association (IGGVA) Annual Conference – Crown Plaza Hotel, Springfield, IL. Details here: http://www.illinoiswine.org/conference.html

2-(9-12)-12, 27th Midwest Grape & Wine Conference and Trade Show - St. Charles Convention Center, St. Charles, MO. Full Details & Registration: http://www.midwestgrapeandwineconference.com/

2-(23-25)-12, Minnesota Grape Growers Association’s Cold Climate Conference - Crown Plaza, St. Paul, MN. Details here: http://mngrapegrowers.com/conference

3-(1-3)-12, Nebraska Winery & Grape Growers Forum - Holiday Inn, Kearney, NE.

3-(16 & 17)-12, Iowa Wine Growers Association’s Annual Conference – Hotel at Kirkwood, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA. Details later here: http://www.iowawinegrowers.org

3-(27-29)-12, Wineries Unlimited, Greater Richmond Convention Center, Richmond, VA
Details here: http://www.wineriesunlimited.com/

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

6-(1-2)-12, WineMaker Magazine Annual Conference, Ithaca, NY.
Details: http://www.winemakermag.com/conference

5-28 thru 6-2-12, French/Italian Mediterranean chartered wine cruise, Washington State Viticulture & Enology Program. Pricing starts at $2,450 per person: http://cahnrsalumni.wsu.edu/cruise/


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, Pakistan & 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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