#210 - July 27, 2012


Where can I sell my grapes?

"Where can I sell my grapes? I get this question often this time of year and wonder why people wait until right before harvest to start marketing their grapes. There still is a strong market for winegrapes in the Midwest, but the industry has matured. Most vineyards start marketing their grapes prior to the start of the season or early in the season. Many of the wineries have already made their purchase commitments. That said, here are ten grape marketing tips to consider:
Ten grape marketing tips to consider:
1. The list of Iowa wineries open for business and their contact information can be found on the Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion WWW site: http://www.iowawineandbeer.com  Give the wineries a call or e-mail them. The prices per ton typically paid delivered to the wineries will normally fall in the $900 to $1,200 range. Sometimes the price is higher, but typically these are for excellent quality grapes of limited supply. Quality, quantity and cultivar are the primary determining factors of prices paid by wineries. Access to refrigerated storage, flexible delivery times and handling methods can also enhance the price.
2. You can do a WWW search for wineries in neighboring states and let them know that you have grapes for sale. Yes,.. wineries do buy fruit from other states!
3. Get the word out to hobby wine makers in your area. Typical prices paid to U-Pick self-serve winegrape vineyards will typically run in the $0.75. to $1.00 per pound range depending on quantity purchased. Location, quality and cultivar selection will be the primary factors determining the price. Some operations provide and/or sell 5-gallon food grade buckets. Selling by the 5 gallon bucket (approx. 18 to 22 lbs.) would eliminate the need to have a state approved scale on site. Providing a hand crank crusher/destemmer and hand crank press will enhance hobby winemakers to purchase your grapes. The sky is the limit as to what you could offer. Developing a good e-mail marketing list of hobby winemakers is the key. There are a lot of hobby winemakers out there and they all need juice or fruit to make wine!
Examples: Two Rivers Winegrowers, NJ: http://www.tworiverwinegrowers.com/
HoneyFlow Farm, Dryden, MI: http://www.honeyflowfarm.com/vineyard.php
Lemon Creek Winery, MI: http://www.lemoncreekwinery.com/
4. You can post your grapes for sale in the classifieds. Here are some on-line classifieds that may be of help:
a. Illinois Vintners & Grape Growers Association. classified ads:
b. Northern Illinois Wine Growers Association classified ads:
c. Missouri Grape Growers Association Discussion Forum:
d. Iowa Wine Growers Association Classifieds:
e. Minnesota Grape Growers Forum:
f. North Dakota Grape Growers Association "Swap Shop" :
G. Wisconsin Grape Growers classifieds:
5. Sell your grapes to a wine and/or juice supplier. A convenient list of these suppliers can be found here on the Missouri Grape Growers WWW site: http://www.missourigrapegrowers.org/resources/wine-juice.php
6. Store your grapes in a cooler. The length of storage time grapes can withstand before deteriorating can vary from 1-3 months depending on variety and storage conditions. I would estimate that most of our grape varieties could be held in cold storage for a maximum of 6-8 weeks at a temperature of 30-32°F and a relative humidity of 92-96%. Chapter 22 of General Viticulture, a book by Winkler, Cook, Kliewer and Lider is a good read for those interested in cold storage of grapes.
7. You can freeze your grapes for a later sale date. Normally, grapes can be frozen for maximum of 2-3 months without freezer burn occurring but they will lose some of their color and taste. You may want to freeze in 5 gallon pails (approx. 18 - 22 lbs.) These pails will be much easier to thaw and sell to those who want small quantities. Vacuum packing could be considered if you need to store for a longer period and want to preserve freshness and eliminate freezer burn.
8. You can press the grapes and store the juice and/or must in cold storage as a liquid or frozen solid. You would be required to be licensed as a food processor to do this. In addition, you will need to comply with FDA regulations. Suggest contacting Dr. Angela Laury, our ISU Extension Food Safety Specialist for further guidance on this: angelaml@iastate.edu or 515-294-0868.
9. You can sell them at your local Farmers Market. Here is the Iowa Directory of farmers markets: https://www.idalsdata.org/fmnp/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.formFarmersMarketDirectory
10. Sell them on Craigs List: http://www.craigslist.org

