Maximizing Weed Control with Herbicides

Image of double regular knozzels spraying down into vineyard

By: Kirk Williams, Lecturer-Texas Tech University

While there are many methods to control weeds, weed control with herbicides remains a viable option due to its lower cost versus other options such as mechanical cultivation.  When herbicide applications are done efficiently it can be a much faster process when compared to mechanical cultivation. 

  Application of herbicides through nozzles is important for correct herbicide distribution and dosage over the target.  The target could be existing weeds in the case of post emergent herbicides or the soil surface with pre-emergent herbicides or a combination of both existing weeds and the soil surface in the case of tank mixing post emergent and pre-emergent herbicides.  Coverage is critical for herbicides to work effectively.  Hydraulic spray nozzles create a wide range of droplet sizes.   These droplets are measured in microns with droplets from 200 to 400 microns considered the most appropriate size for herbicide applications.   Larger droplet sizes may bounce or roll off leaves while very fine droplets are more prone to drift.

  To provide satisfactory results, recommendations from Syngenta, one of the manufacturers of water sensitive cards, is to have 20 to 30 droplets per square centimeter for pre-emergent herbicides. For post emergent herbicide applications, it is recommended to have 30 to 40 droplets per square centimeter.   A square centimeter is about 1/6 of a square inch. 

  One way to increase and improve coverage in herbicide applications is to use a double nozzle body.  This allows two nozzles to occupy the same space as one nozzle.  The double nozzle body allows you to easily increase the volume of coverage no matter what kind of nozzle you using. This is especially true when you have to use a relatively large spray nozzle to apply higher volumes.  Larger sprayer nozzles tend to produce coarser droplets.  Splitting the required flow into two nozzles can produce an efficiency gain by decreasing the number of coarse droplets.  The double nozzle body also helps with increasing droplet coverage of target.  (See the double nozzle body set up in Image 1).

  It was found in a study with water sensitive cards that coverage was increased by 20% when double nozzle bodies were used when compared to single nozzle bodies.   The study used regular flat fan off center 03 nozzles, calibrated to deliver 47 gallons per treated acre and the water sensitive cards were placed on the berm underneath the grape vines.   While the double nozzle body had higher coverage the droplets per square centimeter went down due to the droplets running together versus the single nozzle body.  The single body nozzle had 43 droplets per square centimeter while the double body nozzle had 17 droplets per square centimeter but the droplets are much bigger.  (See the water sensitive cards in image 2).   While the droplets per square centimeter are out of the recommended range for droplets per square centimeter for herbicides with the double nozzle body the better coverage should result in similar or better weed control with both pre-emergent herbicides and post emergent herbicides. 

Regular single nozzle setup compared to double nozzle body regular nozzle

  Herbicide application technology has improved with a wider selection of nozzles available.  Adoption of these newer type of nozzles has been widely adopted in row crops but may be not as widely adopted for vineyard herbicide applications.  These newer type nozzles reduce drift but still deliver good weed control. 

  Air Induction nozzles are a newer type of nozzle that are available in a wide range of spray tips.  The air-induction nozzle is noted for producing large drops through the use of a venturi air aspirator. The venturi draws air into the nozzle through holes in the side of the nozzle and then the air is mixed with the solution to create larger spray droplets, which reduces drift potential.   These larger droplets are filled with air bubbles and explode on impact with the target surface and produce coverage that is similar to other nozzle types. 

  Many sustainable grape growing standards include drift management as a component of their plans.  The incorporation of air induction nozzles that reduce drift by reducing the number of fine, drift prone droplets could be a part of meeting the requirements of these standards.  Drift reduction is important during the growing season to reduce phytotoxicity due to herbicides.  When herbicide applications take place in the in dormant season, phytotoxicity to the grapevines is not an issue but with the wide spread adoption of cover crops, herbicide applications need to stay where they are intended to be, so they don’t impact the cover crops.     

  In a study, double nozzle bodies were equipped with air induction under banding nozzles (AIUB8503), calibrated to deliver 44 gallons per treated acre.  Water sensitive cards were placed on the berm underneath the grape vines.  This nozzle configuration delivered 56% coverage of the water sensitive cards and produced 26 droplets per square centimeter.  As you can see, in the water sensitive cards in (image 3) the droplets produced are large with few small droplets.  The droplets per square centimeter are in the recommended range for droplets per square centimeter for pre-emergent herbicides but outside of the recommended range for post emergent herbicides.  The coverage produced should result in similar or better weed control with both pre-emergent herbicides and post emergent herbicides when compared to the regular nozzle set up.  The air induction nozzles will also produce a minimum of drift prone fine droplets.  

Double nozzle body regular nozzles compared to double nozzle body drift reduction nozzle

  Adoption of double nozzles bodies into your herbicide application program will increase coverage for both pre-emergent and post emergent herbicides.   Switching to air induction nozzles is one way to make sure the herbicides that you are using stay where they are intended to.   

  In addition to coverage and nozzle selection, don’t forget about integrated weed management principles.  These principles include knowing and correctly identifying your weed problems so that appropriate herbicides can be chosen.  Controlling weeds when they are small when they are more susceptible to herbicides and easier to have better spray coverage.  Another integrated weed management principle is to keep annual weeds from going to seed which reduces the weed seed bank in the soil.   Other principles include rotating among herbicides with different modes or action or tank mixing herbicides with different modes of action together which helps manage weed population shifts as well as herbicide resistance.  Staying clean is easier than trying to clean up a mess, so pre-emergent herbicides may help to keep the vineyard berms clean.  

  Kirk Williams is a lecturer in Viticulture at Texas Tech University and teaches the Texas Tech Viticulture Certificate program.  He is also a commercial grape grower on the Texas High Plains.  He can be contacted at

Update on Grapevine Plant Quarantine and Certification Programs

healthy nursery row of grapevines

By:  Judit Monis, Ph.D. – Vineyard and Plant Health Consultant

New methods are being applied for the testing of imported plants and the certified foundation mother blocks at the University of California at Davis that manages the foundation blocks for the California (CDFA) certification program.  After so many years of considering the biological indexing technique a gold standard, the methodology has been replaced with modern technology that is able to detect any virus in the propagation material.  Furthermore, due to the infection and spread of Grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) in the former CDFA (Russell Ranch) certified foundation block, new measures are being applied to avoid that the problem occurs again. 

Plant Quarantine Programs

  Plant quarantine programs have been developed worldwide to reduce the risk of introducing foreign plant pests and/or pathogens not found in a particular state, country, or region.  My expertise is plant pathology and throughout my career I have specialized in the application and development of methods for the detection of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that cause diseases in vineyards and fruit orchards.  In spite of the current existence of plant quarantine programs, most grapevine pathogens with rare exceptions occur in all grape growing areas in the world.  The reason is that in most cases, quarantine programs were implemented after the introduction of the infected plant material.  In addition, modern techniques for the detection of these pathogens were not available at the time of plant introduction. In other words, the majority of grapevine pests and pathogens were moved unknowingly.  The advancement of science and the use of sophisticated detection methods for grapevine pathogens and isolation has helped keep certain viruses outside of Australia.  For example, Grapevine fanleaf (GFLV) has not been reported in Australia as of yet.  Presently, with the use of advanced methodologies, new pathogens continue to be discovered. As science progresses with the development of more refined technology (e.g., next generation sequencing also known as high throughput sequencing), it is expected that new (or unknown and established) pathogens will be discovered. In practice, most grapevine pathogens have originated at the centers of origin of Vitis species (a plant genus that includes both table, wine, and rootstock grapevine varieties) and moved to many grapevine growing areas of the world during plant introduction. 

  In the United States, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Inspection Services (APHIS) Plant Pest Quarantine (PPQ) unit regulates the introduction of plant material for planting from foreign countries.  However, the USDA does not have a centralized government plant quarantine center.  Instead, the APHIS PPQ  issues permits to specific clean plant centers with proper containment facilities and approved protocols to manage the quarantine of specific crops. For grapevines, two importation centers are available for introducing quarantined planting material: The Foundation Plant Services (FPS) at the UC at Davis and the Clean Plant Center at Cornell University in Geneva, New York.  

Grapevine Certification Programs

  Grapevine certification programs are needed to produce tested plant material that is free of important known pathogens.  These plants are then distributed to nurseries that propagate and sell these plants to growers.   In the United States, certification programs are voluntary and are managed by individual states.  I will describe the California certification program as many US grapevine growing regions purchase planting material from California nurseries. 

  The Grapevine California Registration and Certification (R&C) Program was first written into law in the 1980’s.   The Grapevine R&C Program is administered by the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) and provides for the testing of source vines for grapevine viruses that cause important diseases. Registered sources and certified nursery stock are periodically inspected by the CDFA staff and are maintained by the participant nurseries.   Starting in 1996, I participated and provided input at the industry meetings that lead to the revision of the California Grapevine R&C program many years later.   In 2010 the Grapevine R&C program was revised to include testing of foundation mother vines for the presence of a comprehensive list of viruses.

  The California Grapevine R&C Program rules can be found in CDFA’s website:

  With funding from the National Clean Plant Network, a new of foundation block named Russel Ranch was planted at the UC Davis in 2009.   The planting material (both scion and rootstock varieties) included in the new foundation block had to pass a rigorous testing program and have been propagated using the “apical micro-shoot tip culture” technique.   The apical micro-shoot tip culture process is a plant tissue culture technique that is used to eliminate pathogens from vegetative propagated plant material.  The testing program at UC Davis is known as Protocol 2010.  The maintenance and testing of the scion and rootstock mother blocks are performed by UC Davis FPS personnel.  Shortly after the update of the California Grapevine R&C Program, GRBV, a virus of significant importance for the vineyard industry, was discovered.  Consequently, the California Grapevine R&C Program was revised to include the testing of foundation and nursery increase blocks for the presence of GRBV.  Sadly, the Russell Ranch foundation block became progressively infected with GRBV.  The infection status was so high that FPS had to suspend the sale of plant material to nurseries. 

