#199 - May 11, 2012


Midwest Does Well at Pacific Rim Wine Competition

The Pacific Rim Wine Competition is an International wine competition that attracts wines from all over the world. It has been held during a 2 day competition in April since 1985. Over 2,000 wines are typically judged. The competition is held in the National Orange Show Events Center at San Bernadino, California.
Wollersheim Winery at Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin did very well. Their Prairie Blush received the Grand Champion Rosė award. They also received:
Gold – Sweet Riesling           Gold - Prairie Fumė (Seyval) Best of Class
Silver – Dry Riesling 2
Ackerman Winery, the only Iowa winery entered did fairly well too! They received the following medals:
Silver – Niagara                     Silver – Riesling White
Silver – Edelweiss                Gold – Cranberry Apple
Other Midwest Wineries who sent in wines for judging were:
Augusta Winery – MO                      Blumenhof Vineyard & Winery – MO
Cedar Creek Winery – WI               Holyfield Vineyard & Winery – KS
Montelle Winery – MO                      Prairie Berry Winery – SD
Sainte Genevieve Winery – MO      Stone Hill Winery – MO
St. James Winery – MO
Check out all the results here: http://nosevents.com/events/wine_competition.htm

ISU has a NEW Yard & Garden FAQ Website

NEW: ISU Department of Horticulture’s Yard and Garden FAQs website. This database has answers to over 500 commonly asked questions on a wide range of gardening topics. The FAQs cover topics on vegetables, fruits, annuals, perennials, roses, bulbs, lawns, trees, shrubs, indoor plants...and more. Feel free to browse the FAQs by entering a search term(s) or by categories.
If you aren’t able to find an answer to your gardening question, Iowa residents may call the ISU Hortline at 515-294-1871. Assistance is available from 10:00 am to noon and 1:00 to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Check it out here: http://expert.hort.iastate.edu/

Summer Web-Blended Viticulture Classes at DMACC

Not sure what pest is infecting your grapes and how to control it? Consider taking VIN103: Introduction to Vineyard Pest Management where we look at how to diagnose the pests of grapes and investigate effective ways to protect the investment you have made in your grape crop.
This summer we are also offering VIN104: Viticulture for Wine Production. This is a valuable class for both grape growers and wine makers as it looks at which vineyard practices are cost effective, how we can mitigate negative attributes of our fruit and increase positive ones, and many more great topics that grape growers and wine makers should be considering to optimize wine grape production.
If you have any questions, contact Randall Vos at Des Moines Area Community College: rjvos@dmacc.edu

Mid-American Wine Competition 2012

You are invited to enter the 6th Annual Mid-American Wine Competition being held on July 13, 14, and 15, 2012. They have updated the wine competition this year based on valuable feedback from our participating wineries.
They will be sending a postcard and invitation email to wineries in the Midwest. If are a winery that would like to participate, but have not received these, contact us at: winecompetition@dmacc.edu
Below is some of the highlighted information for the 2012 competition. Our website will be updated in the near future.
· June 29th Deadline for Wine Entries
· NEW – Wine Categories have been updated
· NEW – Rules of Competition have been updated
· NEW – Credit Cards can now be accepted here: http://www.midamericanwine.org
· Physical Medals will no longer be awarded for the Label Competition
· The Food-Wine Pairing competition is July 13th
- Reservations are required
- An entry to the Food-Wine Pairing Competition consists of 2 (two) bottles of wine and $25.00
- Traditional Wine Competition is July 14th and 15th
- An entry for the Traditional Competition consists of 4 (four) bottles of wine and $40.00

Iowa State Fair Commercial and Amateur Wine Competitions

Entry Deadline: Sunday, 7-1-12
Amateur entry form:
Commercial entry form (Iowa Wineries only):

Keep a Cork in it: Stabilizing Sweet Wines for Bottling – now archived for viewing