Iowa Wine Growers Association

"Free" Grapes For Sale Classifieds



Harvest Timing

This season’s grape harvest has had us all guessing. We knew it was going to be early, but did now know how early. Well, we now know. Some vineyards and wineries in the southern half of Iowa will begin harvesting Edelweiss in the 14 to 16° Brix range this weekend. About 2.5 weeks ahead of schedule!
The optimum time to harvest grapes depends on the growing season, site, crop load, cultivar and intended use. The lighter the crop load, the quicker the ripening process. The timing of the harvest season will vary each year depending on environmental conditions. Soon after veraison (berries begin to turn color) and the ripening process begins. Acid content starts to go down, pH slowly rises, red grapes increase in color, white grapes turn translucent yellow to gold, sugar content goes up and aromatic and flavor compounds increase. In most cases, wineries will provide detailed parameters for many of these harvest values. The pH requirements are probably the most important for a winery because high pH’s are difficult to correct. Sugar content (ºBrix) and acidity can easily be amended. The generally accepted range of values for winegrapes at harvest would include:
Type of Wine
(%soluble solids)
Titratable Acidity
(grams tartaric acid/liter)
Sparkling 17.0 - 20.0 7.0 - 9.0 2.8 - 3.2
White Table 19.0 - 23.0 7.0 - 8.0 3.0 - 3.3
Red Table 20.0 - 24.0 6.0 - 7.5 3.2 - 3.4
Sweet Table 22.0 - 25.0 6.5 - 8.0 3.2 - 3.4
Dessert 23.0 - 26.0 5.0 - 7.5 3.3 - 3.7
* Table 16.1 - Generally recommended ranges of soluble solids concentration, titratable acidity and pH in wine grapes at harvest for generic wine types. p. 288 Winegrape Production Guide for Eastern North America
Some grape cultivars don’t follow these guidelines and become and exception to the rule. An example would be Edelweiss which is usually picked between 14- 17 °Brix to keep the herbaceous (foxy) flavors low. Many of the American table grapes (Labrusca species) are picked in the 14 to 18°Brix range to keep the herbaceous flavors low and prior to the grapes deteriorating and falling off cluster. Table grapes are often considered ready when the sugar/acid ratio reaches 15 or higher.
These parameters are all very important. But,…. some winemakers are starting to put as much or more emphasis on taste, aromas and the presence of mature brown seeds to determine full maturity for harvesting. Adverse weather, birds, bunch rots and access to harvest labor will often make for the final determination.
Obtaining a representative berry sample prior to doing the analysis is VERY important. Procedures for taking a proper berry sample can be found in Wine Grower News #97 here:
Further resources for determining grape maturity and harvest timing can be found below:
1. Harvest Timing, p. 47 Colorado Grape Growers Guide:
2. Harvest Timing, Midwest Grape Production Guide:
3. Harvest Mgt. Chapter., Growing Grapes in Missouri:
4. How to Judge Grape Ripeness Before Harvest, Ed Hellman, Texas A & M:
5. Determining Grape Maturity & Grape Sampling, Imed Dami, Ohio State Univ.:
6. Chap. 16 "Wine Grape Quality" When is it Time to Pick" of the
Wine Grape Production Guide of Eastern North America is an excellent resource on this subject. $90, 336 pages.

7-29, MN Grape Growers Annual Picnic

When: 11a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday July 29, 2012
Where: Round Lake Vineyards – 30124 Hwy 264 Round Lake Minnesota 56167
Hosted by: Scott and Jenny Ellenbecker , owners of Round Lake Vineyards
Lunch: The MGGA will provide grilled goods and soft drinks. Bring a dish and Wine to share!
Educational Tours Include: A Special Presentation by John Deere
Frost protection methods using sprinklers and spraying
Bird protection: side vs. canopy netting and DNR fencing for wildlife control
Vineyard: Round Lake Vineyards were established in 2007 with 5 acres of La Crescent, Frontenac Gris, and Marquette in 2008. They continued planting 5 more acres to include St. Pepin, Brianna, La Crescent, Frontenac Gris, Bluebell and Somerset. This year they've added additional acres of Sabrevois, King of the North, Louis Swenson and Petite Amie. Near completion is their office building, event center, and winery!