  The testing of the foundation mother plants includes a list of well characterized viruses, Xylella fastidiosa, and phytoplasmas using biological, serological, and molecular testing techniques (  The nursery increase blocks are inspected and tested by CDFA personnel with a reduced number of pathogens.  The updated Grapevine R&C added the testing for the detection of GRBV using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to vines in the foundation and nursery increase blocks.  Related to nursery certified plants, the rules are vague and state that certified plants may be tested (particularly if after inspection suspected symptoms are observed).  According to CDFA, the goal is to test a statistical sample with a 95% confidence level assuming a 1 % disease incidence.  It is disappointing that in spite of the importance of the decline and canker diseases caused by fungal pathogens (and how easily the pathogens can be transmitted by activities carried out at the nursery), the regulations do not include inspection or testing for fungal pathogens in foundation or increase blocks. 

  The use of certified material is expected to be less risky than planting field selections of unknown infection status.  However, it is always prudent to consult with me to assure that the planting material meets the expected cleanliness standards. An important piece of advice when working on the procurement of clean planting stock is to plan in advance.  Most nurseries in California collect cuttings for budwood as soon as the vines are dormant.  However, grafting activities are performed during the spring of the following year.  Planning with time will allow for inspection of the increase blocks early in the fall before a freeze.   Being familiar with the nursery’s operations and their staff is important.  Good communication will help with scheduling inspections and testing of the increase blocks from which bud wood and rootstock cuttings will be collected. 

Changes in the Testing and Management of UC Davis Grapevine Foundation Block and Introduce Quarantine Plant Material

  The FPS laboratory at UC Davis performed comparative studies between the traditional biological indexing technique and the high throughput sequencing (HTS) methodology.  To refresh my readers, the biological indexing technique or commonly known as woody indexing is an ancient method that relies on the grafting of grapevine (or other woody species) material onto an indicator host.  An indicator host, is a plant variety that is very susceptible to the disease we wish to detect.  For example, the indicator host for grapevine leafroll disease is  Cabernet Franc.  To perform the assay, buds from quarantine or foundation plants are grafted onto the indicator plants.  After a period of time (generally two years) the symptoms of the grafted plants are recorded. If the  buds of the grapevine plants that we wish to test for are infected with a virus that causes red leaf discoloration, and successfully transmits the virus to the indicator plant, it is concluded that the test vine is infected with a Grapevine leafroll associated virus (GLRaV). 

  However,  GRBV also causes red leaf symptoms in Cabernet Franc and other red grape varieties, therefore the test vines could be infected with GRBV.  In more simple words, the biological indexing technique is able to detect disease symptoms and not a particular pathogen that causes it. As long as there is a detection, there is no problem.  The problem occurs when a vine is infected but no symptoms are visible in the indicator plants.  In this case, the vines would be considered healthy and will spread a disease-causing agent.  After a series of experiments and discussions with regulators at USDA APHIS PPQ and CDFA, UC Davis FPS personnel have been able to implement the use of HTS instead of the woody indexing assay. This is a welcomed change I sincerely never expected to happen during my professional life! Another important needed change in the management of the UC Davis foundation plants is the construction of an insect-proof greenhouse that will host the CDFA certified mother vines.  The greenhouse is expected to be finished by the end of 2023.


  Diseases, pathogens, and/or their vectors do not know or respect the borders between blocks (at the nursery, foundation block, or your vineyard).  Even if the planting material came from a reputable certification program, paying attention to the surrounding vineyards as well as having knowledge of the potential presence of disease prior to planting is important.  The planning of a new vineyard is not trivial and requires specialized knowledge.  I am available to help look for suspicious symptoms (inspect scion and rootstock source blocks), evaluate the planting site, develop a testing plan based on science and statistics, and review nursery and vineyard disease testing history.  

  Judit Monis, Ph.D. provides specialized services to help growers, vineyard managers, and nursery personnel avoid the propagation and transmission of disease caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the vineyard.   Judit (based in California) is fluent in Spanish and is available to consult in all wine grape growing regions of the word.  Please visit for information or contact to request a consulting session at your vineyard.

New Grapevine Crop Insurance Coverage Now Available

stormy dark skies over a vineyard

By: Trevor Troyer – Vice President at Agricultural Risk Management, LLC

The USDA Risk Management Agency has just released the new Grapevine crop insurance plan.  This has been something that vineyard owners across the US have wanted for years.  Coverage is now available starting for the 2024 crop year. The sign-up deadline is November 1st in all states where it is available.

  The states where you can obtain this new coverage are: California, Idaho, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.  It is not available in all counties though.  The counties that are listed in the actuarial documents are not the same as the Grape crop insurance program.  This new program is available for grafted grapevines only in 91 counties.

  What is covered with this new insurance product?  The Causes of Loss that are listed in the Grapevine Crop Provisions are below:

      11. Causes of Loss

      (a) In accordance with the provisions of section 12 of the Basic Provisions, insurance is provided only against the following causes of loss that occur within the insurance period:

(1) Freeze;

(2) Hail;

(3) Flood;

(4) Fire, unless weeds and other forms of undergrowth have not been controlled or pruning debris has not been removed from the vineyard;

(5) Insects, diseases, and other pathogens if allowed in the Special Provisions; and

(6) Failure of the irrigation water supply if caused by an unavoidable, naturally occurring event that occurs during the insurance period.

      (b) In addition to the causes of loss excluded in section 12 of the Basic Provisions, we will not insure against damage other than actual damage to the vine from an insurable cause specified in this section

  The vine needs to be completely destroyed, or is damaged to the extent that it will not recover in the 12-month insurance period from November 30th.

  Any damage other than damage to the grapevine from an insured cause is not covered.  For example, chemical drift, terrorism etc. are not covered.  Failure to follow good farming practices or the breakdown of irrigation equipment are also not covered.

  For the grapevines to be insurable they must be adapted to the area they are being grown in.  They must be being grown and sold for fruit, wine or juice for human consumption.  The vines must be grafted to be insurable as well.  The Crop Year begins December 1 and extends through to November 30 of the following year. You must have a minimum of 600 vines per acre to be insurable also.

  Vines are classified into 3 stages of growth for the policy.  Here are the exact definitions:

      (a) Stage I, from when the vines are set out through 12 months after set out;

      (b) Stage II, vines that are 13 through 48 months old after set out; and

      (c) Stage III, vines that are more than 48 months old after set out.

  Values are determined by the Stage (age) of the vine and the county they are located in.  Obviously Stage III vines are worth more than Stage I vines.  These prices are set by the USDA Risk Management Agency.

  Vines are insured in four different categories; Group A, Group B, Group C and Group D.  Without listing all the varieties in each group, which would take up a lot of space, suffice to say that any variety can be insured.  Group A for example has Concord, Niagra and other natives and some hybrids.  Group B has mostly hybrids such as Chardonnel, Diamond, Elvira, Vidal Blanc but does have some Vitis vinifera like Reisling.  Group C has the most European grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gamay and others but does have hybrids as well.  The catch all is Group D which has “All Other Varieties”.  You can select a different coverage level for each Group.  You could have 60% coverage on your Group A and 75% coverage on your Group C vines. Depending on which vines you think are more at risk.   If you choose Catastrophic Risk Protection (CAT) level for any vine type then CAT will be applicable for all of your insured vines in that county.

  You can choose coverage levels for your Grapevine insurance from CAT (Catastrophic) to 75%.  CAT insurance is 50% coverage but you only get 55% of that 50% value per vine. Coverage increments are 5%, so you have 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70% and 75%.   There is a sort of a double deductible with Grapevine insurance.  You have a damage deductible and a value/price deductible.  For example, if you choose 75% coverage you would have a 25% damage deductible.  That means that the first 25% of damage is not payable.  So, if you had 30% of your vines killed because of a freeze you would have a payable claim of 5% (30% minus 25% deductible).  There is also a value deductible as well. Again, if you have 75% coverage you would have a grapevine value deductible of 25%. For example, if the grapevine is Stage III in California in Napa County it would be worth $39.  At the 75% coverage level the dollar amount for that vine would be $29.25.

  There is an optional endorsement that changes the damage deductible.  This endorsement does cost a little more but is worth it, in my opinion.  This is called the Occurrence Loss Option or OLO for short.  It changes the damage deductible to a 5% damage trigger.  If your loss is 5% or more of the total value of the vines in a unit you would have a payable loss.  Plus, you are paid on the full value percentage of the loss.  So, if you had a 30% loss, you would get paid on the full 30%.  This does not change the value percentage of the coverage level, if you choose 50% you get that amount.  You cannot exceed the total insured value, Liability, of the vines in any case. 

  OLO has been available for other types of insurance like citrus trees, avocado trees etc.  To keep premiums down growers often elect lower coverage levels with OLO.  That way you are likely to get a claim paid but the premium is not too high, you just get a little less per vine.

  Once you sign up and complete all the forms with your agent, they are then submitted to the underwriter.  The underwriter will open an inspection and an adjuster will come and take a look at your vineyard.  The adjuster will determine if the grapevines in your vineyard are insurable.  The vines could be uninsurable for any of the following reasons.  The vines are unsound, diseased or in someway unhealthy.  They could have been grafted within a 12-month period before the beginning of the insurance period. Or they could have been damaged prior to the beginning of the insurance period.  Once the adjuster has completed the inspection, it is sent to the underwriter and then on to the USDA Risk Management Agency for final approval. 

