The National Viticulture and Enology Extension Leadership Conference (NVEELC), organized by NGWI with support by regional and/or institutional hosts, annually gathers wine, juice, table and raisin grape extension professionals working within and outside of traditional cooperative extension. It offers professional development, includes research and regional reports, and fosters collaboration and dialogue, helping viticulture and enology extension professionals stay apprised of industry challenges across the country. Field trips to vineyards and labs is an important part of the agenda for this event, which is held in a different grape region each year. Some funding is available (by application) for extension specialists who might not otherwise be able to travel; information on travel grants is made available with event materials.
NVEELC 2018 will be held in Prosser, Washington, May 20-22. Stay tuned for details!
Other industry resources
Catalyst: Discovery into Practice
The American Society for Enology and Viticulture launched this new journal in 2017, focusing on the translation of research into practice, and extending fundamental discoveries in the scientific disciplines to sustain and advance winemaking and grapegrowing. The journal provides a new publishing avenue for extension specialists, as well, including not only traditional narrative submissions but also video entries. See issues online at asev.org/catalyst.
Work continues on proximal sensing for vineyard management and forecasting via the Efficient Vineyard project, led by Cornell University‘s Terry Bates with participation from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, UC Davis and more, and supported in part by NGWI. See ongoing updates on this game-changing research in progress, including practical applications available now, at efficientvineyard.com.
Vineyard Pest ID Cards and Organic Winegrowing Manual
The University of California’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources now offers two publications for viticulturists in the field. Pocket-sizes laminated Vineyard Pest ID Cards are a quick and easy reference for recognizing, identifying and monitoring common vineyards pests, diseases, disorders and weeds. And their Organic Winegrowing Manual is a detailed how-to manual on growing organic winegrapes, including information on pest management, economics, organic certification, and more. Below are links to the informational flyers and Table of Contents for each of these publications.
eViticulture is a national online resource for viticulture information, offering the latest in science-based information for viticulturists. Tools include more than 200 feature articles from basic concepts of viticulture to the latest, ground-breaking research, written in understandable language in both English and Spanish; and if you have a question access the Ask-an-Expert feature.
Northern Grapes Project
This $2.5 million Specialty Crop Research Initiative project brought together 34 researchers from 12 institutions to address varietal performance and resulting fruit and wine flavor attributes in cold climates. The Northern Grapes Project will help growers to apply appropriate viticultural practices to achieve consistent fruit characteristics for ripening, and help winemakers address their unique fruit composition to produce distinctive wines that consumers will like and purchase. The project will also explore consumer preferences, developing individual/regional marketing strategies to increase sales and sustained profitability of wineries and vineyards.
The Northern Grapes Project now offers a News You Can Use newsletter, providing brief, timely information, generated via research conducted as part of the Northern Grapes Project, as well as material derived from other sources. The first edition may be read here.