2016 Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Annual Convention
2016 WAWGG Convention Program
The 2016 Convention Program is now available!
The WAWGG Annual Meeting, Convention, and Trade Show is the premier educational and networking opportunity for the Northwest grape and wine industry with sessions for everyone and a trade show featuring nearly 200 booths!
This year, Convention registration is tied directly to WAWGG membership. As a paid 2016 member, you will be able to use the email address associated with your membership to save $300+ on your Convention registration!
UC Davis Extension offers a variety of courses for novice and experienced grape growers, winemakers and wine lovers. The following courses will take place January-March 2016 in Davis, unless otherwise indicated. The first course is an “Online Introduction to Wine & Winemaking”, which teaches the history of wine, the international wine industry, wine and health issues, and the fundamental processes involved in winemaking. The course is $685, and enrollment is available now through January 1st. Register under section 153VID251.
The next course, taking place on January 30-31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., is an “Introduction to Sensory Evaluation of Wine”. The course is $550 and includes to lunches and wine. Under section 153VIT202, this course is designed to enhance one’s critical tasting ability, and learn basic aspects of sensory evaluation often overlooked in most wine tastings.
The “Current Wine & Winegrape Research” course will be held on February 9th from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for $49 (incudes lunch, course materials and wine reception). The reduced fee for this course is due to supplemental funding from the American Vineyard Foundation. Enroll in this course, under section 153VIT203, to learn about some of the most exciting new and broad-reaching research on issues relating to winegrapes and enology.
Held on Feb. 20-21st, an “Introduction to Wine Chemistry” course is designed for individuals with a winemaking background but no formal training in chemistry. This weekend program provides insights into the interplay of chemical reactions that occur in wine and winemaking. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both days, this course is $280 and includes course materials and two box lunches. Enroll in section 153VIT207.
The final winter course is titled “Tasting Room Design & Management”. Enrollment is $195 under section 153VIT204, and it will take place on March 1st, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In this course, Craig Root, a 30-year industry veteran and tasting room consultant, provides ideas for achieving tasting room perfection. Explore tasting strategies, special events tips and how to improve tours and trade relations. To request more information or to enroll in any of the above classes, call (800) 752-0881 or email email@example.com.
Tips on Growing Chardonnay
VARIETY FOCUS: CHARDONNAY by Stan Grant, Viticulturist
In the late 1980's, as sales of varietal wines began to overtake those of blended wines, Chardonnay emerged from minor significance to displace Chenin blanc and Colombard as the major white wine variety in California. It has since proven to be environmentally elastic and adaptable to many wine styles, contributing to high quality wines from many regions. Chardonnay has been a driving force for the growth in California table wine sales and at this time, there are more acres of Chardonnay in the state than any other variety.
The Burgundy region of eastern France is the homeland of Chardonnay, where White Burgundy is the wine produced from it. Many consider it to be the finest white wine in the world due to its freshness, subtlety, and complex fruit flavors. Chardonnay is also the base of Chablis and it is an ingredient in most sparkling wines from Champagne. From its homeland, Chardonnay has spread to nearly every significant wine producing region in the world.
The origins of Chardonnay are uncertain. DNA evidence indicates it is a hybrid between a member of the Pinot family of varieties and Gouais Blanc, a Croatian variety the Romans introduced to Burgundy.
Currently, there are 76 Chardonnay selections in the Foundation Plant Services (FPS) collection at Davis. Of these, only a few have been evaluated. Still, we know there is wide clonal variation among Chardonnay clones. These variations affect berry weight and number, cluster weight and number, yield, pruning weights, and fruit acidity, flavor, and aroma. Some clones produce fruit that has muscat sensory characteristics (e.g. Chardonnay 79, 80, 86, 102, 103, and 809). Chardonnay-04 and 05 are clones with a long history of high yields and high quality in California. Other promising clones based research and recent experiences include Chardonnay-17, 18, 20, 37, 48, and 548.
As may be inferred from its presence in northern European wine growing regions, Chardonnay is a relatively winter hardy variety. It is also early to break bud, which makes it prone to spring frost damage. Chardonnay flowers are among the first to bloom and its fruit is among the first to ripen. In warm grape growing areas, prompt harvesting when Chardonnay fruit is mature conserves acidity.
The growth vigor of Chardonnay is moderate. For this reason, it has a tendency toward overcropping, particularly when trained as quadrilateral cordons. To avoid overcropping and associated vine decline, design vineyards so Chardonnay vines bear no more than 9 or 10 feet of cordon under favorable environmental conditions and using a highly invigorating rootstock. With more challenging environments and lower vigor rootstocks, vines of this variety ought to carry proportionately less cordon.
