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March conference to focus on making high-quality wine PDF Print E-mail

Grape growers and wine makers will have an opportunity next month to learn about practices that will help them make better wine, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln viticulturist says.

The 13th annual Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Forum and Trade Show, organized by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Viticulture Program in cooperation with the Nebraska Winery and Grape Grower’s Association, is scheduled March 4-6 at the Holiday Inn in Kearney. 

The theme is “Nebraska Wines of Highest Quality: Grower and Winery Practices that Make them a Reality,” said Paul Read, professor of horticulture and viticulture.

The event includes three featured speakers. The first is Tim Martinson, senior extension associate from Cornell University who is responsible for New York’s statewide viticulture extension program.

Martinson, the lead author for a vineyard management book called “Vine Balance,” will present a workshop on the topic of “Vine Balance: Motivators, Impacts and Grower Responses” on March 4 and will lecture on March 5 on the topic of “Canopy and Crop Management: What Do they Cost and What is the Payoff?”

Martinson also will meet with growers as part of a roundtable discussion, lead a session on bud break and discuss trellis comparisons.

A second concurrent workshop entitled “Wine Making Challenges: Harvest, Crafting, Quality Assurance Critical Points” will be presented by Steven Menke, a native Nebraskan who serves as the Colorado state enologist. 

He also will present a lecture March 5 focusing on the basics of grape and wine analysis and will meet growers during roundtable discussions. 

On March 6 he will discuss wine identities and growth and also will discuss the importance of communication in making quality wine from hybrid grapes.

The third featured speaker will be Donniella Winchell, executive director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association, who will present a workshop on marketing and promotion of the grape and wine industry. 

She will present an opening lecture emphasizing sustainability and quality and lead a roundtable discussion on marketing and promotion of the grape and wine industry on March 5.

The first 20 registrants will take part in an additional session on “Marketing to Different Ages and Ways to Market Electronically” on March 6.

The format of the program is changed from recent years, Read said. This year a white wine tasting event will be held March 4, a red wine tasting on March 5 and a banquet on March 6.

For information and cost or to  register, go to http://agronomy.unl.edu/viticulture.