Archive: Vineyard Info

Grapevine Graft Transmissible Fungal Trunk Diseases

Grapevines are susceptible to disease causing agents (pathogens) that affect the longevity and productivity of the vineyard. My expertise is on grapevine graft-transmissible diseases and the pathogens that cause them. The only way to avoid diseases in the vineyard is to prevent the introduction of pathogens in the first place. More often than not, growers fail to take this simple advice: we heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Currently there is no cure for graft-transmissible diseases once these are established in the vineyard. This means that special care selecting planting material must be used prior to developing a new vineyard block. This is the most important task during vineyard development but I find […]

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Winery Operators Advised to Ask Tough Questions Before Expanding

With the turn of another year, and winery-vineyard operations pondering possible means to expand, Marnelle Durrett says she can testify that the right growth plans can pay big dividends. Whether what has worked for her family’s Kiepersol Vineyards & Winery near Tyler, Texas, would work for all others is another question, she says. The key to growth at Kiepersol has been controlling – even eliminating – debt, said Durrett, who with her sister, Velmay Power, now run the family business their late father started in 1998. “Growing within our means comes from the culture of not wanting to create debt,” she said. “When you don’t create debt in business, ingenuity comes into play.” It’s natural to want to expand, find […]

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Drones in the Vineyard: Uses, Benefits, Concerns & Key Players

Unpredictable weather conditions and the effects of climate change are causing vineyards to look to technology to solve their biggest problems. Interestingly, one of the most promising technological solutions that has emerged for vineyards today is drones. These aerial devices already play a role in military operations and retail package delivery. Could they revolutionize the wine industry as well? By definition, drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that fly autonomously or by remote control. In addition to military and commercial drones, hobbyist drones have become more affordable and accessible to the general public. The purpose of this article is to explore the uses of drones in vineyards and how drone technology may help vineyards thrive. We’ll also highlight a few technology […]

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The 2016 U.S. Vineyard Harvest Review

And that’s a wrap! By now, all vineyards across the country have finished harvesting except for ice wine. States from coast to coast have been reporting about their vineyards’ harvests for 2016, and the results have been overwhelmingly optimistic. In this article, we highlight the harvests in a few key wine-producing regions in the U.S. and take a look at how the 2016 harvest compared to previous years and the factors that came into play this year. In anticipation of the new year ahead, we’ll also look at estimates for wine production and quality for 2017. California Harvest for 2016 After a pretty normal growing season, California vineyards saw an early winegrape harvest this year. According to the California Department […]

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Advancement in Diagnostic Technologies for Plant Pests and What This Means for Vineyard Disease Management

As a viticulturist, you have at some point in your career noticed undesirable qualities, such as decreased yield or peculiar sugar content, within your vineyard. In some cases these characteristics are caused by environmental factors like frost damage, or a human error resulting in pesticide damage. In other cases a plant pathogen could be the underlying cause of your crops diminished quality. Plant pathogens are classified into at least five groups including fungi, bacteria, viruses, viroids, and phytoplasmas. Unfortunately, there are organisms belonging to each of these groups that can quickly wreak havoc on all the blood, sweat, tears and capital you have invested in hope of producing a quality crop. Controlling plant pathogens isn’t always the most straightforward activity. […]

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Mobile Bottling Preparation

Preparing for bottling, mobile or not, is no easy challenge. The key to success while preparing for the mobile bottler to arrive is communication and planning. This can’t be stressed enough when you digest the topics below and we can use this document even if we have our own bottling line. When It is recommended to contact a mobile bottler at least 6 months prior to actually needing them. Discuss the overall plan from wine styles, case volume, road access for their truck and address other questions the bottling operator may have. Then request their spec sheet in terms of label wind, label spool core size, label spool size, capsules, bottle styles, screw cap capabilities etc. Does the mobile bottler […]

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Idaho Wine Re-Emerging After 160 Years

Although vineyards were established in the state in the 1860s, say “Idaho” and the first thing that comes to mind for most is the famous white potato, not wine. But it was Idaho that first produced award-winning wines in the Pacific Northwest. Today, they hide in the shadow of their famous neighbors, but Idaho’s wineries are slowly emerging into the limelight and taking advantage of the state’s natural resources. Idaho’s small and somewhat ‘secret wine industry’ is partly due to their late arrival to the modern wine world. Idahoans approved a state-wide ban on alcohol in 1916, four years before a national prohibition went into effect. As elsewhere, Prohibition halted a promising wine industry, started in the late 1860s by […]

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Ontario Shoppers! You Can Now Purchase Your Wine at a Grocery Near You

October 28, 2016, is the date of the next step in the steady march toward greater access to wines of Ontario. On that date, wine will be found on the shelves of 70 groceries throughout the province. The day comes just eight months after the February 2016 promise made by Premier Kathleen Wynne to eventually permit up to 300 groceries to offer wine, including imports, just down the aisle from the steak and cheese. The suggestion to open Ontario’s grocery market to wine was included in the recommendations of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets presented in April of 2015. The report said, “First, we are recommending the creation of a new retail channel for wine that is separate […]

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Make Your Bottle Images Sell For You!

As the saying goes: “a picture is worth a thousand words”. When it comes to your business, it may as well be worth thousands of dollars in revenue. Let’s look at some data: • People are attracted to images: they remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see.¹ • People are really attracted to images when shopping: 67% of e-commerce users say the product image is “very important” in purchase decision-making, even more so than the product description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%).² • First impressions matter a lot: the average person’s attention span is only 8.25 seconds… less than a goldfish that clocks at 9!³ Big players are well […]

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POMACE: From Trash to Treasure

The vineyard is a miraculous place where sugars and flavors come from the earth each year and are used to produce the wines of the world. But did you know that the vineyard is also a production center for powerful anti-oxidants and polyphenols in all parts of the plant? While the value of the fruit of the vine is well known, the value of other components of the process are only beginning to be realized in the United States. Pomace is the solid remains of grapes, olives, or other fruit after juice or oil has been extracted. The remains include stems, seeds, skins and pulp. It is an unavoidable consequence of winemaking, and so, the question becomes, what should be […]

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