Grape Growers, Winemakers to Gather at Feb. 20-21 Conference

white grapes and a glass of white wine

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Instead of hearing it through the grapevine, winemakers and grape growers can learn from the experts directly at the 2017 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference, Feb. 20-21 in Dublin, Ohio.

Ohio ranks in the top 10 nationally in grape acreage, grape production and wineries, which now number more than 250, said Imed Dami, Ohio State University Extension viticulturist and one of the event’s organizers. The industry’s economic impact in the state hovers around $800 million a year, he said.

“In recent years, we’ve had about 250 to 300 participants at this conference,” said Dami, who is also professor in The Ohio State University’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. “We’ve geared the sessions to help Ohio’s grape and wine producers keep up with new trends in equipment, technologies and practices in the industry.”

This year’s conference features a Monday morning workshop with 20-minute back-to-back presentations from the event’s trade show vendors that will cover innovations in both winemaking and grape-growing, Dami said.

Monday afternoon’s sessions will include the conference’s featured speakers:

  • Tim Martinson of Cornell University will cover “Lessons Learned from the Northern Grapes Project,” a project that examined the profitability and sustainability of the emerging cold-climate grape and wine industries in the Midwest and Northeast.
  • Debra Inglis of Brock University in Ontario will speak on reducing methoxypyrazines — an undesirable volatile compound — in juice and wine.
  • Peter Bell of Fox Run Vineyards in Penn Yan, New York, will speak on “Defining Optimal Harvest Parameters in a Cool Climate Region.”

Tuesday’s sessions will be split between viticulture and enology tracks, many of which feature specialists from Ohio State. Several sessions will offer pesticide application recertification credits, Dami said.

The event will be held at the Embassy Suites Columbus-Dublin, 5100 Upper Metro Place, Dublin. Full conference registration costs $210 by Jan. 27 or $225 after. Additional options are available for partial registration. For a complete agenda and registration details, including a printable, mailable registration form, see

The conference is sponsored by Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the Ohio Grape Industries Committee, and the Ohio Wine Producers Association. OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center are the outreach and research arms of the college.



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CFAES News Team

Imed Dami