  If you have damage from an insured Cause of Loss, you should contact your agent to get a claim opened.  It is always best to get a claim opened up sooner rather than later.  48 – 72 hours after discovering damage is best.  I know that a lot of growers want to wait and see how much damage there is before they do anything.  It is always better to get a claim opened up rather than wait and see.  If there is not enough damage then you just let the adjuster know.  After you open up a claim an adjuster should be out within 10 days to inspect the vineyard.  Do not remove any damaged vines until it has been inspected!

  This is a good program, and it will provide protection to vineyards that need to mitigate losses from Freeze, Hail, Flood, Fire etc.  But you will have to determine, with your agent, whether or not it is a good fit for your vineyard.  Some growers and locations have less risk than others.  While some areas are constantly pummeled by the elements and other factors.

Eagles Landing Winery

Award-Winning Wines In Northeast Iowa

Picture of Eagles Landing Winery from the street with red car in front on street

By: Gerald Dlubala 

Marquette, Iowa, is built for tourism, especially outdoor enthusiasts. The quaint, welcoming town of 429 offers premium hiking, fishing, hunting and camping, along with some of the best fall leaf peeping available. The natural beauty of Marquette’s landscape against a backdrop of the Mississippi River bluffs will put you into a postcard-type setting. And while there, the welcoming residents and hometown feel Iowa is known for will always make itself known. Additionally, nestled in the bluffs of this driftless area of Iowa, the scenic town of Marquette also draws in tourists for their award-winning winery, Eagles Landing Winery.

  Eagles Landing Winery and Vineyard has been serving Iowa and Wisconsin since 2003, with their success driven by a mantra that includes being patient, paying meticulous attention to quality and continuing to focus on their wine’s drinkability and taste.

  Roger and Connie Halvorson launched the winery in 2000 as a retirement hobby. Their son, Jay Halvorson, joined the business in 2003 as the master winemaker. By 2007, Eagles Landing Winery was not only doing well, but they were taking home awards for their wines. Cindy Halvorson joined the company in 2009, and just a few years later, Jay and Cindy Halvorson officially took over the winery from his retiring parents. Since that day, Eagles Landing Winery has received over 400 medals and awards. These coveted awards include the Governor’s Cup and Best of Show at the 2022 Iowa State Fair for their wine, Constance, a clean, crisp and subtle American white wine. In 2022, Jay and Cindy Halvorson also went the route of retirement, selling Eagles Landing winery to current owners Scott and Sharon Patten.

Love at First Sight

  “It was just a wonderful experience and a place that felt familiar and welcoming,” said Sharon. “We literally fell in love with the winery when we visited. The town was so attractive and welcoming, so we knew we had to look into acquiring this place. Scott had experience in winemaking and homebrew brewing, built on a general science background and engineering experience. He was looking to make a change, and we started exploring different businesses available to purchase and came upon Eagles Landing. Scott’s previous background gave him an understanding of the winemaking process and the different production elements, and it all just kind of seemed to click.”

  The Pattens hadn’t previously visited the winery, only making the trip to Marquette a couple of times after seeing that it was available for purchase. They lived in Cedar Rapids at the time, a little less than two hours away.

  “When we visited, it just seemed like a wonderful business, and everyone was super friendly and helpful,” said Sharon. “Jay and Cindy Halvorson were so accommodating and helpful with the transition phase. The winery and the area just became a really good fit.”

  With four children at home and multiple pets to consider, completing the Pattens’ move to Marquette will take some time. In the meantime, there are scheduled days and trips between the two places. Scott runs things at the winery several days a week and comes home on off-days.

  “We are still very much a small family winery,” said Scott. “Everyone pitches in. We include the children on some weekends to help with tasks and gain experience in the different tasks needed around the winery, like different processes, restocking and the never-ending cleanup duties. We’ll produce between 6,000 and 7,000 cases of wine annually, with the main distribution going to Iowa and nearby Wisconsin.”

Wines for Every Palette

  Eagles Landing currently produces 36 wines ranging from dry selections to sweet, dessert-style wines. About two dozen wines are usually available onsite to sample at any given time, including some seasonal blends produced in smaller batches.

  “We source a lot of different kinds of fruit and make a lot of different types of wine,” said Scott. “We offer a little bit of everything in the hopes that our customers will find something they like. Most are what we refer to as Midwestern-type wines. We have a good selection of sweet-style wines because those are typically our best sellers and are always in demand, but when we came on, I wanted to add other types and styles of wines for those who are interested in that as well. And if you’re looking for something seasonal or a unique blend, we do produce those in smaller batches. We’re working on a pear and currant blend that seems to work well. Sometimes, it’s all about trying new things.”

  “And we have to mention our Campfire Hootch,” said Sharon. “It’s a blend of four to seven different berries, grapes and other fruits. The flavor comes through as a sweet, very adult juice that even dry drinkers seem to enjoy. If someone comes in and says they’re not really a fan of wine or a wine drinker, we have them try this, and it usually changes their perception of what a wine can offer. It’s absolutely nontraditional, unlike anything that most people have ever had, so it’s something worth trying when you come in.”

  Grape varieties grown at the nearby vineyard include Edelweiss, Marquette, Marechal Foch, Petite Pearl, Brianna and Frontenac Gris. Patten tells The Grapevine Magazine that the vineyard was not included in the original sale but is contracted to supply grapes to the Eagles Landing. They didn’t want to be overwhelmed with trying to learn the winery plus the farming and agriculture business simultaneously. However, they still use those grapes in their wine production, as well as some coastal grapes for their dry reds and quality Midwest sources for their fruit needs. Patten is hoping to increase the Midwest sources in the future. In addition to its wide-ranging lineup of wines, Eagles Landing Winery offers a large selection of fruit and berry wines and a gold medal-winning honey and blackberry mead.

Come for the Wine, Stay for the Atmosphere, Hospitality and Craft Pizza

  Eagles Landing Winery is a perfect reflection of Marquette, Iowa. The quaint, welcoming surroundings draw you into the small-town hospitality feel of the winery, where samples are always on the menu. Located in downtown Marquette, patrons of Eagles Landing Winery are welcome to sit inside or enjoy themselves outdoors. Visitors can enjoy the outdoor wine garden, complete with an arbor and trellis that supports a network of natural grapevines over the top to make the experience authentic, memorable and relaxing.

  “We wanted a place where people felt relaxed, appreciated and comfortable,” said Patten. “And that attitude includes our drink offerings. We want to offer wines that people like, regardless of their preference. Additionally, we feature live music on the weekends and offer different cheeses and snacks to nibble on while enjoying your time with us. But that’s about to change as well. We’re in the process of installing a pizza kitchen for craft pizzas to enjoy with your wine while hanging out with us. It’ll be a game-changer for us and the total experience we can offer our guests.”

  Patten said that the oven will likely be ready to go when you read this. He projects a November 2023 start date to fire up the pizza oven and make delicious craft pizzas for their patrons to enjoy while drinking Eagles Landing wines.

Eagles Landing Winery Looks to the Future

  “In the short term, we’d like to increase our vendor market,” said Scott. “We currently distribute to Iowa and Wisconsin and have about 200 vendors. We think we can double that in the future. In maybe three to five years, we’d love to have a second location somewhere, but that adds a lot of logistics.”

  Coming from a science, engineering and homebrewing background, you may wonder if another craft beverage endeavor is on the Pattens’ radar as I was.

  “Now that you mention it, we’ve been debating that perhaps we would do something in the future,” said Scott. “We’ll have to see what the market looks like. The future trends and demographics of wine are okay but not entirely sunshine right now, and the numbers for beer aren’t really great right now, but spirits are picking up, so I may be leaning towards adding that.”

Advice to Potential Winery Owners

  Asked for any advice they could provide future winery owners, the Pattens laughed and replied that the experience would be different than they initially expected and planned.

  “Well, Scott and I had a whole strategic plan in place for the first six months,” said Sharon. “But we’ve had to reevaluate that plan simply because knowing things now is much different than going in as first-timers. There are a lot of new things we can bring to the table. It’s important to have a plan, but it’s just as important to be willing to be flexible with that plan. For example, we decided to add the pizza oven, meaning we had to add a previously unplanned physical structure to our site. With this new addition, people will be staying here for longer periods of time, so that has us reevaluating our building’s infrastructure to accommodate those longer stays.”

  “Additionally, everything takes a little longer than we had planned, so I guess if I could go back and change something, I would try to get a jump on some things earlier,” said Scott. “We undertook a rebranding of sorts and wanted to update the look of our product and packaging. It’s the same award-winning wine, but we wanted to freshen up the logos and labeling. That process is taking much longer than a couple of months that we planned for it to take. It’s starting to present some challenges. We could’ve planned that better.”

  “And just knowing how much wine to make for the season will be easier,” said Sharon. “We had to go through the high season of fall, so knowing how much wine to make and when to get it out will be much smoother next season. We had to improvise a bit and update plans on the fly.”

Preserving History

  The Eagles Landing Winery’s offices are located in the historical home of Emma Big Bear. She was the last full-blooded American Indian to live in Clayton County, Iowa. Originally from Wisconsin, Emma Big Bear spent most of her life living by the traditional Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) customs and traditions, known for the handmade woven baskets she made and sold within the McGregor and Marquette regions. She passed away in 1968 at the age of 99, and there is a memorial statue in her honor at the Mississippi River Sculpture Park on St. Feriole Island, Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin.

