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Viticulture 2013 Schedule Released

Wine marketing, policy and a day-long symposium about cold-climate varieties

by Linda Jones McKee
viticulture 2013
The viticulture conference is held once every three years.
Rochester, N.Y.— Come February, “the world’s image center” will be a picture of the eastern grapegrowers and winemakers as Viticulture 2013 kicks off at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Held every three years, the conference will address important topics not only in viticulture but also in enology, wine marketing, public policy and other areas. The most recent conference, Viticulture 2010, attracted nearly 1,000 attendees from 20 states and three foreign countries.

The first day of the three-day conference, Feb. 6, will feature well-known wine market researchers John Gillespie, president of the Wine Market Council; Danny Brager, vice president of the Nielsen Co.; and Dr. Greg Carpenter of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, who will look at “The Big Picture” and discuss the main trends of today’s wine market and ways wineries can take advantage of those trends. A second session with these three speakers will offer insights into ways to market wine to both the millennial generation (young adults ages 21-34) and their parents, the baby boomers.

Also that day, a special symposium will focus on cold-climate grape varieties. In the past 10 years, more than 300 wineries and 3,000 acres of cold-hardy grapevines have been established in 12 states in New England, the Northeast and the Midwest. The Northern Grapes Symposium is the result of a special grant obtained by Dr. Tim Martinson of Cornell University in collaboration with scientists in many of those states growing cold-hardy grapes. Seminars will address the challenges of growing cold-climate cultivars, making wine from them and marketing the wine in these non-traditional winegrowing regions. A Feb. 6 luncheon will feature cold-climate varietal wines such as Marquette and Brianna.

 Enology speakers will include Dr. Anna Katharine Mansfield of Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station discussing “chemical and microbiological strategies for acid reduction in the winery,” Katie Cook of the University of Minnesota exploring “how the yeast strain you choose influences wine characteristics and flavors in Marquette, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris and La Crescent,” and Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari of Iowa State University asking: “What do enological tannins offer to northern winemakers?”

Viticultural issues will be addressed by Martinson, who will discuss “how climate influenced grape maturity in 11 northern grape variety trials from South Dakota to Massachusetts,” Paul Domoto of Iowa State University reviewing “performance of Marquette, Frontenac and La Crescent under four different training systems,” Patty McManus of the University of Wisconsin talking about the “sulfur and copper/lime fungicide sensitivity of 12 northern grape cultivars,” and Carl Rosen from the University of Minnesota reviewing “grapevine nutrition: results of tissue and soil analyses.”

Bill Gartner with the University of Minnesota, will discuss marketing northern grape varietal wines as well as a study on the economic impact of the cold-climate wine industry. Miguel Gomez from Cornell University will examine the “challenges and opportunities in emerging wine regions,” and Don Holecek and Dan McCole of Michigan State University will explore “models of collaboration among wineries, economic development agencies and tourism promotion in Michigan.”

The sessions held on Feb. 7 and 8 will cover a broad range of topics from renewable energy to frost protection methods to innovative packaging. In addition, Mansfield and Dr. Bruce Reisch of Cornell University will introduce two new grape varieties that have just been named at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.

Viticulture 2013 also will include a trade show featuring a wide variety of exhibitors. The New York Wine and Grape Foundation sponsors the conference in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension. Full registration, including most meals, is $295 (through Jan. 15), and rooms at the adjoining Hyatt Hotel are available for $105 per night (single or double occupancy.) For more information about the conference or to register, go to or contact Jennifer Cooper at or (585) 394-3620, ext. 206.

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