The fifth webinar, "Keep a Cork in it: Stabilizing Sweet Wines for Bottling," was a success, thanks in part to your interest and participation. Many thanks to Chris Gerling for his presentation and to Anna Katharine Mansfield and Murli Dharmadhikari, for being on-line to answer questions in the "chat pod."
If you watched the webinar, please complete the exit evaluation survey here.: https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8AnmrPRqIMxB28k  
Your responses will help us improve future webinars and we value your input!
If you missed the live webinar, it can be viewed by visiting the "Recorded Webinars" tab of the Northern Grapes Project Website (http://northerngrapesproject.org/?page_id=257) and clicking on the webinar title. The webinar should load automatically. The 7pm session of webinar is available for viewing and the chat log from the noon session is available as well.
Further info: Chrislyn A. Particka, PhD cap297@cornell.edu or 315-787-2449

The Northern Grapes Project is now on facebook

Info about upcoming webinars, newsletters, field days, workshops, etc. will be posted here.
 Nebraska Amateur Winemakers tour

5-31, Basic Concepts in Winemaking – Columbia, MO

What: One-day workshop for those considering winemaking as a career or starting a winery. The workshop's objectives are to introduce basic winemaking procedures, basic winery equipment and basic concepts in wine chemistry.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 31, 2012
Where: 145 Stringer Wing, 1406 East Rollins St., University of Missouri, Columbia Mo., 65211
Cost: Registration is $60.

Motor Coach Tour of the New York Finger Lakes Grape & Wine Industry

Sponsored by: Ohio State University’s Enology & Viticulture Program
When: June 18-20, 2012
Lodging: Inn at Glenora, Seneca Lake
Cost of Tour: $375 each
Cost of Lodging $250 to $357 (depends on room size)
Full Details:

Oak Barrel and Wine Workshops

Location: Tassel Ridge Winery, 1681 220th St., Leighton, IA 50143
Dates and Times:
Workshop 1
For licensed commercial winemakers
Workshop 2
All are welcome!
Friday July 6, 2012
Saturday July 7, 2012
12:30 pm Registration/check-in
1:00-2:00 Tour of Tassel Ridge Vineyard & Winery
2:00-4:00 Demonstration and Discussion
A. Demonstration of barrel toasting
by Francis Durand, Master Cooper from Tonnellerie Radoux
B. Discussion with Francis Durand and Dan Brick, Brick Packaging
o Types of Oak; French, American etc.
o Barrel repair
o Barrel cleaning and sanitation
o Storage and maintenance of barrels
o Barrel alternatives
4:00-5:00 Wine tasting and wrap-up
12:30 pm Registration/check-in
1:00-3:00 Demonstration and Discussion
A. Demonstration of barrel toasting
by Francis Durand, Master Cooper from Tonnellerie Radoux
B. Discussion with Francis Durand and Dan Brick, Brick Packaging
o Types of Oak; French, American etc.
o Barrel repair
o Barrel cleaning and sanitation
o Storage and maintenance of barrels
o Barrel alternatives
3:00-4:00 Tour of Tassel Ridge Vineyard & Winery
 Registration: Free but required. Contact Tammi Martin, tkmartin@iastate.edu , 515-294-3308 by Friday, June 22nd to reserve your space.
*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

 Notable Quotables

"Wahh"created by scientists that allows a user to administer a dose of alcohol via aerosol spray to the mouth that gets the user INSTANTLY drunk—but, the effects wear off in seconds."
From: A New Alcohol Toy – And Why It Will Be Banned Instantaneously, 5-4-12 - Tom Wark’s Fermentation: http://fermentation.typepad.com/fermentation/2012/05/a-new-alcohol-toyand-why-it-will-be-banned-quickly.html

Marketing Tidbits

1. Ontario Grape Prices Set, 4-30-12 – Wines & Vines Magazine:
2. Are Wine Apps a Dead or Dying Breed, 5-3-12 – Blog Your Wine:
3. "Costco is now the largest American importer of French wines, including some pretty impressive
houses such as Château Mouton Rothshild and Château Pétrus. None are marked up more than
15 percent."
From: Costco's head wine buyer causes a stir with her remarks, 5-8-12 – Orange County Register: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/wine-353192-costco-peters.html
4. Plastic Mini-Wine Bottles at Wollersheim: http://www.wollersheim.com/tradetools/news/newminis

