#197 - April 20, 2012


REMINDER: Please Fill Out Iowa Vineyard and/or Winery Survey

Dear Iowa Winery/Vineyard Owner
This linked Northern Grapes Project questionnaire should take about 20 minutes to complete
Iowa Wine Growers Association and Western Iowa Grape Growers Association members who helped to sponsor this survey received their survey request in an earlier e-mail request.
Information from non-members is also being requested. Non-members can fill out their survey here:
The Northern Grapes Project, which is funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has established specific goals, intended to assist your business, to accomplish in the next five years. One of the goals is to conduct a baseline study, including economic impact, of the industry in each of the participating states. This survey will help accomplish this goal.
A follow-up survey will be conducted in 2017 to measure how the industry has changed.
The survey will benefit your business directly. Survey results will be shared upon completion of the study.
You will:
• Learn about the current state of the industry
• Identify growth patterns and changes
• Possess credible data on the economic impact of the industry in your state
• Be able to clearly articulate the value of the industry
• Be able to make more informed business decisions.
Your responses to the survey will remain CONFIDENTIAL. Results will only be reported as totals of all responses. No individual responses will be shared or published.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Brigid Tuck at University of Minnesota Extension. She can be reached at 507-389-6979 or tuckb@umn.edu.
The Northern Grapes project is a collaborative research and extension effort involving twelve universities, with the support of 19 producer groups ranging from Nebraska to New Hampshire. The basic premise behind the project is that new grape varieties have made it possible to produce grapes in regions previously considered too cold to support commercial grape production. Since the late 1990’s, these cultivars have spawned a new industry. Estimates indicate that over 3,000 acres of cold-hardy grapes are spread across the upper Midwest and New England, with most vines under 10 years old. Conservatively, the cold-climate cultivars support over 330 small wineries in twelve northern states.

Wisconsin State Fair Wine Competitions Are Open to Out-of-State Entries

The Amateur entry form deadline varies from 4-26 to 5-11 depending on delivery method.
The Commercial Wine Competition entry deadline is June 8, 2012.

Organic Viticulture – Prepare before you do!

