Cold Hardy Grape Updates

April 23, 2010


Spring certainly seems to be in full swing, and it seems we are a couple of weeks ahead of “normal”.  Buds are forming on the vitis labrusca in the yard, and cold hardy grape activities are popping up as well.

Below are three posts that came across the trellis, regarding extension work being done to support the cold hardy grape growing communities in Vermont and north country New York.

* A tele-conference with our friend Kevin Iungerman (Cornell Extension)

* New Integrated Pest Management data and information from Dr. Lorraine P. Berkett (UVM Extension)

*A press mention of Dr. Anna Katherine Mansfield (Cornell Enologist) and the Riesling Terroir Project.


- WEDNESDAY EVENING, APRIL 28, 7:00 - 8:30 PM -
Welcome members of the Champlain Wine Association and others
Welcome members of the Upper Hudson Wine and Grape Growers Association and others
Welcome Tim Martinson.

Hello everyone.
You are invited to join an informal discussion of grape growers and wine makers of our region and Cornell Extension representatives Tim Martinson, Kevin Iungerman, and also the NENY Fruit Program’s seasonal grape technician, Richard Lamoy, (a grape grower and wine maker in his own right as well), as we engage in a bit of brain storming, listening, and sharing ideas.

In looking to kick this off, I have conferred with Gerry Barnhart and also Rob McDowell, of the Upper Hudson Wine and Grape Association, and the Champlain Wine Association (formerly the Lake Champlain Wine and Grape Growers Association), respectively, (and members), and also Martinson and Lamoy.

Let’s explore with one another:
* What activities and events might we plan of mutual interest for the coming season?

* What sort of grape extension activities or focus, either anticipated, or as yet completely unplanned, might we target regionally? (At Willsboro for instance, or at individual farms, or in Geneva?)

* What linkage might we develop via mutual hosting of vineyard and / or winery visits, and hosting shared events with guest resource people and / or researchers?

* And how might we work together to more fully pull together rigorous information that is more specific to growing, cropping, quality management, and wine making of the hardier wine grape hybrids, which are the unique foundation to the region’s expanding grape planting, wine making, and aspirations?

We can also speak to the updated scene:
* As interest in the cold hardy grapes and wines grows, conventional resources - already scant for the cold hardy wine grapes - declines!

*As State resources greatly diminish, how might we see common ground with others -not only regionally, but across State lines - to seek and develop plans of new and novel information development of mutual benefit locally? (We have not for instance, had further word on our funding request for Willsboro and linked grape events.)

So we revise plans!
* Come together and help shape alternatives.

* There is so much happening here. There are now 12 farm winery ventures in the region. (When the Willsboro wine gape trial was planted in 2005, there were just 2!)

*For instance, there has been some rather nice developments lately in the Upper Hudson region, which I think those of you further afield, might find interesting. The new winery in Saratoga Springs, Denberg’s Natural Selection Farm winery, Altamont’s Vineyard’s winery expansion and reopening, and Victory View Vineyard’s brand new structure on the site of their envisioned winery.

* There have been developments all around us too, in Northern NY, in Vermont, and beyond. All beckon for group visits and shared review, insight, and benefit. Let’s get to it.

Lots of things to talk about! Hope you might find the time to join us on April 28th at Westport or Ballston Spa.

Regards, Kevin Iungerman, Extension Agent, CCE Northeast NY Commercial Fruit Program.

Note: Earlier rounds of email and phone exchanges narrowed the date and evening time of this video-linked meeting, and our limit to just two sites because of conflicts of participant schedules and also facility availability and limitations. While I prefer one live session, it just was not feasible to entertain this just now, and we are making use of the two broadcast locations available - one north, one south - on the 28th. Tim Martinson will be calling-in and will not be on a video link.

To the Essex County Association Office: 3 Sisco Street, Suite 1, Westport, NY. 12993. Phone: 518-962-4810.

From the North or South via the Northway (I-87): If you are coming via the Northway, take Exit 31- for Route 9N, Elizabeth Town and Westport. Follow 9N east into Westport. As you come into Westport (about 3 miles) you cross under the Amtrak railroad line, and you will see the Essex County fairgrounds on your left. The next left (a diagonal) is Sisco street. Just before, also on the left are the parking lot and the Office Building for the Essex County CCE Association.

From the North or South via Route 22: Take Route 22 into the town of Westport from Wadams, Essex (and Essex -Charlotte Ferry), or Willsboro from the north, or from Routes 9N and 22 if coming from Port Henry and Ticonderoga to the south. In Westport, follow 9N as it turns west away from Route 22, with signs for I-87. Look for the CCE Association Essex Office up about a mile on the right just prior to the Essex County fairgrounds. Parking is adjacent to the building.

To the Saratoga County Association Office: 50 west High Street, Ballston Spa, NY. 12801. Phone: 518-885-8995.
From the South: The Northway (1-87) is the main route North. Leave at Exit 12; follow the signs for Ballston Spa and Route 67 west. You will go left on Route 67 and back over the Northway. You will go through several traffic roundabouts. Stay on 67 going west to the second traffic light, which is at the intersection of Route 50. This will be an “+” intersection, where you should bear to the right as Routes 67 West and Route 50 North now run together until the next traffic light at West High Street. Turn left with Route 67 West onto West High Street. The CCE office will be in the second block on the right.

From the North: Take the Northway (1-87) to Exit 12, go right on Route 67 West, and follow the directions as from “The South” above (Route 50 will be the fourth light). You can also come Saratoga Springs via Route 50 South into Ballston Spa. At the intersection with Route 67, take a right on West High Street as above.

Kevin Iungerman, Extension Associate
Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s Northeast NY Commercial Fruit Program
50 West High Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Phone: (518) 885-8995
FAX: (518) 885-9078


University of Vermont - IPM Update

Just a quick Update to let you know the following items have been uploaded to the Cold Climate Grape Production website:

A Reminder:

The 2010 New York and Pennsylvania Guidelines for Grapes is up on the web at: This is an invaluable reference for information on management options for the various diseases, insects, and weeds and for information about their pest/disease cycles which is used to time management options.  Cornell has also published a 2010 Production Guide for Organic Grapes which may be of interest to you.   It is on the web at:

Lorraine P. Berkett, Ph.D.
Plant Pathologist  &  IPM Specialist
Department of Plant & Soil Science
Hills Building,   105 Carrigan Drive
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405



Cornell studying how to improve Finger Lakes Rieslings

A brief article about the “Riesling Terroir Project”… we’ve met Dr. Anna Katherine Mansfield on a few occasions in upstate NY and here in VT, and we are really glad that she is a local asset to the cold-hardy movement and community.

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