  For more information on Eagles Landing winery and to plan a trip to Marquette, Iowa, visit:

Eagles Landing Winery

127 North Street

PO Box 472

Marquette, Iowa 52158

(563) 873-1905

An Overview of Washington State’s Vineyards & Wineries

Picture of rose of grape vineyards mountain and blue sky

By: Becky Garrison  

Since the first planting of wine grapes in Fort Vancouver, Washington in 1825, Washington State has risen to become the second-largest producer of wine, with an annual production of approximately 17.7 million cases and a total annual in-state economic impact of $8.4 billion. Currently, the state has 1,070 wineries, with over 400 grape growers and over 60,000 acres of grapevines planted, which produce over 80 varieties of grapes. Of these wineries, 90 percent would be classified as boutique wineries, producing less than 5,000 cases annually.        

Tour of Washington State’s AVAs

  Established in 1983, the Yakima Valley AVA is the state’s oldest AVA, with 708,710 total acres, of which 18,580 are planted acres. This area’s diverse growing region, with an annual rainfall of eight inches, allows for a wide range of wine varieties and styles. Approximately a quarter of the grapes grown in this AVA are chardonnay, with riesling, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and syrah among this region’s other most popular grapes.

  The Columbia Valley AVA was founded the following year and consists of 11,308,636 total acres, 8,748,949 of which are in Washington State. Cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, riesling, merlot and syrah represent the most popular varieties planted in this area. This region is home to 99 percent of Washington’s total wine grape acreage, with the vast majority of Washington State’s 20 AVAs located within the Columbia Valley.  

  Four of Washington State’s AVAs are cross-border appellations. Columbia Valley, Columbia Gorge and Walla Walla Valley are shared with Oregon. Lewis-Clark Valley is shared with Idaho. 

  The Columbia Gorge represents the state’s westernmost appellation east of the Cascade Mountains. Founded in 2004, this AVA is noted for the diversity that produces a greater variety of wines than other AVAs. This AVA consists of 186,610 total acres, 66,604 of which are in Washington State, with 381 planted acres in this state. Rachel Horn, winemaker at Aniche Cellars in Underwood, Washington, states how the western end of the Columbia Gorge AVA is similar in many ways to her favorite cooler climate growing regions in Europe, including Alsace and the Wachau. She observes, “I find that many of the white varieties so seldom grown in the U.S. can thrive here.” Unlike most farms in eastern Washington, they can dry-farm, as the slopes and cooler nights on Underwood Mountain provide enough rain that, according to Horn, can make some gorgeous ripeness in phenolics without becoming jammy or too high in alcohol. “We can focus on elegance and finesse without huge extraction and muscle in our wines,” she said.

Growth of Seattle Urban Wineries

  When Tim Bates, Andy Shepherd and Frank Michels of Eight Bells Winery and Lacey and Charlie Lybecker of Cairdeas Winery launched their respective wineries in 2009, they were among the first winemakers to set up shop inside Seattle’s city limits. Bates reflects on how consumers had a hard time understanding how they could have a winery in the city. “Everyone expected you to be surrounded by vineyards. People are pretty amazed when they come in and see a real winery in action, especially during crush.” Lacey adds, “When we first started making wine, the urban wine scene was concentrated in South Park and Georgetown. It’s now in SODO, West Seattle, Ballard, and beyond. It’s great to see the expansion.”

  As part of this expansion, after the Lybeckers moved their winery from West Seattle to Lake Chelan, they established a second tasting room at SODO Urban Works, a collective of ten of Washington’s finest wine and food crafters situated in one communal space. Nine Hats Winery followed a similar model, with a winery based in Walla Walla and a tasting room at SODO Urban Works. According to Ryan Shoup, who oversees this tasting room, having a presence in this bombing-bustling neighborhood enables them to pivot off this urban energy. “This, in turn, results in a more casual and upbeat feel to their tasting room that attracts a younger audience,” he reflects.

Promoting WA State Wines

  The Washington State Wine Commission designated August as Washington Wine Month (WAugust). During this month, consumers can find special deals and events all month long at wineries, tasting rooms, restaurants, grocery stores and backyards across the state. Also, as part of WAugust, the Washington State Wine Commission partnered with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2022 to bring on Wine Spectator as a national media partner for an expanded Washington Wine Month campaign.

  In addition, 2023 marked the return of Taste Washington in March, which is the nation’s largest single-region wine and food festival. This week is marked with a dinner series, seminars and parties. A key highlight of this week is the Grand Tasting, which includes selections from over 200 wineries alongside more than 50 regional restaurants. This event will return in March 2024, with the Grand Tasting slated for March 16 and 17, 2024.

  Another series of statewide events that have returned post-COVID are those from the Auction of Washington Wines. This nonprofit organization seeks to raise awareness of Washington wine through a series of events benefiting their community. Events happen throughout the year, including an online holiday bottle auction, Wine Country Celebration dinners, and a trade-focused Private Barrel Auction. The largest events happen in August and include TOAST!, an industry-focused recognition dinner; the Winemaker Picnic & Barrel Auction, a casual event featuring wines, food and a consumer barrel auction. Their largest fundraising event of the year, a formal gala, where unique auction lots are available through a live auction and money is raised for Seattle’s Children’s Hospital, Washington State University Viticulture & Enology Department and various industry grants.

  On a more regional level, Walla Walla Wine on Tour allows 45 member wineries to pour to sold-out crowds in Seattle and Portland, as well as reconnect to the wine trade and media. In 2023, they expanded this tour to include Boise, Idaho. In 2024, they will return to Seattle on January 29, Portland on February 26 and Boise, Idaho on March 3-4. In 2023, 60 percent of ticket purchasers were first-time attendees to the Seattle and Portland events.

  Along those lines, Horn points to events like the Blood Of Gods 2023 Annual Merrymaking event held in Walla Walla that work to create space and voice for alternative people in the wine industry, including queer, punk, BIPOC and female voices. She proclaims, “I like that people like us are finding wine and taking some ownership.”

  Renea Roberts, the director of community engagement for the Lake Chelan Wine Alliance, points to the importance of in-person events as an essential part of any local wine community. As she notes,

“They provide an opportunity for wine enthusiasts to gather and share their passion for wine while also promoting local wineries. Being able to host wine events means that the wine community can come together to celebrate their love for wine, learn from each other and support local businesses. It also allows wineries to showcase their products and connect with potential customers.”

  Currently, Washington’s wines can be found all over the state in some unexpected settings. Onboard Amtrak Cascades trains from Eugene, Oregon to Vancouver, British Columbia, travelers can savor Chateau Ste. Michelles’ chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. Most hotels offer Washington wine to their guests, with the Kimpton Hotels hosting Washington-focused happy hours featuring Washington wines. Other places to find Washington wines include the Seattle Space Needle, Washington State ferries and various performing arts venues, such as the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Fifth Avenue Theatre.

Recent Washington State Winery Trends 

  After Paul Beveridge of Wilridge Vineyard, Winery and Distillery in Yakima led the lobbying effort to permit wineries to hold a distilling license, a select number of wineries have followed suit. Like Beveridge’s winery, most of these other wineries also distill the must from their grapes and other fruits to produce grappa and fruit brandies though a few produce grain spirits. For example, Browne Family Vineyards in Walla Walla established  Browne Family Spirits in Spokane, focusing on locally sourced, limited-edition bourbon and rye whiskeys by Kentucky-native master distiller Aaron Kleinhelter.

  Another growing trend with Washington wineries is offering lodging options onsite. Presently, nine wineries based in either central or eastern Washington offer lodging ranging from guest cottages to yurts, cabins and more palatial offerings.


  Moving forward, the biggest challenge for Washington State vineyards remains wildfire smoke, though the 2023 harvest was not impacted as in the case of some previous years. Also, in August, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates announced to its contracted Washington wine grape growers that it’s not taking nearly half of its contracted fruit this fall. The long-term impact of this decision is not known at this writing.

For updates about Washington wine, visit   

Robots in the Vineyard

How AI and Other Technologies Are Changing the Landscape for Vineyards & Wineries Worldwide 

Picture of vineyard tractor bakus enjambeur electrique-L-scaled

By: Cheryl Gray

From grape-picking robots to mechanized pruning machines, just name it, technology has a cutting-edge answer for virtually any vineyard need to reduce dependence upon manual labor.

  Studies show that technology-driven equipment is becoming increasingly used in the viticulture industry. When deployed, those studies show that the results show greater productivity when it comes to caring for and, eventually, harvesting grapes. 

Westside Equipment Company is one of the corporations at the forefront of making this a reality for its clients. A global leader in its field, Westside Equipment is headquartered in  Madera, California in a grape-growing region designated as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) since 1985. The company, which also has three other locations in the Golden State, has been in business for nearly 40 years.

  Westside Equipment Company, which designs and manufactures harvesting equipment at its Madera location, recently acquired VMECH for its portfolio, adding an entire new line of technology-driven vineyard products, including the Chariot Mechanized Vineyard Pruner. Stephanie Hawkins is the marketing and sales coordinator for the company.

“The VMECH Chariot’s dual precision pruner adapts to various trellis types and enables pre-pruning and near finish pruning, covering up to three acres per hour and  saving up to $600 per acre. With a vision-based approach, our AI technology identifies and scans the cordons, adjusting based on the incoming data. The versatile Chariot has multiple attachment options to keep it useful year-round, including shoot thinning and trunk suckering. A single row pruning unit will be available in fall 2023.”

  The Chariot is useful for applications that include work on high wire, VSP and quad trellises. According to Westside, the equipment is built to supplement pruning capacity and comes equipped with individual joysticks for seamless operation. While the machine requires three operators, it promises to save money by pruning two rows at a time and one to three acres an hour, depending on row spacing and length. 