Show n Tell

Last week Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari and I made a very quick visit to 11 wineries in the northeast corner of Iowa. We started the trip early on Tuesday, May 1st and ended very late in the evening on Thursday, May 3rd . We considered this a listening and learning tour. It was a good trip. We came back with a greater appreciation or our industry and their concerns.
Our first stop was to visit with Les Ackerman, owner of Ackerman Winery in Amana, Iowa. Ackerman Winery was started in Les’s parent’s basement in 1956 and later moved to the Amana Colonies. Les and his wife Linda are the second generation to run the winery. Les has been making wines since the early 1970’s and has been awarded more wine awards than any other winemaker in Iowa. Sweet fruit wines dominate their sales. Les mentioned that approximately 80% of their sales go to repeat customers.
Ackerman Winery
(Left) Front of Ackerman Winery
 Ackerman Winery
(Right) Les Ackerman (L) and Murli (R) tasting wines in the main tasting room.
Our next stop was Brick Arch Winery in West Branch, IA. This "All New" building is built on the location of the historic post office which collapsed during the winery building stage. This delayed the opening until March of 2011 and sent Ilene Lande and her husband John McNutt back to the drawing board. This "All New" building has a large tasting room and 3 levels of meeting rooms that can hold a total of 286 people. Ilene and John located the winery tasting room and event center on Main Street in West Branch. The wine production facility is located approximately 3 miles off site in a rental industrial building site. Brick Arch is a member of the I-80 Wine Trail and the Iowa Wine Trail. The majority of sales lean to the dry side because most of their customers come from the Iowa City area.
 Brick Arch Winery
(Left) Brick Arch Winery at West Branch, IA
Brick Arch Winery
(Right) Ilene Lande checking a seal on a wine tank at their off-site wine production facility.
 Brick Arch Winery
(Left) L-R: Bonnie Leslie, (Tasting Room Mgr), Ilene Lande, John McNutt and Murli at tastinf room bar.
After a delicious lunch at the winery with Ilene and John, Murli and I took off to visit with Randy Weaver at Tipton, Iowa. Randy and his wife Linda saved the historic Buchanan house (1863) that was located in northern Cedar County. They moved the 480 ton house 7.5 miles south to a new site located just west of Tipton. The large 16 room house will soon be turned into a winery and event center. You can see pictures of the move on facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.144396918912188.23658.144393245579222&type=3
Randy and his daughter Mallory gave us a tour of the Buchanan House when we arrived. The goal is to have the building completely renovated by September of 2013. The wine production area is located in a large new basement. Randy shared some of his sparkling wines he has been producing. They were all very good.
Buchanan House Winery
(Right) Buchanan House Winery with surrounding vineyard.
Buchanan House Winery
Left (L-R) Murli, Mallory Weaver and father - Randy Weaver.
We were running a little late after our visit with Randy Weaver and ended up arriving around 5:30 p.m. to Wide River Winery located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River on the north side of Clinton, IA. The winery was opened in the spring of 2006. We were first greeted by Kyle Fram, (assistant winemaker & vineyard worker) and later by the owners: Dorothy O’Brien and her husband Charlie Pelton. After a tour of the winery, we were invited to taste some of their wines in their home which overlooks the widest part of the Mississippi River. I highly recommend their dry "Felony Red"! Wide River Winery opened up a tasting room in LeClaire, Iowa in 2012 that is doing very well. BTW: Dorothy is also running for the Iowa senate: http://www.obrienforiowa.com/
Wide River Winery
(Left, L-R) Kyle Fram, Dorothy O'Brien, Charlie Pelton and Murli.
Wide River Winery
(Right) Wide River Winery
After a stormy overnight in Clinton we headed for Iowa Grape Vines winery and juicery located one mile west of Preston, Iowa. The owners, Jim and Mary Kay Sorensen met us as we drove up. They gave us a tour of the facility and we tasted some of the juices they produce. The entire facility was very, very clean and the juice was excellent. Jim and Mary Kay both agreed that the licensing and regulations for the juicery are more difficult than those involved with the winery operation. They currently plan to move the entire operation to Maquoketa, Iowa in the near future.
