September 19, 2017

Frontenac Outgrows Wild Youth

The Frontenac wine grape started with a graduate student on a canoe trip.   While paddling through the suburbs of Minneapolis during 1976, a University of Minnesota graduate student named Patrick Pierquet found the wild parent of Frontenac growing along the Minnesota River.  (Pierquet is now the enology wine lab manager at Ohio State University in Wooster.) Back at the … [Read more...]

Northern Minnesota Vineyard Trial Results

Data from the first phase of a major Minnesota vineyard trial has been tabulated, according to Dennis Emslie Drummond, VESTA Coordinator at Central Lakes College in Staples, Minnesota, about 130 miles northeast of the Twin Cities.Drummond planted an experimental vineyard at Central Lakes during 2011 as part of a $203,000, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation. The project … [Read more...]

Wisconsin Grape and Wine Industry Survey Released

The 2011 Grape and Wine Industry Survey was released recently by the United States Department of Agriculture Statistics Service. The Wisconsin Grape Growers and the Wisconsin Winery Associations also helped with the survey which was mailed during June of 2012. (Midwest Wine Press does not know why the survey is called the "2011 Survey." The information was compiled in 2012 and released in … [Read more...]

“Edward Scissorhands” Replacing Hand Pruning

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...]

Northern Grapes Project Pays Dividends in Year One

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...]

Using Aerial Photos to Increase Vineyard Profits

Trouble  locating  suitable  land  for  your  vines?  Not  sure  if  your  vineyard  will  get  the  maximum  amount  of   sunlight,  right  soils,  or  adequate  air  circulation?  Worried  about  harvesting  your  blocks  at  the  optimal   time  and  managing  disease?  These  questions  challenge  both  hobby  and  commercial  grape  producers.  To   help  take  the  guess-work  out  of … [Read more...]

Grape Production Expands in Vernon County Wisconsin

Timothy Rehbein, University of Wisconsin Vernon County Agriculture Agent, notes that at its peak in the 1990's, tobacco farming was a thriving $14 million business in Vernon County, Wisconsin and surrounding areas.    When the Wisconsin tobacco industry crashed suddenly in the late 90's, concerned tobacco growers approached Rehbein, fresh out of grad school at the time,  demanding alternatives to … [Read more...]