October 20, 2017

2016 Midwest Wine Conference Schedule

Here are the Midwest Wine Conferences in chronological order.  Some Conferences have not released agendas or speakers yet, so please check back periodically.  This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Heartland Wine Conference, Sponsored by The Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Association, January 22-23, 2016, The Sheraton Four Points in Manhattan, KS.

The Heartland Wine Conference is focused on providing an affordable and educational conference focused on winegrowing and winemaking.

2016 Indiana Hort Congress, January 19th to January 21st, 2016, Wyndham Indianapolis West, Indianapolis

On the agenda:

Indiana Wine Grape Banquet, January 19th. (Ticket required.)

Indiana Cider Contest, January 20th and 21st.

2016 Wisconsin Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Conference,  January 24, 25 and 26, The Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells

The WGGA Grape Track will offer intermediate level courses that will benefit your grape growing endeavors and offer you a forum to meet and share with other WGGA members.

On the agenda:

Corks n’ Cuisine Dinner- Taste some of Wisconsin’s best wines paired to a great meal! University of Minnesota Wine Program- Matt Clark, University of Minnesota (extra charge.)

Marketing Your Winery- Patty Held

Research Trials with Wine Sampling- Nick Smith, University of Wisconsin

Wine Blending Strategies- Drew Horton, Iowa State University

Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association 2016 Conference and Trade Show, February 26-27, Crowne Plaza, Springfield.

On the agenda:

A special tasting of Riedel glassware, where attendees will have the opportunity to experience the sensory attributes of different styles of wine in varying glass types. During this session, we will taste and evaluate both traditional California varietals as well as Illinois wines in several different glass styles.

Sessions include:

Spotlight on ‘Vignoles’ Grape: Tasting and Discussion of Viticulture, Sales, and Marketing

Using Wine Style to Strengthen Regional Marketing Voice

Restoring Vine Capacity after Environmental Stress or Injury

Tried and True Cultivars for New Plantings

Introduction to Cider History, Theory and Production

Review of Production Strategies for Improved Quality of Dry Wines

Wine Tourism and Tasting Room Studies

Tips for Improving Tasting Room Sales

Cold Climate Conference 2015, February 11-13, 2016, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Minneapolis

2016 will be the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Minnesota Grape Growers Association.  There will be a lot of history and 40 pioneers, visionaries and entrepreneurs will be honored at several special events.  Over 500 attendees are expected. 

Sessions include:

Cider Making, Packaging and Marketing Sessions

Viticulture Sessions with John Thull, University of Minnesota, and Mike White, Iowa State University, and others.

Verjus Production- Chad Stoltenberg, Locust Lane Vineyards

“Town Hall Share Sessions” with leading cold hardy winemakers.

Northern Grapes Project Overview- Anna Katherine Mansfield, Cornell University

Other special events:

Sip and Savor – Formerly Winter Wine Out – Enjoy International Cold Climate Wine Competition Gold Medal winning wines, expertly paired with delicious meals by Minneapolis Chefs. Restaurant list coming soon!

Winter Wine Fest – We are celebrating 40 years by inviting 40 wineries to pour samples at this year’s expanded Winter Wine Fest. Enjoy tastings from local wineries specializing in cold climate grapes, plus local artisan foods and Jazz entertainment.

Gold Medal Gala – Celebrate with the Best of Show winners of the 2015 International Cold Climate Wine Competition at a special dinner honoring 40 years of the MGGA. 

2016 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference,  February 15th and 16th, Embassy Suites, Dublin, Ohio 

Enology and Viticulture Speakers:

Dr. James Osborne, Associate Professor, Enology Extension Specialist, Oregon State University

Glenn McGourty, University of California Extension Services

John Thull, University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center

Monday morning will begin with a special half-day workshop in both viticulture and enology combined. This workshop will focus on disseminating important information regarding new or alternative varieties of interest for commercial grape and wine production.