Iowa Grape Vines winery and juicery
(Left) Jim and Mary kay Sorensen, in front of Iowa Grape Vines winery and juicery.
Iowa Grape Vines winery and juicery
(Right, L-R) Jim & Mary Kay Sorensen and Mike White in wine production area.
Next stop was Brush Creek Winery located in the country approximately 8 miles southwest of Bellevue, Iowa. Brush Creek Winery and Iowa Grape Vines are the only two members of the Little Wine Trail – Iowa’s smallest wine trail. Keith and Sherry Weuste are owners of Brush Creek Winery. Keith makes the wine and Sherry handles most of the marketing. There is a 1.5 acre vineyard next to the winery. They are currently adding an addition to the front of their tasting room.
Brush Creek Winery
 (Left) Keith and Sherry Weuste, owners of Brush Creek Winery.
Brush Creek Winery
(Right) Sherry Weuste came up with a line of wedding wines with generic labels people can puchase for wedding gifts. They are very popular.
Brush Creek Winery
(Left) The bottle of wine on the left is called "Girls R Meaner". An easy way to pronounce Gewurztraminer of which the wine is made.
The bottle on the right is called "on the Dam Good Wine" referring to the locks and dams on the Mississippi River.
Barrel Head Winery to visit John & Karen Burns was our next stop. Barrel Head is located approximately 7 miles south of Dubuque on Highway 61 near the airport. This was an interesting stop. John has spent some time in Europe and his son lives in Germany. It was in Germany where he tweaked some of his winemaking skills. He uses the minimalistic old European methods to make his wine. He also manages his vineyard with precision. Good wines come from good grapes!
Barrel Head Winery
(Left) Front entrance to Barrel Head Winery.
Barrel Head Winery
(Right) L-R: Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari and John Burns discuss making sparkling wine using the traditional method similar to that used in Champagne, France.
Joh, Murli and I all took turns disgorging some sparkling wine. It was a BLAST!!
Barrel Head Winery
(Left) Disgorging tool used to remove the bidule (inner plastic cap) and frozen lees in neck of the sparkling wine bottle.
 Sunset Ridge Winery in Dubuque was next. A visit with John Bonnette (father) and Ian (son) was a pleasant surprise. Ian is building a home & winery near his parent’s home. It will be located at the end of winding entrance road in a secluded forested area. The very nice vineyard and garden area behind his parent’s home will be used for special events, weddings, etc… The current "Sunset Ridge Winery" is located in the basement of his parent’s home. A VERY cramped space for a winery.
Sunset Ridge Winery
(Right) Ian Bonnette gives Murli a quick tour of the wine production area. He hopes to be breaking ground very soon for the new winery. 5-2-12
Sunset Ridge Winery
(Left) Ian turned this conventional pull type sprayer into an airblast sprayer via plans he found in WineMaker Magazine. A push type leaf blower, PVC pipe and some 4" plastic tile can do amazing things!
Sunset Ridge Winery
(Right) Ian let us taste some of his sparking Pinot Grigio. He force carbonated it with C2 while it was cold. Very good. Lots and lots of bubbles.
Day three of our journey started us out early to go visit Yvonne & Ken Barnes and their two daughters Beth Guzman and Darla Jones at Winneshiek Wildberry Winery located approximately 10 miles north of Decorah, Iowa. The winery is located very close to the famous "Seed Savers Exchange". The winery is surrounded by Rhubarb plantings, vineyards, and a plum orchard. Ken started planting grapes in 2001. They converted their old dairy barn into a winery with a very nice gift shop and meeting room. The winery first opened in the fall of 2005. They were just recently licensed to prepare and serve food.
Winneshiek Wildberry Winery
(Left) Front of Winneshiek Wildberry Winery. There is a large patio along the entire front of building.
Winneshiek Wildberry Winery
(Right) Newly planted Elderman Plum orchard. 5-3-12
Winneshiek Wildberry Winery
(Left) L-R: Yvonne Barnes, Beth Guzman, Darla Jones, Ken Barnes and Murli in tasting room. 5-3-12
After a quick lunch on the road we arrived at Cindy and Pat Wachendorf’s home located approximately 3 miles north of Guttenberg, Iowa on the Great River Road. They have been growing grapes since 2004 and recently licensed their Promise Land Winery. The construction of the new winery and tasting room will begin soon. They are currently making wine in a storage building next to their home.
Promise Land Winery
(Right) L-R: Cindy & Pat Wachendorf with their dog Hawkeye.
He looked more like a Cyclone dog to me! 5-3-12