7-28, Vineyard Field Day – Gibbon, NE

A field day will be held at the George Spencer Vineyard near Gibbon, Neb., on Saturday, July 28 at 9 a.m. This field day is hosted by Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Association (NWGGA) in cooperation with the University of Nebraska Viticulture Program (UNVP) and the Kegleys.
UNL Weed Specialist Lowell Sandell will discuss important aspects of spray technology, and types of sprayers and nozzles will be demonstrated in the morning. In the afternoon, trellis construction, changing trellis systems, layering, vine balance and canopy management will be discussed by UNVP specialists in a "hands-on" fashion so that all participants will be able to gain knowledge about these and related topics.
This field day (lunch included) is free to all NWGGA members thanks to a grant obtained by the NWGGA from the Nebraska Grape and Winery Board. Non-members may attend for a fee of $10. Be sure to plan to attend and bring your questions for the experts. The Vineyard is one half mile south of Hwy 30 at 7155 Pawnee Road (east rail crossing in Gibbon). Register with Growers Representative Kay Miller by email at rdmilfam@starband.net or phone (308) 763-1963 or with UNVP Research Technologist Steve Gamet, sgamet1@unl.edu or (402) 416-9763 by July 25.

ISU Extension and Outreach has put together a resource for dealing with this season’s drought


Iowa State Fair "Wine Experience" - Thank You for Volunteering

at the Iowa State Fair "Wine Experience"
I want to thank all of the people who volunteered to work at the Wine Experience. By the time you have received this,we will have filled almost all of the 165 shifts for the 11 days of the Iowa State Fair. WOW!
This will be the 4th year that the Iowa State Fair has teamed up with the Iowa Grape & Wine Industry to display our industry to the 1million+ visitors that come the Iowa State Fair each year. The Iowa State Fair will run from Thursday, August 9th through Sunday, August 19th this year.
The Wine Experience will include grape stomping, kids grape activities, display vineyard, equipment display, wine tasting, amateur & commercial wine competition award displays, music and informational speakers. It will again be housed in and around Grandfather’s Barn. "New" this year will be the Iowa Wine Growers Association Wine & Cheese Garden that will be located under the shade trees to the west of the barn. There will be wine, cheese and live music each evening. Under the shade trees on top of the hill next to Grandfather’s Barn. Yep,… I think it will be a party! mlw

Véraison is a French term that has been adopted into English.

The official definition of véraison is "change of color of the grape berries." Véraison signifies the change from berry growth to berry ripening. The berries become soft and take on the colors characteristic of their specific cultivars.
From the beginning of veraison to harvest, the berries will increase in volume, weight, and sugar content (brix). It is also identified as the 35th stage of 47 of the Eichorn-Lorenz Stages in Shoot Development

8-28, Winemaking Fundamentals Workshop – Manito, IL

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Where: Willett’s Winery and Cellar, 105 East Market Street Manito, IL 61546
What: Led by Illinois state enologist Bradley Beam, this workshop will focus on all aspects of the winemaking process, with a special emphasis on harvest-time handling and sound winemaking procedures. Topics include: Analysis basics, Measurements and Conversions, Cleaning and Sanitation, Crush pad Equipment and Decisions, Fermentation Management, Fining and Filtration and Bottling. There should be plenty to see and do, as harvest is likely to be underway at this time.
Who should attend: Open to both amateur and commercial producers. Attendees are also encouraged to bring a wine or two to share and discuss. Price includes lunch and coffee/snacks.
Registration: $15 for IGGVA members, $65 for non-members. You may join the IGGVA and still receive discount for this workshop. RSVP with payment (checks made out to IGGVA) by August 21st to:
Megan Pressnall, Director of External Relations
Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association
2900 Greenbriar Rd. Springfield, IL 62704
P: 217.726.8518 or megan@illinoiswine.com
 U.S. Drought Monitor July 24, 2012