By: Mike White
Over the last 12 years I have had the privilege of working with 100’s of winegrape vineyard owners who intended to grow organic grapes. I learned along with them. I can only think of a handful at most who have completed this journey and today have a certified organic vineyard.
Unfortunately many of these newbies to the industry thought that Organic meant No Spray. Normally by the 4th year after planting they came to the realization that spraying fungicides for disease control was a necessary evil. (One lost crop was enough!) Weed control was often the worst problem they surrendered to first. I can’t tell you how many times I have explained to people why they could NOT spray Roundup (glyphosate) and remain certified organic. Weed control is the easy part of organic grapes. Acceptable disease prevention is the tallest hurtle of growing organic winegrapes in the Upper Midwest. We have a host of certified organic products we can use for: Anthacnose, Phomopsis, Downy Mildew and Powdery Mildew disease prevention. I am not aware of any certified organic products that provide excellent Black Rot prevention. Black Rot is arguably our most destructive winegrape disease in the Upper Midwest. These are our five major grape diseases.
So what to do? Can we grow organic grapes in the Upper Midwest? The answer is Yes, but you need to start out with the right site and cultivars,… and quickly digest a very steep learning curve. Here are some suggestions I share with people who want to have an organic vineyard:
1. PLANT DISEASE RESISTANT CULTIVARS: especially for Black Rot resistance. Tight clustered varieties will increase the potential of bunch rots.
2. PLANT ON A SOUTHEAST TO SOUTH FACING SLOPE: quick drying of the morning dew on the leaves will reduce the potential of most diseases.
3. PLANT THE ROWS NORTH-SOUTH: allowing both sides of the row to come in contact with the drying effects of the sun.
4. GOOD WEED CONTROL: Tall weeds can reduce airflow in the vineyard.
5. PRUNING AND IN-SEASON CANOPY MANAGEMENT: to increase airflow for quick drying.
6. USING A CANE PRUNING SYSTEM (ie…4- or 6 cane kniffin). This reduces the amount of overwintering disease inoculum that is common on the older tissues of a cordon pruning system.
7. VINEYARD SANITATION: Removal or prunings and grape mummies will aid in disease prevention.
8. PROPER FERTILITY AND DRAINAGE: Healthy well fed plants can withstand disease better than unhealthy plants. Avoid over fertilization with nitrogen which can result in excessive canopy vigor.
9. WILD GRAPE VINE REMOVAL: Removal of wild grape vines within 300 feet of the vineyard will aid in the reduction of disease and insect establishment.
10. PROMPT HARVESTING: will decrease the potential of Bunch Rots and late season insect damage.
11. A GOOD ORGANIC SPRAY PROGRAM: is essential for a good disease management program. Timely and repeated applications of fungicides when needed for disease prevention.
12. BIRD CONTROL: Bird damage invites both bunch rot diseases and insect pests.
13. LEARN ALL YOU CAN ABOUT ORGANIC VITICULTURE before you plant the grapes!!!
Below is a list of Organic Viticulture Resources that should be of help:
1. Ohio State University has a 46 page organic grape spray guide here:
2. Microbial Biopesticides for the Control of Plant Diseases in Organic Farming, Ohio State Univ.:
3. Washington State University Organic Viticulture Resources:
4. ATTRA has an excellent organic grape production guide here, $5.95 digital, $8.95 print copy:
5. Organic Risk Mgt. Crops Manual, Univ. of MN:
6. Cornell Univ. Organic Grape Guide:
7. National Organic Materials Review Institute: http://www.omri.org/ 8. National Organic Program USDA homepage:
9. Organic Viticulture Resources, WA State Univ:
10. Iowa Department of Ag Organic Certification Program:
11. ISU Organic Agriculture Extension Program:
12. Commercial Book: The Grape Grower – A Guide to Organic Viticulture by Lon Rombough"

IQWC Wine Sensory Training

white wine flightThe Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute (MGWII) is once again offering a program that will benefit both beginners and established professionals who wish toproduce, sell, serve, purchase, or simply enjoy quality wine! This course can also be used to certify those who wish to volunteer for the Iowa Quality Wine Consortium (IQWC) sensory panel.
Participants will learn a variety of skills in wine evaluation to become proficient in tasting wines critically. The workshops begin with the major components in wine including sugars, acids, alcohols and tannins. Exercises will be completed in white and red wine aroma identification, varietal identification, wine flaws and faults, and consistency in scoring among others. Attendance at workshop sessions is targeted to increase wine tasting acuity and prepare participants to successfully complete the proficiency test.
This is a 7-part workshop. There will be 6, 2-hour training sessions over the course of 6 weeks beginning May 9th. Each session will be held at a different winery located in different parts of Iowa, (see schedule below). Participants who attend at least 5 of the 6 sessions may test their proficiency if they wish. The test will be conducted at the MGWII located on the Iowa State University campus (date TBA). Those who pass the proficiency test have the option to volunteer on the IQWC sensory certification panel.
Cost (includes all 6 training sessions and voluntary proficiency test) red wine pour
IQWC members: N/A (included with membership)
Non-members: $50 per person
For IQWC membership information, contact Joan O’Brien, Iowa Wine Growers Association, 515-262-8323, joano@agribiz.org , http://iowawinegrowers.org/
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Wed 09 May Breezy Hills Vineyard & Winery, Minden, IA
Wed 16 May Park Farm Winery, Bankston, IA
Thu 24 May Tassel Ridge Winery, Leighton, IA
Wed 30 May Jasper Winery, Des Moines, IA
Wed 06 June Santa Maria Vineyard & Winery, Carroll, IA
Wed 13 June Fireside Winery, Marengo, IA
Space is limited. To make your reservation, contact Tammi Martin, Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute, 515-294-3308, tkmartin@iastate.edu (Participants must be at least 21 years of age).

