October 25, 2014

The Wine World Discovers Northern Michigan

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For 200 years, grapegrowers have been experimenting with European wine varietals in the Midwestern United States.  While growing old world grapes in the Midwest will never be easy, some regions are quietly gaining an international reputation.  One such area is the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan, which has been winning prestigious awards and attracting recent attention from the wine … [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...]

Midwest Winemaker Q&A

Microbins full of grapes (photo courtesy of Abacela Winery)

Publisher's note: This is the second installment of  Midwest Wine Press Winemaker Q & A. If you have questions for Milwaukee based winery consultant Piero Spada, please send them to midwestwine@gmail[email protected] February 2013: More wineries seem to be using more screw caps for cold climate wines. Air transfer from corks can cause discoloration of Marquette and Frontenac Gris. In addition, there are … [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...]

Using Aerial Photos to Increase Vineyard Profits

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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...]

Parallel 44 Winery Masters the Frozen Tundra

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February in northeast Wisconsin is bone-chilling cold, but that doesn’t stop Steve Johnson and Maria Milano, owners of Parallel 44 Winery and Vineyard near Kewaunee, Wis., from throwing an outdoor winter wine festival. Last year, about 2,000 hardy souls bundled up to drink wine on the patio and appreciate the past bounty of the snow-covered vineyard. As the winery’s name implies, the property … [Read more...]

Grape Production Expands in Vernon County Wisconsin

Tim Rehbein, University of Wisconsin Extension Agent for Vernon County, inspects a grapevine for frost damage

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...]