  Another feature of the Chariot is that its pruning heads are efficient, versatile, and can be customized. The heads attach to each of the machine’s booms. In addition to its pruning capabilities, the Chariot can be used to cane-cut vineyards in spring.

  The VMECH Toolbar is another vineyard productivity tool. The unit is designed to be mounted on virtually any tractor, with Westside Equipment providing manufacturing assistance to ensure a proper fit. Customer support, Hawkins says, is important to Westside Equipment.

  “All Westside Equipment Company products are custom built at our manufacturing headquarters in Madera, California and come with 24/7 in-season service and parts (limited to California vineyards) to conveniently serve the wine grape industry,” Hawkins said.

  For companies that take over when the grapes arrive at the winery, Prospero Equipment Corporation considers itself a frontrunner in supplying processing and packaging equipment for wineries of every size. The company, founded in 1972, started as a supplier to home winemakers. 

  In the 1980s, Prospero expanded into commercial wine-making equipment, opening an office in California to begin servicing and distributing products from Italy to West Coast wineries. The product roster includes imported tanks, fillers, labelers, commercial presses, filters and crusher destemmers. The family-owned and operated business now specializes in offering the latest technology to help wineries keep pace in an ever-changing industry.

  Prospero represents SK Tank, which builds wine tanks, wine presses and equipment for other beverage industry sectors. Andy Robinson represents Prospero’s sales division.

  “Working with SK allows Prospero to offer full tank storage capabilities as well as supporting harvest equipment,” Robinson said. “Prospero’s brewhouse division offers the highest quality brewhouses and beer tanks accompanied by full engineered designs and complete turnkey installations.”

  Robinson adds that Prospero has recently launched new products that focus on the use of technology, thanks to a newly formed relationship with GAI Machinery, which Prospero now represents.

  “GAI sets the upper standard of machine manufacturing and offers the highest quality packaging equipment available,” Robinson said. “Prospero now offers a revolutionary new technology with the UNICA filling valve, which is an Electro Pneumatic filling valve capable of filling from 0 – 6 BAR pressure. This has allowed many companies to expand their product lines and be able to package all of them within the same Monoblock. The UNICA filling valve is now also available with a Volumetric Electro Pneumatic filling valve, offering the most precise filling for a wider range of container sizes and formats. Offering still and counterpressure filling in the same filling valve has brought the new technologies to the forefront of packaging for the beverage imdustry. The UNICA filling valve is also offered on the GAI canning Monoblocks. The GAI Monoblock design is engineered so all main gears are interlocking and connect all turrets, thus eliminating any risk in loss of machine timing.”

  Robinson adds that Prospero has multiple ways to help its clients with products and services, identifying the absolute essentials for wineries that want to keep up with the latest technology.

  “Prospero offers sales consulting, engineered drawings, parts departments and a technical team for service, installation and training,” Robinson said. “Having effective product and packaging consultation allows direct discussions for future growth and wiser investment strategies. Providing engineered drawings allows for a seamless installation, parts to be on hand if needed and a direct format for our technical team to follow.”

  Robinson says that planning ahead is the key to keeping up with technology.

  “A company should plan for future development of products and production volumes, this also includes added closures and perhaps canning,” he said. “Investing in high quality equipment helps guarantee longevity, ease in maintenance and the finest quality finished product. Prospero technicians fully train all new equipment owners after installation to guarantee all operators are knowledgeable about the machinery and the supporting equipment. This support is backed up by our service and parts department for maintenance and repairs.”

  Experts say that the cost of labor is the biggest expense grape growers face every season. With the declining number of farm workers available to work the vineyards, those experts say there is a serious labor shortage. The answer for many growers is technology replacing workers to do the tasks of pruning, shoot thinning, shoot posting, fruit thinning, leaf removal and row line cultivation.

  Gearmore, Inc. specializes in implements for those many operations. Gearmore, Inc. has provided quality vineyard implements through servicing tractor dealers for 60 years. To cover all the grower’s requirements, the company has more than 100 different models, with widths and capacities of products for vineyards to handle varying acreage, row widths, terrain, foliage profile and different tractor horsepower.

  Gearmore is headquartered in Chino, California and boasts the largest inventory of implements on the West Coast. Its reach is global and includes sales representatives in charge of territories throughout the southwestern United States, Hawaii and parts of Mexico. Vineyard equipment options include in-row cultivators, air blast sprayers, soil conditioners, air sprayers, boom sprayers, vine trimmers, leaf removers, pre-pruners, compost spreaders, mowers, soil conditioners, mower shredders and more.

  There are other technologies in use by vineyards, such as drones, satellite imagery and GPS. Larger operations use these technologies to monitor vineyard health, and smaller vineyards are following suit. Through satellites and drones, vineyards can easily gather data, including the ripeness of grapes, water shortages and the early signs of vineyard disease. The technology can also help protect the environment because products must only be sprayed for disease and pests when necessary.

  As for wineries, experts say that platforms that merge statistics, such as point of sale, club memberships and e-commerce help streamline sales and improve customer experience.

  In short, technology, including AI, is increasingly becoming the norm rather than an anomaly for vineyards and wineries. Its widespread use is now seen as a way to advance productivity and sales in a highly competitive industry where smart moves driven by technology make money.

The #1 Pruning Tool Your Vineyard Needs Right Now

Picture of hand holding INFACO_sécateur_F3020 pruner in vineyard

By: Alyssa L. Ochs

Here at The Grapevine Magazine, we have covered many pruning-related topics for vineyards in past issues, such as pruning techniques, best practices and seasonal tips. But if your vineyard is looking to really improve your pruning practices this year, you may benefit from specific product recommendations from industry experts that can make your life easier by saving you time and money while keeping employees safe.

  For example, a pruning shear called the Infaco F3020 is one of the best products available on the market today for vineyard pruning to consider buying for your wine grape maintenance and upkeep. Two industry experts told The Grapevine about this tool and what vineyard owners should know before buying it. 

Pruning Tools and Techniques

  Pruning may seem simple enough on the surface, but the tools you use and how you train your staff really go a long way in a vineyard. While removing unwanted fruit and foliage, you are also helping to control vine damage, prevent disease and improve your chances for a successful yield.

  The most common vineyard tools used for pruning are hand and lopping shears, but you may also need saws and larger tools for challenging jobs.  

  Safety must always be the top priority while using sharp tools among the rows of grapevines, so it is helpful to be well-stocked with gloves and accessories that make the job easier and more efficient. Meanwhile, properly training your staff members to use these tools can prevent many common pruning-related injuries, such as hand lacerations, strained shoulders and aching neck and back muscles.

  The pruning process is relatively straightforward: remove the canes first, remove the spurs second and ensure all old growth is out of the way of new fruiting canes and renewal spurs. Yet recent innovations in pruning tools make this tedious but necessary maintenance task more productive than ever. 

Infaco F3020 Professional Battery-Powered Pruning Shear

  While researching the latest and greatest pruning tools for vineyards, Infaco’s brand-new F3030 electric pruning shear stood out. After over six years of research, tests and fine-tuning, Infaco released this new and improved version as a follow-up to its F3015 model. The new F3020 builds upon the F3015’s technical base and adds numerous improvements to improve cutting speed and work comfort. It is ideal for vine pruning and is lighter, more compact and easier to handle than the previous versions of the tool.

  Infaco-USA, Inc. carries on the legacy of M. Daniel Delmas, who invented the world’s first electric pruning shear in 1984. The company has designed, produced and sold over 350,000 pruning shears in more than 45 countries.

  “Our founder invented the world’s first-ever electric pruner in response to friends he had in Southern France with vineyards,” Ananda Van Hoorn, operations manager for Infaco-USA, told The Grapevine Magazine. “At the time, they had an incredible labor shortage, and back in the 1980s, pruning was the single biggest labor expense for vineyards, just as it is today. So, the shear he invented was designed to work with all kinds of vineyards – cane pruned, cordons, goblet and so on.”

  Van Hoorn said that the F3020 electric pruning shear increases productivity by an average of 30 percent in a vineyard since users can keep making the same number of cuts per hour all day long.

  “So, vineyards that switch to our shear will find that they don’t need to purchase one shear per worker,” she said. “Instead, some of the workers who were previously pruning will be reassigned to cleaning up canes or other vineyard tasks.”

  Van Hoorn explained how this shear has a built-in safety system, so her top safety tip is simple: use the F3020, and you’ll never have to worry about losing a finger again!

  “The trigger on the new F3020 is metallic and connects to your entire body’s electric system through your trigger finger,” she said. “This means that when you touch the metal blade of the shear to your skin, the circuit is grounded out.”

  She also said that maintenance of the tool is easy and only involves greasing the tool once per day and sharpening it twice daily with the included grease and sharpening stone.

  Among the various pruners and canopy products offered by BDi Machinery, Paul J. Licata, the owner and president of this company, says that the best and most commonly purchased pruner is the battery-powered Infaco F3020. BDi Machinery Sales, Inc. is a complete source for innovative, specialty agricultural machinery and offers everything from pruners to sprayers, hedgers, leaf-removers, shredders, cultivators, mowers, row-mulchers and more. BDi Machinery is an authorized Infaco provider for routine and annual service programs. Licata spoke to this pruner’s cutting speeds, work comfort, compact design and ease of handling. The F3020 is used for pruning during the dormant and growing season. 

  “Loaded with technological advances, the pruning shear can now be ‘connected’ using an optional Bluetooth box,” Licata said. “This new system makes it possible to report highly relevant data in order to achieve ever more effective pruning work.”

  Licata also said that this connectivity option, combined with the Infaco application, can make many adjustments directly from a smartphone, such as adjustable blade opening management, blade crossing and new “soft mode” speed configuration. Additionally, it offers advanced reading and analysis of the data collected during the device’s use.