Notable Quotables

"This is very old wine. I hope you will like it."
--- Count Dracula in Dracula (1931)
"I'm drinking wine...and eating chicken! And it's good!"
--- Dracula in Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
"I like to drink wine more than I used to."
--- Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972)
"Dynamite? It's like wine, it only gets better with age."
--- Tracker Lewis Gates in Last of the Dogmen (1995)

Lenticils: surface pores on berries and certain other tissues that may be bordered by darkened, raised, corky cells. Ie…Edelweiss and Brianna have distinct lenticils.


Marketing Tidbits

1. How to Be a Web Analytics Rockstar in 30 minutes a Month, 7-19-20 – Vin 65:
2. NY: Wine’s Sweet Spot is a $20 Bill, 7-24-12 – New York Times:

Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

1. CA: Most viewed photo of all time, it’s from wine country, 7-24-12 - 1 Wine Dude blog:
2. "Cornicle" New gadget aims to keep wine cold, 7-25-12 – Off License News:
3. Poland: Man Makes Fascinating Machines Inside of Wine Glasses, 7-26-12 - OH Gizmo:
4. Portugal: Scanner determines grape quality in the vineyard, 7-27-12 – ABC Rural

Articles of Interest

1. Hidden Tax Deductions for Wineries & Growers, 7-20-12 - Wines & Vines Magazine:
2. AR: ATU-Ozark names chair of viticulture & enology (Andy Allen), 7-22-12 – the City Wire
3. KS: Grace Hill Winery expands with new production building, 7-23-12 – The Wichita Eagle:
4. IA: Heat caused Iowa grapes to ripen faster, harvest starts soon, 7-23-12 Radio Iowa:
5. Grape phenology and GDD accumulation, 7-23-12 – Missouri State - Mtn. Grove Blog:
7. Top 10 Hangover Cures, 7-24-12 – Drinks Business:
8. Farm workers replaced by sheep, 7-26-12 – The Gray Report:
9. Different Vineyard Training Systems Alter Susceptibility of Grapes to Powdery Mildew, 7-27-12 –the academic wino:

Videos of Interest

1. SD: Winery Thrives Despite Dry Conditions, 7-21-12 – KDLT News (Strawbale Winery) 1:22 min.

Show n Tell

'Almost Organic' sweet corn stand
(Left) Almost Organic self-serve sweet corn stand along Hwy 92 in Indianola, IA. Almost Organic – a unique marketing term. 7-24-12

Calendar of Events

7-29, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 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
8-28, Winemaking Fundamentals Workshop –Willett’s Winery and Cellar, Manito, IL 61546 Sponsored by IGGVA , $15 ea. Contact Megan Pressnall: P: 217.726.8518 or megan@illinoiswine.com
9-8, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. UMN Annual Horticulture Research Center Vineyard & Winery open house, 600 Arboretum Dr., Excelsior, MN. Details later.
9-(21 & 22), VESTA high school Vo Ag teacher vineyard management training workshop. ISU Horticulture Research Station, Ames, IA. Contact: Ron Lindblom: lindblomr@nicc.edu
10-(19 & 20), Small Scale Commercial Wine Making School IX - Nebraska City, NE by Five Rivers RC&D. Details: http://www.nercd.org/council-of-twelve/five-rivers/what-were-doing-five-rivers/
11-(1-3) 20th Annual Small Farm Trade Show & Conference – Boone County Fairgrounds, Columbia, MO. Sponsored by Small Farm Today Magazine: http://www.smallfarmtoday.com/trade-show.html
11-28 to 12-1, VitiNord & International Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference - Neubrandenburg, Germany. Details soon: http://www.vitinord-nb2012.org
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/
3-(15 & 16)-13, Iowa Wine Growers Assn. Annual Conference at the West Des Moines Mariott. Details later: http://www.iowawinegrowers.org
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Michael L. White - CCA, CPAg, CSW
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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