Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
05.07.2014  
 

Re-establishing Wine Grapes in West Georgia

Missouri wine industry helps University of Georgia expand trial vineyard

 
by Linda Jones McKee
 
 
“missouri
 
Norton grapevines from the University of Missouri are planted Tuesday at the University of Georgia campus in Griffin, Ga.
Griffin, Ga.—Members of the Vineyard and Winery Association of West Georgia joined staff from the University of Georgia Tuesday in planting 20 Norton vines for a trial vineyard at the university’s campus in Griffin. Working on behalf of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, the University of Missouri’s Grape and Wine Institute recently sent the vines to re-establish the grape and wine industry in western Georgia.

The vines planted Tuesday will be trained on a Geneva double curtain trellis. Norton vines received earlier from Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, Va., are being grown on a Watson trellis system, a V-shaped trellis that was developed in Texas and increasingly is being used across the South. The Griffin vineyard currently has four other cultivars planted: Blanc du Bois, Lenoir, Lomanto and Herbemont.

The area west and south of Atlanta, Ga., is not presently known for its grape and wine industry—mostly because for the past 100 years there haven’t been any grapes grown or wine made in that region. In the early 1900s, however, western Georgia and eastern Alabama had 20,000 acres of grapes planted, and growers and winemakers shipped train loads of grapes and wine all over the country. Prohibition started early in Georgia (in 1907) and didn’t end until 1935, with the result that the grape and wine industries were completely shut down.

In 2009, leaders in Carroll County were considering a potential revival of the grape and wine industry as a part of a larger sustainable agriculture initiative. The fledging Vineyard and Winery Association of West Georgia was set up and had almost 60 members within its first four months. Today the association has 200 members from 35 Georgia counties and 10 states including Alabama, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Doug Mabry, executive director of the association, told Wines & Vines, “We know we can’t grow vinifera, so we’ve been looking for grapes other than Muscadines that will grow here. Pierce’s disease is a problem, so we’re planting hybrids and native varietals.” Mabry, known locally as Carroll County’s “unofficial historian,” has researched the grapes planted in the 19th century in west Georgia and discovered that Norton grapes were planted at that time on the Griffin campus, where they are now being re-introduced.

The Vineyard and Winery Association of West Georgia works with cooperative extension agents to conduct workshops that offer specific step-by-step advice to new growers from site preparation through planting, trellising, pruning, spraying and harvesting. “We bring in grape and vineyard experts from across the South,” Mabry noted. “We go from ‘how to plant’ to ‘Winery 101.’”

The region’s biggest vineyard, with 8 acres, had its first harvest in 2013. As more growers begin to harvest grapes from recently planted vines, Mabry is working on setting up a winery co-op as the next step in expanding the vineyard and winery industry in west Georgia. He has acquired feasibility studies from winery co-ops in Maryland and Illinois and would like to find other successful models.

The relationship between the industries of Missouri and West Georgia will continue, according to Jim Anderson, executive director of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board. “Our industry has seen consistent growth, and we’re happy to help the Georgia wine and grape industry move forward by sharing some of the lessons we’ve learned.”

Mabry is looking forward to a visit from Anderson later this month, and is specifically interested in learning more about how Missouri has made such progress. “I would really like to get an enologist and a viticulturist on board. We need to work on funding and get some percentage of wine taxes to support the industry.”

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $562 million
5%
$7,549 million
6%
June 2013 $535 million $7,094 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $87 million
17%
$1,669 million
11%
June 2013 $74 million $1,510 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 300
34%
220
21%
June 2013 224 182
     
 
MORE » Released on 07.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wines & Vines
Packaging Conference
 
Learn More »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • August 1-3
     
    West of West Festival
     
  • August 2
     
    Urban Wine Xperience
     
  • August 5
     
    Fresno State Grape Day
     
  • August 7
     
    Quality Control During Crush and Fermentation
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Early 2014 Grape Harvest Begins »
 
Thanks for mentioning Temecula and the South Coast appellation in your article. It is great...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Roundup is not benign. It does not always break down in a day or two...
Reader: Robert Rex
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Mitigating water use in the vineyard in the first place is also an applicable tactic....
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Fixed Asset Accountant
 St. Helena, CA
Finance
 Sales Representative O...
 San Jose, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Warehouse Associate (D...
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Delivery Driver
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 2014 Harvest Cellar Po...
 Gaston, OR
Winemaking and Production
 Senior Wine Chemist
 St. Helena, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Tasting Room Represena...
 Calistoga, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Metro Sales Representa...
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Director Operations An...
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Harvest Winemaking Int...
 Napa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.