October 19, 2017

Missouri’s 2017 Show Me Grape and Wine Conference

The Show Me State has a Show Me wine conference for the second year in a row. The University of Missouri's Grape and Wine Institute (GWI) is staging its Show Me Grape and Wine Conference and Symposium from March 8th to 10th at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Colombia.The notable absence of Vineyard & Winery Management's Midwest wine conference - an event that has taken place in various … [Read more...]

Installing a Vineyard: Line Post Decisions

Today we started putting in a trellis for our new vineyard at Belvoir Winery in Liberty, Missouri. There was something very satisfying about punching in those T-Posts, seeing that they didn’t fall over and admiring how we managed to keep them in straight rows.At the beginning of today I wasn’t entirely confident it would turn out so well. As a complete novice when it comes to installing … [Read more...]

Making Marquette: In the Vineyard

A decade after Marquette's release by the University of Minnesota, Midwest Wine Press is checking in on its progress with help from Calico Skies winemaker, Will Kimberley. Marquette is one of the only grape varieties capable of making quality dry red wine in the colder parts of our region. The variety was developed by the University of Minnesota’s well respected cold hardy grape breeding … [Read more...]

Winegrowing in Kansas: Vineyard Help Needed!

This is the first blog from our new columnist Cindy Reynolds. With husband Dennis, Cindy is co-owner of  Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery in Kansas.The view of our 20 acres of wine grapes is lush, green and beautiful after a spring of abundant rain and sunshine. Every grapegrower we know is thanking the wine gods because of our recent experiences with less than ideal weather. But this … [Read more...]

MO Grape Conference: The Dangers of Brix Fixation

I'm just back from attending half a day of the Missouri University Grape and Wine Institute's (GWU) 2016 Show Me Grape and Wine Conference and Symposium in Columbia. This three-day event is the first time the Missouri Wine & Grape Board's (MWGB) Grape and Wine Institute has been involved in hosting a public wine conference of this kind for some years - possibly a reaction to the former Midwest … [Read more...]

Soil Health in the Vineyard

Quality and yield start below the surfaceThe groundhog predicted an early spring. Then came this year’s winter vortex. Regardless of what happens next, the waning days of winter are a time of excitement and planning for a new season in the vineyard. Plus, it’s a good time to consider how to improve the soil biosphere the vines inhabit.Soil health has been the buzz across agriculture for … [Read more...]

Tom Plocher’s New Grapes Are Spreading

University grape breeding programs - like Cornell and Minnesota- grab a lot of attention. But private grape breeders continue to develop many of the grapes that are used to make cold hardy wines.One of the most prolific and successful creators of cold hardy wine grapes is Tom Plocher. He has been artfully using selective breeding in his vineyard since 1996.  Among his mentors is the … [Read more...]

New Grapes Revolutionize Midwest Wine

“Why didn’t someone take the Cabernet Sauvignon grape and cross it with Norton to create a grapevine that could withstand Midwestern winters yet make a world class wine?”That was the question that puzzled Lucian Dressel from the time he reopened the historic Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta, Missouri, in 1967 until he sold it in 1992.During those 25 years, Dressel experimented with dozens … [Read more...]

San Francisco Chronicle Rips Hybrid Wine Grapes

A story today in the San Francisco Chronicle has created a controversy for two words (or maybe it's just one word?) that has been since removed from the article: Frankengrapes.As the story details, wine grape researchers are very reluctant to admit that genetic engineering could improve wine grapes.  In the Chronicle story, it's implied that genetic engineering is currently being used to … [Read more...]

Lemberger- A Cold Hardy Vinifera

Hidden among the twenty one varieties and forty acres of vines at Domaine Berrien Cellars and Winery in southwest Michigan is a two acre patch of hardy Austrian grapes known as Lemberger. Owner and winemaker Wally Maurer first encountered this grape in Germany while touring Europe with his father-in-law in the early 1990’s. He says it was his love of wine and the similarity of growing conditions … [Read more...]