  “A technology differentiator is the Infaco electronic safety system (DSES) – Wireless DSES/hard-wired DSES,” Licata said. “Infaco has always considered safety to be essential. A true pioneer in the 1990s, it has never stopped investing in cut-prevention solution research for its user clients. The new safety system comprises a conductive trigger that connects the user’s body and the shears’ electronic system, Infaco patents. As soon as the cutting head touches the opposite hand, bare or wearing a glove, the pruning shear instantly opens to prevent injury.”

Pruning-Related Parts and Accessories

  When discussing additional parts and accessories that vineyards may need for their pruning tools, the suggestion of additional head sizes arose. Infaco’s shear is the only electric shear in the world that features interchangeable heads, so the most common accessories that Infaco’s clients buy are additional head sizes to increase their cutting capacity up to 55 millimeters or 2.17 inches.“

  This lets vineyards use the same tool for cane pruning as they do for Eutypa surgery without having to invest in a whole new set; just buy the head!” said Van Hoorn. “We also find some vineyards using our electric shear with the medium head 100 percent of the time. This is because with manual pruning, some vineyards have workers carrying around two different tools that they have to switch between when they identify a larger cut to make. Buying the F3020 with medium head gives workers a 1.75-inch cutting capacity, and they can easily flip between a customized smaller opening and the full capacity. This means that this one tool replaces carrying around a set of pruning shears and a pair of loppers or saw and cuts down on wasted time switching back and forth between tools.”

  BDi Machinery’s Paul Licata pointed out that you can carry the Infaco F3020’s battery in four different ways: on a vest with straps, on the belt without the removable straps, using the trouser belt clip or directly in a pocket thanks to its small format. He also said a new shear holder with a minimal size is secure and easy to use because the cutting head is protected and stored in its sheath with just two steps.

The tool’s main asset is its versatility, thanks to the medium and maxi kits,” Licata said. “It only takes five minutes to easily transform your shears for other occasional or permanent pruning applications. The Infaco design office engineers have completely revolutionized the pole system to propose an innovative and ergonomic solution. Simply clip the F3020 pruning shear to the end of the pole and the battery to the other end: that’s it, the tool is ready for use. Forget the previous cables, and operate your tool using a wireless Bluetooth trigger system. Also, you can keep the blade profile sharp easily and in record time using the Infaco electric sharpener.”

Innovations and Considerations

  Van Hoorn from Infaco-USA told The Grapevine Magazine how you’ll see many things her company offers that the competition can’t match because Infaco has been perfecting its shear for nearly 40 years. This includes the built-in safety system, more accessories to increase the tool’s versatility and the absolute lightest battery on the market that will power a shear for an entire workday.

  “Quality and reliability have always been core concerns to Infaco,” said Licata from BDi Machinery. “From design, through production, then in the after-sales department, it offers users excellent products and services that fulfill the company’s strong values.”

  Looking ahead, Van Hoorn from Infaco shared with us something new that will be coming from the brand in the months ahead.

  “Infaco will be announcing a brand-new tying tool that works with the same battery as our F3020 shear for this spring,” Van Hoorn said. “The new AT1000 electric tying machine is designed specifically for cane-tied vineyards and will be an absolute game-changer!”

Keeping Up with the Drip [with VIDEO]

By: Kirk Williams, Lecturer-Texas Tech University

Drip irrigation systems are a critical part of vineyard infrastructure.  Drip irrigation systems need maintenance to deliver water efficiently and uniformly over a long period of time.   Where drip irrigation systems are used to deliver fertilizers and pesticides distribution uniformity becomes even more critical.  A distribution uniformity target of at least 85% is critical to producing high quality grapes and achieving good water use efficiencies.  Fall and the dormant season is a good time to examine your drip irrigation, measure distribution uniformity and see what maintenance or improvements need to be done. 

  Routine maintenance activities should include flushing drip lines and laterals to clear the system of contaminants.  Flushing of the lateral lines and drip lines is especially critical if you have had to fix large leaks that occur once the water has gone through the filtration system.   Severe leaks need to be fixed immediately but post-harvest time is a great time to fix all of the small leaks that may be occurring in your drip irrigation system. While flushing, pay attention to what kind of debris comes out of the hose ends.  Is it silt, clay, organic or chemical precipitates?    If you are having emitter clogging this debris could be a good tool for understanding what is causing the clogging. 

  Clogged or partially clogged emitters are the most serious problem in drip systems.  Drip emitter output can be measured by placing containers under emitters and measuring the amount of water collected over a known time period.  

  Grape growers spend lots of time calibrating sprayers, fertility sampling, measuring grape ripeness but many spend little time measuring the performance of their drip irrigation system.  One irrigation performance characteristic that can be measured and tracked over the life of an irrigation system is Distribution Uniformity(DU).     Distribution Uniformity is a measure of the uniformity of irrigation water over an area.   Lower Distribution Uniformity in a drip irrigation system can be caused by pressure losses, pressure variations or by partial plugging of emitters by physical, biological or chemical buildup.  Pressure testing of the drip line via a Schrader valve or pitot tube is a good practice to incorporate prior to or during a DU test to understand your irrigation system operating pressures.

  A DU Low Quarter value is calculated by dividing the average output of the lowest one quarter of the emitters sampled by the average output measured of all the emitters sampled.  A DU Low Quarter test can be done by selecting forty drippers across an irrigation block.  Select emitters that best represent an irrigation block and choose emitter locations where you would expect to find high or low pressures.  Collect emitter output for 30 seconds.   While various containers can be used to collect emitter output a 100 ml graduated cylinder will be needed to measure the relatively small amount of output.  63 milliliters per 60 seconds = 1 gallon per hour.  The formula is found below. 

 Convert the value found to a percentage by multiplying by 100. 

  An acceptable DU value is between 85% and 95%.  A DU value between 75% and 85% should be improved and a DU value lower than 75% needs to be improved.   A system with a lower DU value is applying extra water through the emitters that are in the top 75% of output in order to supply the vineyard with water for adequate vine growth for emitters that are in the lowest 25%.   The investment in time of measuring DU over a period of years can alert you to problems of partial clogging of emitters or pressure issues with your irrigation system.  This gives you time to implement management activities before the problem gets worse.  Some management strategies are discussed below. 

  Many areas of the country have issues with poor water quality.  Some ions dissolved in water can lead to chemical clogging of emitters.  Calcium carbonate (Lime or Scale) is one of the most common of these compounds.  Calcium carbonate formation is favored with water pH of greater than 7.5 along with bicarbonate levels of 100 ppm or higher.   Chemical and microbial oxidation or iron and manganese can cause clogging.  Other causes of emitter clogging can be bacterial or algal growth as well as suspended solids.   Testing irrigation water quality every five years is a good practice in understanding what is contained in your irrigation water.

  Acidification may be necessary for irrigation water that tends to form chemical precipitates such as calcium carbonates.  Depending on water quality, acidification can be constant, or it can be done occasionally to prevent chemical clogging of the drip emitters.   Acids that can be used include sulfuric, hydrochloric, phosphoric or urea sulfuric acid.  An alternative to acids are synthetic scale inhibitors which reduce scale formation by preventing precipitation reactions from occurring.  The amount of acid needed to reduce the pH of the water can be calculated by titration using a pH meter.   Analytical labs can also recommend how much acid to use per volume of water.   Target pH levels for different situations are found below. 

Target Irrigation Water pH levels


Moderate Cleaning……………………………………….4.5

Shock Treatments…………………………………………2.5

  If you are doing acid shock treatments check with emitter manufacturers to make sure that emitter parts are able to tolerate these low water pH levels. 

  Always add acid to water; do not add water to acid. Adding water to acid can cause a violent reaction, and may cause the acid to splash on the person pouring the water. Individuals working with acids should wear protective clothing and eyewear. 

  Once the amount of acid needed is determined are determined, you will need to know the volume of water that is being applied per treated irrigation block.  This information can come from a flowmeter or by calculating drip emitters per block.  Actual drip emitter output, which you get when you do a DU test, will be more accurate than what is provided by the drip emitter manufacturer when installed.  

  As a If you are doing infrequent or shock acid applications, inject the amount of acid in a known amount of irrigation water that will fill the drip lines at full operating pressure.  After the acid has been injected and distributed to its furthest point in the irrigation block turn the system off and let the low pH water set for several hours(overnight) to dissolve chemical precipitates.  Turn system back on and flush five to fifteen drip lines at a time. 

  For emitter clogging caused by biological problems such as algae, moss or bacterial slimes chlorination is the preferred treatment.   Depending on how severe the problem is, chlorine can be injected continuously or occasionally. 

  Filter maintenance is critical to prevent physical clogging of drip emitters.  If you do not have automatic back flushing filter systems you will need to monitor for pressure loss across the filter using pressure gauges.  A pressure loss across the filters will alert you to debris clogging the filters. 

  Your irrigation system is a critical piece of vineyard infrastructure that needs to be maintained like all other parts of the vineyard.   Take the time to measure your drip systems performance so it can deliver water efficiently and effectively.  This is especially true if you use your system to deliver fertilizers and pesticides to your vineyard. 

Here are some great videos to assist you:

Acidification to Clean Out a Drip Irrigation System:

Calculating Acid Amount for Drip Irrigation System:

Adding Acid to Irrigation System:


  Schwankl, Larry, Blaine Hanson, and Terry Pritchard.  2008.  Maintaining Microirrigation Systems.  University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources:  Oakland, California.  Publication 21637.