Tuesday will consist of full-day concurrent sessions with technical presentations in both viticulture and enology.2016

Glenn McGourty, University of California Extension Services 2016 Wine Grape Vineyard Establishment Conference,  February 5, 2016, Benton Harbor and Traverse City 

A Wine Grape Establishment Conference will be held by Michigan State University Extension on February 5, 2015 at two locations using a webinar format. The agenda calls for speakers from four states to address topics such as soil fertility, site selection, varieties, establishment costs, site preparation, planting and care, trellis construction and pest management in Benton Harbor and Traverse City.

The 2016 Iowa Wine Growers Association Annual Conference, February 28 and 29, 2016, Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona.

Sessions include:

Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Update, Murli Dharmadhikari, Director & Enology Specialist,  Iowa State University

Travel Iowa Tourism Update, Colleen Murphy, Partnership Manager – Iowa Economic Development Authority

Doug Frost, MW and MS, presents “Middle America versus Bordeaux: Moving beyond David and Goliath.”

Genetic Maps, DNA Road Maps to Trait Discovery in Grapes, Matthew Clark, University of Minnesota

Sensory Evaluations of Research Edelweiss Wines

2016 Michigan Grape and Wine Conference, February 24-26, 2016, Radisson Plaza Hotel, Kalamazoo

 On the agenda:

Northern Grapes Symposium on Super Hardy Cultivars. An Option for Michigan and the Upper Midwest?

Hot Topics in Wine Tourism: Music Licensing

Investigation of New Grape Varieties for Michigan’s Wine Industry

Getting Down and Dirty with Vineyard Soils

MSU Winter Injury Survey Results

State of the Art Wine Club

Sensory Evaluation: Blends for the Future of Michigan

2016 Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Forum and Trade Show, March 3-5, 2016, Omaha Marriott

On the agenda: Information coming soon.

Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest, St. Charles, Missouri, February 3-5, 2016.

On the agenda:

VESTA Sensory Evaluation Workshop

VESTA Workshop, Wine Chemistry Part One- Dr. Barry Gump

VESTA Workshop, Wine Chemistry, Part Two

Midwest Wineries Best Practices- Dr. Dean Volenberg, University of Missouri; Todd Steiner, Ohio State University.

Extracting Quality With Enzymes, Dr. Peter Salamone, Laffort, USA.

Latest Vineyard Pest Issues, Dr. Dean Volenberg

Are You Prepared to Understand Today’s Tasting Room Visitor?, Dr. Dan Mc Cole, Michigan State University

Sustainable and Organic Viticulture in the Midwest- Danny Wood, Midwest Wine Press; Alexia Gannon, Clover Meadow Winery; Coleen Gerke, Jowler Creek Vineyard and Winery.

Tannins and Hybrid Winemaking: The Latest Research- Piero Spada, Midwest vineyard and winery consultant.

Grape Breeding Across the Midwest: Emerging Grape Varieties and Optimizing Norton- Tom Plocher, Plocher Vines, grape breeder, Hugo, MN and Dr. Chin-Feng Hwang, Professor, Grape Breeding & Genetics, Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station, William H. Darr School of Agriculture, Missouri State

Show Me Grape Grape and Wine Conference, March 16-18, Columbia, Missouri

This new conference is sponsored by the Missouri Grape and Wine Institute featuring:

Dr. Tony Wolf, Virginia Tech

Dr. Ed Hellman, Texas A&M

Joe Fiola, University of Maryland

Dr. Jim Wolpert, University of California, Davis



About Mark Ganchiff

Mark Ganchiff is the publisher of Midwest Wine Press, the leading source of news on the growing wine industry in the central United States. Mark has been a wine judge at the 2012 and 2014 INDY International Wine Competition, the 2014 Cold Climate Wine Competition, the 2013 Mid-American Wine Competition, the 2012 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition and the 2013 Michigan Wine Competition. He also enjoys speaking at wine events including the Cold Climate Wine Conference, the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association Annual Meeting, the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference and the Wisconsin Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Mark’s articles about regional wine have appeared in Vineyard & Winery Management, WineMaker and several regional magazines.
Mark is a Level One Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers. He lives in Louisville, but also has a residence in Chicago.