With Chardonnay, use trellises that include foliage support to accommodate its draping shoots, to minimize shoot breakage during high winds, and to foster moderate dense fruit zones that promote fruit exposure to dappled sunlight.
Compared to many varieties, Chardonnay leaves are large. Due to this trait, Chardonnay shoots have sufficient leaf area to ripen two clusters with only about 12 to 18 leaves. As a consequence, complete Chardonnay canopies often appear shorter than canopies of most other common varieties.
Chardonnay has low susceptibility to canker diseases, but high susceptible to Phomopsis cane and leaf spot disease. In many parts of the world, Chardonnay is considered highly susceptible to bunch rot, but in California bunch rot is usually a problem only where canopies are dense.
Chardonnay's greatest weakness is powdery mildew. It is extremely susceptible. In fact, it is more susceptible than any other common wine grape variety in California. Accordingly, diligent, aggressive measures are necessary to control disease. Begin with dormant period sanitation measures to reduce inoculum, including berm sweeping, pruning shredding, and dormant sprays. Initiate protective foliar sprays as soon as there is sufficient tissue to serve as a target (3 to 5 inch shoots), always ensure complete foliage coverage, and never exceed the spray intervals stated on fungicide labels. In vineyards or sections of vineyards with a history of powdery mildew infection, use shorter spray intervals, especially when disease models indicate a high risk of disease. (Always rotate fungicide active ingredients in your spray schedule to avoid fungicide resistance developing in powdery mildew.) Further, create an unfavorable fruit zone environment for disease through careful pruning, shoot thinning, leaf removal, and other measures that promote aeration. Powdery mildew is a juvenile tissue disease, so sprays are usually no longer necessary after the fruit has begun to ripen.
Chardonnay appears prone to potassium deficiency following veraison. During this time, leaf symptoms of potassium deficiency (a faded chlorosis) are common on exposed leaves on the afternoon side of canopies, presumably because these leaves are less hydrated than other leaves.
Chardonnay is also prone to magnesium deficiency when growing on soils low in magnesium. On high magnesium soils, Chardonnay leaf tissues sometimes blacken. The magnesium concentrations in these leaves are very high and the symptoms may be due to magnesium toxicity. In these situations, leaf potassium concentrations are typically low, presumably due to a negative interaction between magnesium and potassium.
To conclude, Chardonnay is a versatile variety and a consistent producer when the clone, rootstock, vineyard design are appropriate and powdery mildew, potassium, and magnesium are attentively managed. For more information, contact your MID VALLEY PCA.
State of the Wine Grape Industry
Year in Review with the Ciatti Company
State of the Wine Grape Industry
Allied Grape Growers Reviews Crush Season
State of the Table Grape Industry
California Table Grapes Continue Impressive Run
American Vineyard Central Valley Expos
Key Topics Covered at the Valley’s #1 Grape Expos
Following harvest each November, growers enjoy gathering for the Tree & Vine Expo held at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, and the Grape, Nut & Tree Fruit Expo held at the Fresno County Fairgrounds, to hear the latest news about their respective industries. Once again, the expos offered a wide range of topics from the State of the Grape Industry presentations to the latest laws and regulations surrounding pesticide and herbicide use and just about everything in between. Attendance at these shows has also been increasing every year, with over 2,000 this year. Learn all about the vineyard management seminars and State of the Industry presentations in the January issue of American Vineyard Magazine. Also watch video interviews with many of these speakers addressing key topics on the CalAgNet YouTube Channel linked to this Website.
The American Grapevine
Grape Industry News Briefs
Sun-Maid Annual Meeting
Positive Outlook for Raisin Industry
“For the sixth year in a row, the raisin crop will be 100% free without any reserve pools,” Jeff Jue proudly shared at Sun-Maid’s 103 annual meeting in Fresno. Chairman of Sun-Maid’s Board of Directors, Jue continued, “We have good market demand as California raisins align with current market trends for a natural and healthy product. As growers, we have new grape varieties and trellis methods with higher yields. We can achieve lower labor costs with Dried on the Vine and mechanical harvesting. Our economics are much improved from ten years ago; and most importantly, we are members of Sun-Maid, the market leader in raisins.” Read more about key raisin industry topics addressed at the Sun-Maid Annual Meeting by reading the January issue of American Vineyard Magazine.
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