  Zellman, Paul.  2016.  Drip Irrigation System Evaluations: How to Measure & Use Distribution Uniformity Tests.  California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

  Kirk Williams is a lecturer in Viticulture at Texas Tech University and teaches the Texas Tech Viticulture Certificate program.  He is also a commercial grape grower on the Texas High Plains.  He can be contacted at

Grapevine Leafroll & Red Blotch Virus Disease Management and Control

By:  Judit Monis, Ph.D. – Vineyard and Plant Health Consultant

As the fall season approaches, symptoms of virus infection become more pronounced in the vineyards.  Leafroll and red blotch are the most important viral diseases that manifest in late summer and the fall season.  Often, it is difficult to distinguish leafroll from red blotch disease symptoms in the vineyard.  This is especially true on red-fruited grapevine varieties.  In this article I will summarize and update information on the biology, symptoms, transmission, and management of the viruses responsible for these important diseases.  

The Viruses responsible for Leafroll and Red blotch Diseases

  There are four different viral species associated with grapevine leafroll disease.   The viruses belong to the Closteroviridae family and are named Grapevine leafroll associated virus followed by a number (GLRaV-1 to -4).  Except for Grapevine fanleaf and red blotch, Koch’s postulates have not been completed with most of the disease-causing grapevine viruses.   The postulates state that a pathogen must be isolated in pure form from a diseased plant, later the pathogen (virus in this case) is introduced to a healthy plant, and the newly infected plant must show the same symptoms as the original infected one.  Clearly Koch’s postulates are important because they prove the cause and effect of a pathogen causing disease.  Because it has not been possible to complete Koch’s postulates with GLRaVs, the word “associated” is added to the virus name.  As I will describe below, researchers can tweak the definition of Koch’s postulates to prove that a virus causes a specific disease and drop the word “associated” from a particular virus name.   Within the Closteroviridae family, species of GLRaV are classified in three genera, Ampelovirus, Closterovirus, and Velarivirus. Grapevine leafroll associated virus -1, GLRaV-3, and GLRaV-4 belong to the Ampelovirus genus.  Grapevine leafroll associated virus -2 is a Closterovirus and GLRaV-7 is a member of the Velarivirus genus.  Some researchers claim that GLRaV-7 should not be considered a leafroll virus.   Recent research has shown that GLRaV-7 was isolated from a mixed leafroll infected vine and symptoms may have been due to the other leafroll virus present in the vine.  When found in single infections, GLRaV-7 does not appear to show typical leafroll symptoms.

  Grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) is the second DNA virus species discovered in grapevines (its genetic material is DNA rather than RNA).  Both its molecular and structural characterization has placed GRBV in a new genus (Grablovirus) within the Geminiviridae family.   As stated above, it has been difficult to demonstrate Koch’s postulates, with grapevine-infecting viruses. There are many reasons for this.  Mainly, there are not many alternative hosts that are susceptible to most grapevine infecting viruses.  But most importantly, grapevine viruses cannot be mechanically transmitted onto grapevines.  These viruses need to be introduced to a vine by an insect vector or via grafting (graft-transmission).   Dr. Marc Fuchs team at Cornell University was able to demonstrate that GRBV genetic material is responsible for red blotch foliar symptoms in red fruited grapevine varieties.  The work was done using sophisticated recombinant DNA technology to introduce the virus genetic material into tissue cultured grapevine plants.   Time will tell, after the plants grow, if the infected vines also display the detrimental effect of the virus in organoleptic qualities of the fruit (i.e., reduction of sugar).

  Leafroll and Red Blotch Symptoms are Similar

  Vines infected with leafroll viruses produce smaller grape clusters that ripen unevenly with lower sugar content. Foliar symptoms include downward rolling, reddening, or yellowing of leaves depending on the grapevine variety. Other foliar colors associated with leafroll virus infection include pink, purple, and orange speckles. The leaf veins may remain green or take many other colors (yellow, purple, or red).  

  Grapevine red blotch virus infection displays different leaf discoloration which usually appear spotty or blotchy.  However, these symptoms are indistinguishable from leafroll, especially when rolling of leaves are absent in GLRaV- infected vines.  In red fruited varieties, GRBV infected vines can display red veins, but red veins have also been observed in non-infected vines, and many red-blotch infected vines do not display red veins.   In my opinion, red vein symptoms cannot be used as a diagnostic tool.   In white-fruited varieties red blotch disease displays yellow blotchy discoloration in leaves. While the symptoms of leafroll and red blotch can be confused, these diseases are caused by different viruses. As described above.  Further, visual diagnostics is complicated by the fact that grapevines often carry mixed infections of viruses and other pathogens.  Although, the change in colors of the leaves in the fall is a tale-tell of virus infection, the most important negative effect of both GLRaV and GRBV infection is the reduction of sugar in fruit resulting in lower Brix values and delayed fruit maturity.

  Some GLRaVs and their strains are more aggressive than others.  Researchers have described the Alfie (Australia and New Zealand), BD (Italy), and Red Globe (U.S.A) strains of GLRaV-2. These strains are molecularly similar and have been associated with graft incompatibility, vine decline and death.  Some researchers report that GLRaV-1 and -3 induce more severe symptoms than GLRaV-4.  However, symptoms vary depending on the grape variety, rootstock, and climatic conditions.  Now, two different genetic groups (clades) of GRBV have been reported but no differences in their biology or effect on symptoms in the vineyards have been described.  Just as seen with leafroll, the symptom expression of GRBV infected vines is affected by climatic conditions and the author has noted differences in the effect on sugar reduction in sunnier and warmer areas (i.e., California coastal areas with more fog and lower sunshine yield fruit with lower sugar concentration than the same grape clones grown inland with more sun/heat exposure).

Transmission and Spread of the Viruses

  Ampeloviruses (GLRaV-1, -3 and -4) are transmitted by mealybugs and soft scale insects in a non-specific manner.  This means, different mealybug and soft scale insect species can transmit any leafroll virus in the Ampelovirus genus.  Research has shown that the citrus (Planococcus citri), grape (Pseudococcus maritimus), long-tailed (Pseudococcus longispinus), obscure (Pseudococcus viburni) and vine (Planococcus ficus) mealybugs as well as the soft scale insects Pulvinaria vitis and Ceroplastes rusci are able to transmit GLRaVs. Mealybugs and soft scale insects feed on the vine’s sap by inserting their sucking mouthparts into the plant’s vascular system (phloem). The honeydew excreted during the feeding process attracts ants that nurse and aid mealybugs to be transported to different positions of the vine or a different vine in the row.  Mealybugs may be difficult to observe as they may hide beneath the bark.  However, the presence of sooty mold (a fungus) and ant activity can be a good indication that mealybug are present in the vineyard.  No insects able to transmit GLRaV-2 or GLRaV -7 have been reported to date and the propagation of these viruses is performed by humans who produce, graft, and distribute cuttings from infected vines.  

  Work by researchers at Cornell University and the University of California reported that the three-cornered alfalfa hopper (Spissistilus festinus) can transmit the GRBV in greenhouse and laboratory conditions.  Although, the three-cornered alfalfa hopper has been found in vineyard blocks where red blotch disease has spread, transmission experiments in the field have not been completed to date.   It is interesting that grapevine is not the preferred host for Spissistilus festinus that prefers to feed on legumes, grasses, and shrubs.  Furthermore, the insect is not able to complete its reproductive cycle in grapevines.  While research continues to determine if other vectors are capable of transmitting GRBV it is clear that the rapid expansion of this virus in vineyards was due to propagation and grafting of cuttings from infected vines.  This also explains the arrival of GRBV to many countries in Asia, Europe, and South America where GRBV had not been previously reported.   In summary, both, GLRaVs and GRBV are graft transmissible and predominantly propagated by producing cuttings of infected rootstock and scion material. 

Diagnosis and Disease Management

  The distribution and concentration (titer) of leafroll and red blotch viruses is different in infected plant material.  While leafroll detection appears to be seasonal (best detected late in the growing season), detection of red blotch virus can be performed any time of the year.   Further, work performed in my lab showed that red blotch virus can be detected in high titers in any part of the vine.  The work showed that red blotch virus can be detected in any tissue tested, new or mature leaves, petioles, green or lignified canes, as well as cordons and trunks.  In contrast, leafroll viruses are generally found in low concentrations and are best detected in mature leaves, canes, cordon, and trunk.  If a vine has been infected through cuttings, the older the plant material is, the easier it is to detect GLRaVs. 

  Keeping both leafroll and red blotch viruses out of the productive vineyards relies on clean planting stock programs.  Because both viruses are graft transmitted (and some also have biological vectors) it is important to implement a monitoring and sampling program at the nursery and production vineyards.  Vines that are symptomatic or that test positive must be removed from the vineyard to avoid spread (especially if one of the Ampiloviruses or GRBV are detected and the vector is present in the vineyard.  Depending on the disease incidence (I have developed a statistical sampling formula to calculate and help make decisions), the removal of a few vines or the whole vineyard is recommended. Different chemical and biological control strategies are available for the control of mealybugs that transmit leafroll viruses.  The use of chemical control, although might be used to control GRBV vector is not presently recommended.


  This author has been involved in applied research with the goal to determine the ideal process to protect clean planting grapevine stock and newly planted vineyards from infection of viruses and fungal pathogens.  Presently, information on what is the distance needed at the foundation and nursery blocks to avoid infection from diseased blocks is lacking. The results of the research will develop the best strategy to isolate and monitor clean planting stock.  Until we have this information my recommendation is that nurseries and growers determine the health status of grapevine stock prior to planting to avoid the propagation and/or introduction diseased vines to the vineyard.  Yet, it is imperative to isolate and monitor newly planted vineyards to avoid the introduction of disease via insect vectors.  It is important to remember that lack of symptoms does not always correlate with a healthy diagnostic result (rootstock varieties as well as non-grafted vines are usually asymptomatic), so it is best to test a statistical sample of the nursery propagated material to be sure of its health status.

