Commercial Grape and Wine Workshop Offered Dec. 3

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PIKETON, Ohio – With interest in Ohio wine production growing among potential producers, understanding what goes into running a successful vineyard and winery can make the difference in developing a profitable operation, according to a grape expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

To help growers — new and experienced alike — learn the basics of grapevine propagation techniques and vineyard management, horticulture and viticulture experts from the college will host the Commercial Grape and Wine Workshop Dec. 3.

The workshop will also offer insight into other key concerns facing commercial wine grape growers, said Gary Gao, an Ohio State University Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops at the Ohio State University South Centers.

The daylong program is from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the South Centers’ Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, in Piketon.

The workshop is designed to help new and experienced growers and winemakers and to boost Ohio’s wine industry, Gao said.

“We’ll focus on the practical aspects of grape growing and winemaking, with an emphasis on the proven techniques that growers and winemakers actually need and can immediately put into practice,” Gao said.

Grape growers will learn more about different management techniques such as selecting the right varieties, identifying pests and how to propagate grapevines.

“Winemakers will see some of the new techniques in winemaking and learn different characteristics of different types of wine, including new and traditional cultivars, to become better winemakers,” he said.

Participants will also be able to take part in a sensory evaluation, including tasting various wines to see what is good and bad about a specific approach and what varieties are good choices for producing in Ohio, Gao said.

Researchers and educators with OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) will conduct the workshop. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Growing season in review.
  • Grapevine propagation techniques.
  • Cellar aging.
  • Sensory evaluation of wines.
  • Cultural management techniques.
  • Identification and management of vineyard insect pests.

Registration for the workshop is $25 and includes the program, handouts, lunch and refreshments. Contact Charissa Gardner at 740-289-2071, ext. 132, to register or for more information. The deadline to register is Nov. 30.

The college’s wine grape research and Extension programs are supported by several grants from the Ohio Grape Industries Committee, which is part of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

For more information contact: 
Tracy Turner

Gary Gao
740-289-2071, ext. 123