Workshop to Offer Wine Grape Growers Insight on Managing Vines after Winter Damage

Frozen vineyard. (Photo: Thinkstock)

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ohio – Wine grape growers can learn how to manage grape vines after winter injury during a day-long workshop March 10 sponsored by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Many growers across Ohio are still recovering from the prolonged and extremely frigid temperatures experienced in the region last winter, which destroyed a majority of popular wine grape crops grown in the Buckeye state, said David Marrison, an Ohio State University Extension educator. 

The Ohio Winter Grape School can provide growers with information on lessons learned from the 2014 polar vortex as well as how to manage crown gall in grapes, which always increases after vines get stressed such as during the polar vortex last year, he said.

The program will be hosted by OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, which are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.

“It’s going to be a pretty packed day, hitting the major issues that Ohio growers are facing now,” Marrison said. “The biggest thing for many grape growers is learning how to manage their crops after a once-in-a-century type of winter event that we experienced last year.

“Those ramifications are still being felt thorough vineyards across the state. So it is important to offer information to help people manage the damage now and for the future.”

According to a 2014 statewide survey of 63 grape producers representing 838 acres, growers reported 97 percent losses of vinifera (European) grape varieties; an average crop loss of 57 percent of hybrid grape varieties such as Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin and Traminette; and losses estimated at 29 percent of cold-hardy American grape varieties such as Concord and Catawba, according to Imed Dami, a CFAES associate professor and state viticulturist. Dami will be on hand during the workshop to discuss management strategies.

“Growers can also learn how use rootstocks to their advantage, which may help their crops deal with diseases and may help grape vines handle some of this prolonged stress,” Marrison said. “Growers statewide were impacted by the extreme temperatures and many still have a lot of questions on how to deal with it.”

Topics to be discussed during the workshop include:

  • Vineyard custom rates.
  • Managing crown gall.
  • Chemical and sustainable control options for grape diseases.
  • Managing weeds in vineyards.
  • New advances in grape root stocks.
  • Soil sampling.
  • Using spray adjuvents.

“We want to keep growers on the cutting edge of research and technology,” Marrison said. “With an emphasis on anything that can reduce costs, enhance profitability and have a positive impact on the environment.”

The program is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Geneva Lodge and Conference Center, 4888 North Broadway (State Route 534) in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio.  The event will also offer Ohio Private Pesticide Applicator Re-certification credits.

Registration is $35 and includes program materials, lunch and refreshments. The deadline to register is March 2. Checks should be made payable to OSU Extension and mailed to OSU Extension, 39 Wall St., Jefferson, Ohio 44047.

For more information about the event, including registration, contact Marrison at or 440-576-9008, ext. 106.

Tracy Turner
For more information, contact: 


David Marrison
440-576-9008, ext. 106