  Judit Monis, Ph.D. provides specialized services to help growers, vineyard managers, and nursery personnel avoid the propagation and transmission of disease caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the vineyard.   Judit (based in California) is fluent in Spanish and is available to consult in all wine grape growing regions of the word.  Please visit for information or contact to request a consulting session at your vineyard.

Up The Creek Winery

Award-Winning Kentucky Wines

By: Gerald Dlubala 

There are those who believe that award-winning wine couldn’t possibly come from a Kentucky winery. After all, Kentucky is known for bourbon and horses, right? The innovative, welcoming, award-winning gold medal folks at Up The Creek Winery would like to speak with you.

  It started in the early 2000s when Up The Creek co-owner Greg Haddle began looking at property in Oregon to start a vineyard and winery in his retirement years. His brother, David, recommended he look closer to home, where his money would likely get twice the land. So, while looking at an old tobacco farm, Possum Hollow Farms, in Cumberland County, Kentucky, they both knew this was the place for their future vineyard and winery.

  “It was just the feeling we got when we were there,” said Haddle. “It felt right. It felt like a place that takes all the stress away from your life and allows a person to enjoy nature as intended. Those feelings and the fact that the field layout was already somewhat parceled out due to its previous life as a tobacco farm made us believe it would work, so much so that it was the only offer we made on a property. It took about a year before we got a final contract, so the real work began in 2002.”

  The old tobacco farm was tremendously overgrown, with weeds and brush topping out at 10 feet tall, so Haddle said that they first had to buy a tractor and a bush hog and start clearing the land. Gary lives on the second floor of a cabin he and others built on the property, while the lower level houses the winery.

  “We started clearing the overgrown brush and weeds immediately in the fall of 2002 and planted the vineyard in spring 2003,” said Haddle. “It was a quick turnaround that was helped along with the property already being partitioned. When we initially started making wine, we relied on juice purchased from New York until our fields matured. Since then, we’ve used only Kentucky-grown products. Things we don’t grow ourselves, we get from local farms. For example, the blueberries used in our popular blueberry wine options come from a local farm maybe 12 miles from us. They’re certified organic berries, and when I need them, I can call and make an order, and the berries show up at our garage door ready to process. You can’t beat that.”

Delicious, Healthy Wine through Natural, on-the Fruit Fermentation

  “It’s a real slow, healthy ferment,” said Haddle. “After the first two weeks of fermentation, we turn off all temperature controls and let the juices self-regulate, with nature taking over. We do nothing to hinder that process, letting our wine ferment on the fruit for over 90 days. In the case of our blueberries, after that 90-day natural fermentation, those blueberries are completely broken down and absorbed to provide an incredible tasting, healthier wine that is noticeably different from more traditionally fermented wines.”

  “It’s just a noticeably different mouth feel you’ll experience,” said Lisa Thomas, Haddle’s assistant extraordinaire, handling everything from events to tastings through sales and beyond.  “And fermenting our wine this way retains the best flavor and health benefits from the actual fruit.”

  “And it works,” said Haddle. “Except for our blackberry wine, because blackberries tend to be a little less stable, all our fruit wines are fermented this way. We keep the juices intact with the fruit skins and seeds, and this method has won us Best Boutique Wine Gold Medals.”

  “The naturally fermented fruit wines are all popular because they are exploding with flavor and health benefits, but our blueberry collections may be our most popular,” said Haddle. “We ferment in stainless steel tanks using oak chips. And because we are all sensitive to SO2 (sulfur dioxide), we keep its use to a bare minimum within the winery, which we believe makes a big and positive difference in our wines.”

  The sweeter, liquored-up wines are generally the top sellers in Kentucky. Still, we provide wines for the different, more educated palates for the increasing number of tourists and visitors that come and stay for our great outdoor recreational opportunities. Our whites are generally semi-dry, as are our reds, which can lean towards dry. Our fruit-based wines are the sweeter ones.”

  The vineyard has over 1,200 wine grapevines and 700 trellised blackberry and red raspberry bushes. The grape varietals include golden muscat, an American variety and hybrid varieties of chambourcin, seyval blanc, vignoles and marquette. Haddle and his team also produce popular wine grape and fruit blends that are only available on-premise, like their extremely popular Jalapeno Wave. All Up The Creek’s Kentucky wines display a tobacco barn on the label, signifying the winery’s farm and Commonwealth heritage.

History Provides a Bountiful Landscape

  The property sits on a rock bed, so much so that there’s no drilling down available around the landscape. Haddle tells The Grapevine Magazine that the property was home to an ancient sea, entirely underwater and the resulting terroir is 335 acres of well-drained soil with dark slate, quartz-like rock, fossils, sea urchins and other shellfish and limestone. Kids love to walk the creek and discover relics from history, including fossils and geodes. Because of the natural hills and valleys associated with the landscape, Haddle estimates it would be about a seven-mile walk to get around the property navigating the ups and downs.

  The vineyards are sloped to the south or face straight up the valley line for maximum sun exposure. There’s always a battle with the various vineyard pests over the grapes and berries, but it’s part of the job for the Up The Creek core group, including Gary, David, Lisa and Hailey. David manages the operation, including spraying and fertilizing schedules. Everyone pitches in to help with the crop and canopy management, including the extensive pruning, mowing and weeding needed to keep the vineyards manicured. The group manages to stay ahead of the pests by regularly picking the berries before the animals make quick work of them and netting all their grapevines to reduce product loss.

Experiencing Award Winning Kentucky Wine

  Up The Creek has regular open hours on Friday and Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM, but Haddle says anyone can call and arrange a visit on other days. In many instances, especially with groups or events, that’s preferred so the visitors can get the full attention and unique experience with the staff.

  “The tasting room is a welcoming 1950-style, converted, three-bedroom house,” said Thomas. “It’s small, so big groups are either urged or known to call ahead. We may be outside at the picnic table for a tasting or inside at a table made by Gary. Our vineyards are well-manicured, so visitors can even stop by to go into the vineyard or fruit fields and have a picnic or relaxing break. Visitors are welcome to grab sandwiches at the nearby Amish store or stop in to grab a bottle or two and some snacks and navigate our drivable vineyard to find that perfect spot that speaks to them and have a picnic, relax and leave all of their stresses behind for a bit. We encourage a healthy mental break from our crazy world, and you will forget the world when you get here,” said Thomas. “It’s my happy place, for sure.”

  The personal experience you get at Up The Creek Winery is unmatched. Vineyard and winery tours are available, including self-guided walks when weather permits. And if you should be lucky enough to be there and see a staff member walk around with a mason jar, you need to thank your lucky stars and prepare yourself for a possible first taste of one of their new creations. Yes, it really happens, said Thomas, and as their regular customers can attest to. If you know, you know, and you should be excited.

  Up The Creek Winery is known to be so picturesque and peaceful that the local creative community, including painters and master gardeners, holds classes and outings on the property. You may see some of the paintings displayed throughout the winery and tasting room on consignment from the artists.

  The winery is host to hayrides throughout the vineyard and farm and also offers a beautiful backdrop for events. In addition to her many duties at the winery, Thomas is a private chef for a local farm-to-table restaurant, able to construct memorable dishes and snacks for any parties or events held on the property. And visitors may even be treated to a fish fry should they be lucky enough to visit on a good fishing day for Haddle.

In the Works

  “We are always trying new combinations and blends,” said Haddle. “For example, last year, we harvested our chambourcin grapes and were backlogged, so we were trying to devise a way to use some of the grapes. While brushing my teeth one morning, I thought about gathering the ripest chambourcin grapes with the best red raspberries, then mashing them all together with juice using a potato masher.”

  “The result is a delicious, unique blend, and tastings are a success, so our new Rebel Red will likely be released around Christmas to help folks get their Christmas spirit on,” said Thomas. “But while we experiment, we always remember that it’s all about keeping the health benefits of wine intact. That principle is a main part of our product offerings”.

  “We’re a little guy in Kentucky’s big scheme of horses and bourbon,” said Thomas. “But we did help pass a law that allows small, boutique wineries like ours to be able to deliver our products ourselves without the need for a distributor because, let’s face it, a distributor isn’t willing to waste their time and energy working for a small, craft winery like ours. Additionally, we’ve discussed coming out with a brandy. Southern Kentucky Distillery is on the horizon as a new distillery in our area, and we may partner with them on something, but of course, that could be five years away. At any rate, we’ll keep doing what we do and enjoy the fact that our beautiful little part of Kentucky is starting to get the recognition that we always knew it deserved.”

Final Thoughts

  Success and happiness come in many forms, and by doing what he loves while being surrounded by his family and friends, Haddle is a happy person.

  “Happiness is personal, so I don’t base it solely on the money,” said Haddle. This business can bring self-happiness and self-reward, but at the same time, it takes a special person to stick with it. But no one should give up on their dream. Our vineyards and winery are so beautiful, and I love that we are taking responsibility for the land and property while creating products that make other people happy. Being a vineyard owner means more than just making great award-winning wine. We take care of this beautiful land by being responsible gardeners and respectful stewards of our natural resources while keeping the property, landscape, and entire area a beautiful, happy place. Doing this with family and friends allows for a lot of extra personal attention to detail, providing a hometown feel and experience that simply cannot be matched at the larger commercial wineries.”

For more information or to schedule a visit:

Up The Creek Winery

930 Norris Branch Road

Burkesville, Kentucky 42717

(270) 777-2482

Open Fridays and Saturdays from

10:00 AM until 6:00 PM or by appointment