May 21-22 Day Missouri Cooperages Tour

Tour Agenda:
Day 1 May 21
7:30 a.m. Depart St Louis Airport Marriott
Forest tour, near Salem, MO
Lakeside lunch
Mill tour
5:30 p.m. Arrive in Lebanon
7 p.m. Dinner
Day 2 May 22
8:00 a.m. Missouri Cooperage tour
Crafting wine barrels
Oak alternatives
2:15 pm Depart
Cost: $200 registration fee includes World Cooperage Two-Day tour, some meals and Fisk Coach Transportation. Attendees are responsible for travel expenses.

VESTA Enrollment Deadlines

Summer 2012 General Education Courses – May 4, 2012
Summer 2012 VESTA Courses – May 18, 2012
Fall 2012 General Education Courses – August 1, 2012
Fall 2012 VESTA Courses – August 15, 2012
Full Details: http://www.vesta-usa.org  
VESTA logo

The Northern Grapes Project Webinar Series

Keep a Cork in It: Stabilizing Sweet Wines for Bottling

Northern Grapes Project logoTuesday, May 8, 2012
12:00 Noon Eastern (11:00 AM Central)
7:00 PM Eastern (6:00 PM Central)
Residual sugar (RS) is an essential part of many wine styles, and in the northern varieties it can be especially useful. Depending on the titratable acidity and other characteristics, even "dry" wines may require a little RS to achieve a balanced mouth feel. Sugar is food for people and microscopic organisms alike and in wine, unless steps are taken to ensure that the product is microbially stable, problems ranging from off-aromas to self-ejecting corks may appear. Chris Gerling, Extension associate for enology in Cornell University’s extension enology lab, will discuss principles of filtration and other chemical & microbiological means of inhibiting or killing spoilage organisms, as well as the various costs and benefits.
To Register: Registration is free, but required. To register, fill out the online form posted at: https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9Rz9E79HQUpvnuY
Registration will be open from today (Friday, April 20th) through Friday, May 4th.
A few days prior to the webinar, those who register will be sent the web address (URL) for the Adobe Connect session. PLEASE NOTE: Only those who complete this online registration form will receive connection details to participate in the webinar. Even if you have registered for past webinars, you still must register for this webinar in order to receive the email.
Northern Grapes Project Details: http://northerngrapesproject.org/
The Northern Grapes Project is funded by the USDA’s Specialty Crops Research Initiative Program of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Project # 2011-51181-30850

8-16, 4th Annual International Cold Climate Wine Competition

MGGA logoThe 2012 International Cold Climate Wine Competition will be held August 16, 2012, at the University of Minnesota’s Continuing Education and Conference Center in St. Paul. Registration will begin in mid-May and all submitted wines must be received by August 10th.
Watch for forthcoming details at http://www.mngrapegrowers.com/competition

11-28 to 12-1, International Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference - Germany