Promise Land Winery




(Left) L-R: Pat, Murli and Cindy try some LaCrosse, Marechal Foch and St. Croix wine directly from the tank. 5-3-12






Our final stop on this journey was to visit Judy and Vernon Harper at TownsEnd Winery located at Hansel, Iowa. Vernon remodeled their old barn into a winery and tasting room with a two bedroom apartment on the second floor. The winery is located right next to the Hansel City Park. The population of Hansel is approximately 96 people.

TownsEnd Winery
(Right) L-R Joanne Young (employee), Judy and Vernon Harper and Murli check out a new Vernon’s new S02 testing apparatus.
TownsEnd Winery
(Left) Picture taken right at dusk looking to the northwest at TownsEnd Winery. The winery is located on the northeast edge of town next to the Hansel, IA city park.
Note: More pictures of our winery tour can be found here on my facebook page:

Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

1. Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2012 Survey (up 18% over last year (Ave = $252): http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/wholefarm/html/c2-10.html
2. Using heat wires on cordons for frost protection - Univ. of New England, Australia: http://www.une.edu.au/parg/Frost.php
3. New Zealand Society of Viticulture & Enology: http://www.nzsvo.org.nz/members_only/links/links_pg_7.htm
4. New Book: Grape-A-Hol – How Big Business is Subverting Artisan Winemaking and the Future of Fine Wine: http://www.destinybaywine.com/grapeahol.html

Articles of Interest

1. MN: Controlling Heat Stability in Wine, 5-1-12 – Nick Smith, Midwest Wine Press:
2. Brianna Wine Profile, 5-3-12 – Matt Maniscalco, Midwest Wine Press:
3. Midwest Vineyards Damaged by Frosts, 5-7-12 – Wines & Vines Magazine:
4. CA: Wine Uncorked: The Rise of Big [Really Big] Box Wine, 5-7-12 – The Wine Economist:
5. OR: Examining the Efficacy of Sheep in Vineyard Management, 5-7-12 – King Estate Winery:
6. 4. NY: Eastern US gets sustainable vineyard certification, 5-8-12 – Western Farm Press:
7. What is the difference between American Oak and French Oak Barrels, 5-8-12 – Blog Your Wine:

Videos of Interest

1. NY: Installing Tile into Vineyards, 3-9-12 – Finger Lakes Grape Program, 6:50 min.:

Calendar of Events

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-(6 & 7), Oak Barrel & Wine Workshops, Tassel Ridge Winery, 1681 220th St., Leighton, IA 50143 FREE Contact prior to 6-22: Tammi Martin, tkmartin@iastate.edu , 515-294-3308
7-(15-19), 37th American Society of Enology ASEV-Eastern Section (ASEV-ES) Annual Conference - Traverse City, MI: http://www.asev-es.org/
7-19, International Symposium on Sparkling Wine Production – last day of ASEV-ES Annual Conference, Traverse City, MI: Details: 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
1-(29-31)-13, Unified Grape & Wine Consortium at the Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, CA http://www.unifiedsymposium.org/
1-31 to 2-2-13, Illinois Vintners & Grape Growers Assn. Conference – Crown Plaza Hotel, Springfield, IL.
2-(7-9)-13, Midwest Grape & Wine Conference & Trade Show – St. Charles, MO Convention Center: Details: http://www.midwestgrapeandwineconference.com/
2-(21-23)-13, Minnesota Grape Growers Association (MGGA) Cold Climate Conference – Crown Plaza, St. Paul. MN. Details: http://mngrapegrowers.com/conference
2-28 to 3-2 – 2013, 16th Nebraska Winery & Grape Growers Conference, Holiday Inn – Kearney, NE
3-(6-7)-13 Eastern Winery Exposition at Lancaster County Convention Center & Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, PA: http://easternwineryexposition.com/
3-(12-14)-13, Wineries Unlimited at Greater Richmond Convention Center, Richmond, VA: http://www.wineriesunlimited.com/
Past issues archived as html and/or pdf here:
Iowa Quality Wine Consortium

Learn More: http://iowawinegrowers.org/ivqa-program/

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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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