Archive: Vineyard Info

MANAGING HIGH WIRE TRELLIS FOR IMPROVED YIELD & QUALITY

The high wire trellis has recently become popular in several U.S. wine regions. In California, this trellis is seen as being easy to mechanize, and so can help save labor problems. In other regions where native and hybrid varieties are grown, the system is being promoted as offering many advantages over other systems involving vertical shoot positioning. History of the High Wire Trellis The high wire trellis is not new despite its recent promotion. Professor Nelson Shaulis of Cornell University began the “canopy management revolution” in the 1960s when he introduced the Geneva Double Curtain. The GDC was the first of the new divided canopy systems, consisting of two vertical foliage walls per row of vines, about three feet apart, […]

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From the Soil to the Sky: Ensure a Healthy Vineyard Post-Harvest

The rush of harvest is over. Throughout much of North America, precise ribbons of red, orange and yellow frame the landscape as grape leaves reflect the change in seasons. Soon, this colorful confetti will fall, allowing vines to rest. For vineyard managers, it’s just the opposite. A post-harvest checklist details a number of duties designed to ensure the success of next year’s crop. From soil analysis to composting evaluation, from disease control to aerial assessment, there are many reasons to stay active between the rows. From the Ground Up For centuries, the prevailing attitude among winemakers was that stressed vines produced higher-quality grapes. Rocky, rolling hills whisked away excess water and forced craggy vines to send roots far and wide […]

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Trout Springs: A Winery With a Twist

Trout Springs Winery, an award-winning winery in Greenleaf, Wisconsin, is not just a popular wine destination – it’s also a fish hatchery, a plant nursery and the only winery in the state that offers luxury camping in a vineyard. If you go into the tasting room, you can also try some of Trout Springs beers, produced off-site under the Sassy Girl label, as well as products made from freeze-dried grape skins and seeds that offer proven health benefits. To the casual observer, this may seem like a lot under one roof, but to Steve DeBaker and his wife, Andrea, co-owners and operations managers at Trout Springs, it’s all in a day’s work.  “We’re not your usual winery,” DeBaker told The […]

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The Rise & Fall of the Midwest Wine Industry- Part I

It may be hard to conceptualize that the Midwest was once one of the largest producers of grapes and wine in the United States. In fact, the state of Iowa ranked 11th in grape production in 1899 and sixth in 1919. Even though the wine is be produced all over the United States including the Midwest, their combined yield and production combined cannot match what is produced in California. When passing through the states in the Midwest, one sees row crops of mostly corn and soybean, yet in the late 19th century one would see large vineyards. Today there is a resurgence of vineyards, a sort of grape Renaissance, but it is still small compared to the industry it once […]

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Robot Created to Monitor Key Wine Vineyard Parameters

Grapes must be picked at the perfect point of maturation, and its plant must have the appropriate intake of water during its development so that the wine ends up having the properties that consumers request. Controlling those parameters which are so vital for vine-growers is not done on the ground because it is complicated and expensive and, if it is done, few can afford to use pressure chambers that measure water potential. “This prevents the vine-grower and winemaker from having access to complete and reliable information during the grape’s growth and maturation cycles, on a regular basis and in real time. This way, a majority of producers don’t use data that could help them optimise the handling of their vineyard […]

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Protecting Your Business From Employee Poachers

You’ve been in business for several years and have a dozen hard-working, dedicated employees working for your company, or so you think.  Out of the blue, a new competitor enters the market and the next thing you know, all 12 of your employees have jumped ship to join the new firm.  With them, they have taken company records and customer lists.  What do you do?  Do you have any legal recourse against the poaching company? Against your former employees?  How could you have prevented this? Can a Competitor “Poach” Your Employees? In most states, yes.  Many people are surprised to learn that, generally, poaching is a perfectly valid and legal way to find new employees. There are exceptions and limitations, of […]

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Tariffs, Tariffs, and More Tariffs

Toward the end of this week, take a minute to add up and total the amount of US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods imported into the US. You can glean this data from online aggregated digital news, television news, or from US Government pronouncements about Trump tariffs. I would be very surprised if the number does not exceed hundreds of billions of US dollars encompassing about half of all Chinese manufactured goods entering the US. The public comment period for most US-China tariffs to be imposed to date ended this past Friday so that such tariffs can be imposed by the US Government and will either be at 25% or 10% depending on the Chinese manufactured product. China and the US, up […]

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Winter Kill, Trunk Disease, or Both….the Situation in the Midwest, USA

[PHOTO CAPTION:  DR. RICHARD SMART] We eagerly anticipated my second visit to the Midwest in June of this year (This article is written in the first person illustrating Richard Smart’s experiences). The prime purpose was to present at the Grapevine Midwest Viniculture Expo at Davenport, Iowa. The topic of my presentation was “Canopy management and how it can affect vineyard profitability and wine quality”. I intended to critically discuss the present tendency towards use of a single high wire cordon. Mike White, the extension viticulture Specialist at Iowa State most kindly offered to escort me on a three-state tour of vineyards, including Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. This gave me a chance to see many vineyards and meet many growers, observe […]

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Vineyard Development: Application of a Sophisticated Testing Technology to Detect Potential Disease

The fall season is the time that vineyard managers and winemakers should start to plan for new vineyard development.  It Is true, this is when you are the busiest with harvest and wine making activities.  However, this is the best time to spot the symptoms associated with most grapevine diseases. My philosophy is if you wish to develop a healthy vineyard you need to plan ahead.  When planting a new vineyard, unless you are willing to take whatever is left at the nursery (not the best idea), you will need to place your order with a nursery at least one year ahead of the planting season.    With so many different diseases that are not regulated by certification programs, I recommend […]

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The Grapevine Magazine’s First Midwest Viniculture Expo Held June 2018

The Grapevine Magazine’s inaugural Midwest Viniculture Expo was held in Davenport, Iowa, June 20-23, 2018. The Expo consisted of a Conference, Trade Show, Midwest Wine Competition and concluded with a Midwest Wine Festival open to the public. THANK YOU to our EXPO SPONSORS:   ACS; Prestige Glassware; Kuriyama of America, Inc.; The Barrel Broker; Brown Bear Corporation; Nixalite of America, Inc. and Agriozein. And to our Association Sponsors:     Iowa Wine Growers Association; Michigan Grape and Wine Association; and Minnesota Grape Growers Association. The Expo’s goal was to provide producers with the opportunity to expand their education, discover new innovations, and network with fellow makers and vendors who can improve practices. Expanding Education The prevailing message of the two-day […]

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