Neubrandenburg, Germany- The International Association for Northern Viticulture and the University of Applied Sciences, Neubrandenburg welcome grape growers and winemakers to attend the 2012 International Congress Neubrandenburg and VitiNord 2012 to be held in Neubrandenburg from 28 November to 1 December, 2012.
VitiNord 2012 is the third in a series of conferences on cold climate viticulture and winemaking that started with the 2006 Northern Grape Growing Conference in Riga, Latvia and was followed in 2009 by the VitiNord Conference in St. Hyacynthe, Quebec.
This year, VitiNord 2012 will be combined with the final technical congress of the European Union INTERREG IV A project titled, "Pilotprojekt zum Anbau von Wein und neuen Kulturpflanzen in der Pomerania Region". See http://pomerania.hs-nb.de/en/pomerania/ for project details. The conference will have two unique venues. The University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg, the leader of this INTERREG IV A project, will host the combined conference on 28-29 November. On Friday, 30 November, the conference venue will move to Zachodniopomorski Uniwerstet Technologiczny w Szczecinie, Poland, a partner in the INTERREG IV A project and just one hour by bus from Neubrandenburg.
The conference agenda will include reports from German, Polish, and Swedish researchers of this INTERREG IV project, as well as presentations on cold climate grape growing and winemaking by noted experts from North America, Russia, China, and Europe. A trade show and poster session are planned. The conference will host two winetasting events, with wines from around the far northern regions of the world. A winery tour of the Pomerania region is planned for the last day of the conference.
Tom Plocher, program organizer and author of the book Northern Winework, reports that nearly 300 people will attend the conference, representing more than a dozen countries in Asia, Europe, and North America.
The conference website and registration information can be viewed at http://vitinord-nb2012.org/congress.html
You may also contact one of the conference organizers for further information:
Tom Plocher tom.plocher@gmail.com, Mark Hart markhart@mavo.biz , Gerhard Flick Gerhard Flick flick@hs-nb.de , Gaelle Dube gaelle.dube@yahoo.ca

Notable Quotables

"Overall beer consumption fell by 1.5% last year……..Wine also saw a trend toward higher-end consumption. The wine category grew 2.5% in 2011"
From: Distilled Spirits and Wine Consumption Continue to Climb; Craft and Import Beer Thrive, 4-19-12 – PR Newswire: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/distilled-spirits-and-wine-consumption-continue-to-climb-craft-and-import-beer-thrive-2012-04-19

Marketing Tidbits

1. Beverage Dynamics – Free Online or Snail Mail Magazine for retail merchants of wine, beer and distilled spirits. 6 issues / year: http://www.beveragedynamics.com
2. TTB - 4-15-12 national list by state of federally licensed wineries and blenders: http://www.woi-tv.com/story/17424736/recent-frosts-hurt-brands-of-local-wines
(Iowa now has 101 federally licensed wineries – mlw)
3. "alcohol producers and entrepreneurs have finally come to the realization that women are taking control of what alcohol is consumed -- both at home and at restaurants."
From: Who has the Buying Power? Women of Course, 4-19-12 – Huffington Post Women’s Blog

Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

1. 2012 – 2013 State of the Wine Industry Report – Silicon Valley Bank: http://www.svb.com/2012-wine-report/
2. Iowa’s Alcohol Beverage Laws and You – A license guide to compliance with Iowa’s alcohol
beverages laws, 88 pp. – Iowa Alcohol Beverage Division: http://www.iowaabd.com/files/client_files/932/2396/2012_redbook.pdf

Show n Tell

Frontenac Gris
(Right) Frontenac Gris wine on the left was macerated on the skins for 3 days, while the wine on the right had a 3-day cold soak plus spent a week on the skins during alcoholic fermentation.
From Katie Cook’s "Frontenac Gris Rose’ 4-19-12 Blog Post. Katie is the Enology Project Leader at the University of Minnesota.
Check out her recipes and tasting notes for Frontenac Rose’ here: http://enology.umn.edu/2012/04/19/frontenac-gris-rose/
On Tuesday, 4-17-12 I stopped by The Label Advantage company with Dave Klodd (winemaker at Summerset Winery – Indianola, IA). We had car pooled together up to ISU in Ames to participate in a the April (monthly) Iowa Wine Quality Consortium (IWQC) wine sensory evaluation of commercial wines. It was on our way back that we stopped by The Label Advantage for Dave to pick up some labels. This is the first time that I have been in a wine label print shop. I was surprised when the president of the company – Tom Weisner offered to give me a quick tour of his business. Quite a few different Iowa wine labels were on display in the reception area. Below are some of the pictures of my tour.
The Label Advantage company
 (Left) Front of The Label Advantage Co. located at 1785 Guthrie Ave. in Des Moines.
wine bottle labeling
(Right) The Label Advantage has 3 flexographic printers (4 color, 5 color and a 6 color). These printers use the old fashioned printer dies we are familiar with. They work well for large detail printing and large runs. They also have a digital printer that offers a higher degree of detail in the printing but is not quite as fast as the flexographic printing. Tom Weisner indicated that the industry was moving to an all digital format in the future.
Summerset wine bottles
(Left) Dave Klodd shared this photo showing the detail difference of a flexographic label on the left and a digital label on the right. Note the Iowa Quality Wine sticker on the right bottle.
wine bottle labeling
(Right) Quality control station where labels are double checked and placed onto roll sizes requested by the customer. Ardon Creek Winery – Letts, IA labels were being checked here at the time.

