July 31, 2014

Dr. Norton Had a Baby and Named It Crimson Cabernet

Lucian Dressel (right) and his son Joseph with Crimson Cabernet vines in July, 2011. (photo courtesy Lucian Dressel)

Who says that French royalty cannot breed with ordinary native Americans? Crimson Cabernet’s parentage combines the Bordeaux King of Grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, and the State Grape of Missouri, Norton. The result is a disease resistant, cold hardy hybrid grape with genes that trace back to 18th century Chateau Mouton. At the Kansas wine conference in Topeka in January, Midwestern winemaker … [Read more...]

The Drought and Midwest Soil Conditions


Grape growers across the Midwest are preparing for another growing season. After several years of drought and the driest conditions in living memory last year, soil conditions are a concern for many growers. Despite some recent precipitation, US Drought Monitor says about 50% of the region is still in drought. Even if precipitation falls at average levels this year, some experts say it could take … [Read more...]

Vegetable Oil Provides Grape Frost Protection in Nebraska Study

In December, Midwest Wine Press published a news item about the results of a five-year research project that showed applying vegetable oil to vines significantly delayed bud break. The study was by Seth McFarland and University of Nebraska viticulture professor Max McFarland, co-owners of Mac’s Creek Vineyards & Winery in Nebraska. See related article: New Research: Vegetable Oil Delays … [Read more...]

“Edward Scissorhands” Replacing Hand Pruning

David Danzinger discussing wine with customers at his winery in Alma,  Wisconsin.

Two projects are underway in the Midwest to test and expand the use of mechanical grape vine pruning.  One project in Wisconsin will evaluate mechanical rough pruning for cold climate hybrids.   Another research project at Purdue University is looking at cutting edge technology to perform finer pruning using robotics. During 2012, David Danzinger of Danzinger Vineyards in Alma, Wisconsin … [Read more...]

Coming Soon: A New Red Wine That’s a Pearl


A new hybrid red wine, Petite Pearl, is now in production at several Midwest wineries and should be available soon. 2012 will be the first commercial vintage of Petite Pearl. Previously, only test samples have been made. Bred by Tom Plocher in 1996, Petite Pearl is a cross between MN 1094 and E.S. 4-7-26. ("MN" and "E.S" are abbreviations for The University of Minnesota and Elmer Swenson.) … [Read more...]

New Research: Vegetable Oil Delays Vine Bud Break

The results of a five-year research project show that applying vegetable oil to vines significantly delays bud break. The project, by Mac’s Creek Winery and Vineyards in Lexington, Nebraska, aimed to find a way of minimizing damage to vines due to late spring frost. The research was presented at VitiNord 2012, an international cold climate grape conference held jointly in Neubrandenburg Germany … [Read more...]

Top Viticulture Stories For 2012

Vineyard at Black Star Farms in Leelanau Peninsula Michigan

Some of the most popular stories in Midwest Wine Press are about growing wine grapes. At Midwest Wine Press, we pride ourselves on being the only publication that consistently covers Midwest viticulture. Other topics we cover - like winemaking, winery marketing and interviews with regional experts - are all important.  But the key driver for growth of the Midwest wine industry is increasing … [Read more...]

Northern Grapes Project Pays Dividends in Year One

Tom Zumpfe and Cathy Oslzly at Dove's Landing Vineyard in Nebraska

The Northern Grapes Project (NGP) has released its one year progress report.  NGP involves institutions in 12 states and 19 regional wine and grape organizations, many in the Midwest. "It is the first project of its kind to focus on cold climate cultivars" said Project Director, Tim Martinson, from Cornell University's Department of Horticulture. "We’ve designed this as a five-year project and … [Read more...]

Overuse of Multiple Trunks


When I began growing grapes in the 1970s at an experimental vineyard near my father’s orchard, it was routine to train vines to more than one trunk, a practice known today as “multiple trunks.” All the early growers used it and eastern academia generally embraced this technique as an integral element in cold climate grape culture. In truth, it was a pain to employ, as training two trunks from … [Read more...]

Lightening Damage to Grape Plants

Snapshot 10:28:12 5:38 PM

This article is by Dr. Dean Volenberg of the University of Wisconsin’s Door County Extension. It was first published in the Wisconsin Grape Growers Association's (WGGA) 30th July 2012 Vineyard IPM Scouting Report.  During July,  I had the opportunity to examine a lightning strike injury to grape plants. The majority of vine damage was to shoots that were touching training wires in the VSP … [Read more...]