Articles of Interest

1. Temperature effects on burndown herbicides, 4-18-12 – Ag Professional:
2. Does hyperdecanting wine work, 4-18-12 – Robin Schreves of Mother Natures Network:
3. SC: Thirst growing for craft hard ciders, an alternative to beer and wine, 4-18-12 – The Post &
4. MO: Winery Gets Green Light, 4-19-12 – St. Louis Today:
5. VA: New Sign Program Promotes VA Wine Regions, 4-19-12 – WRIC-TV8 Richmond/Petersburg:

Calendar of Events

4-21, Regional Cooperation of Wineries from Enology to Marketing - Breezy Hills Winery, 31735 Tamarack Rd. Minden, IA. Contact: Ronald Lindblom lindblomr@nicc.edu or 563-556-5110
5-6, West Central MN Grape Growers Workshop – Carlos Creek Winery, 6693 County Rd. 34 NW Alexandria, MN 56308 RSVP & Details: 320-846-5443
5-8, Northern Grapes Project Webinar – Keep a Cork in It: Stabilizing Sweet Wines. Free registration here: https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9Rz9E79HQUpvnuY
5-28 thru 6-2, French/Italian Mediterranean chartered wine cruise, Washington State Viticulture & Enology Program. Pricing starts at $2,450 per person: http://cahnrsalumni.wsu.edu/cruise/
6-(1-2), WineMaker Magazine Annual Conference, Ithaca, NY. Details: http://www.winemakermag.com/conference
6-5, Missouri Grape Growers Association Annual Field Day. Details later.
6-(7-10), 6th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE), Princeton, New Jersey. Hosted by Princeton University and Rutgers University. Details will be posted at www.wine-economics.org
6-(8-10), Kothe Distilling Technologies Distillation workshop - Chicago, IL. Cost: $799 each, max of 30 participants
6-(18-22), 63rd American Society for Enology & Viticulture (ASEV) National Conference, Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront – Portland, OR: http://asev.org/national-conference-2012/
7-(15-19), 37th American Society of Enology ASEV-Eastern Section (ASEV-ES) Annual Conference - Traverse City, MI: http://www.asev-es.org/
7-17, Field Day: Northern-Hardy Fruit Evaluation Project at NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center, Carrington, North Dakota. http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/CarringtonREC/  701-652-2951
7-(25-27), Society of Wine Educators 30th Annual Conference – San Mateo, CA. Details here: http://www.societyofwineeducators.org/conference.php
7-29, Minnesota Grape Growers Association Annual Picnic – Round Lake Vineyard, 30124 State Hwy 264 Round Lake, MN 56167 Details: http://mngrapegrowers.com/mgga-annual-picnic1
8-16, International Cold Climate Wine Competition, University of MN Continuing Education Conference Center: http://www.mngrapegrowers.com/competition
9-8, UMN (Tentative) Annual Horticulture Research Center Vineyard & Winery open house, Excelsior, MN. Details later.
11-28 to 12-1, International Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference - Neubrandenburg, Germany. Details soon: International Association for Northern Viticulture
IQWC poster
Past issues archived as html and/or pdf here:
Total Circulation of 1,450+ recipients in AZ, CA, CO, FL, OH, IA, IN, IL, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, 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
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