The Edmond Sun

Features

July 3, 2014

Viticulture and enology workshop slated July 11

STILLWATER — For more than a dozen years, Oklahoma State University has offered a Grape Management Course to those individuals who have an established vineyard, or to those who are just getting into the industry.

Due to the popularity of the course, grape growers in the area now have a chance to expand their knowledge by attending the second in a series of educational opportunities called the Advanced Viticulture and Enology Training Workshops.

Slated July 11 from 1-5 p.m. at the Cimarron Valley Research Station near Perkins, the workshop will feature Justin Scheiner, viticulturist from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. He will present information regarding fruit ripening issues in the vineyard, as well as a question-and-answer session.

In his role as an Extension specialist, Scheiner provides educational programming and technical support for grape growers in the Gulf Coast Region and North Texas. His research focuses on best management practices for vineyards in areas affected by Pierce’s Disease.

The workshop is free, but participants are asked to register by calling Stephanie Larimer at 744-5404, or via email at stephanie.larimer@okstate.edu.

Becky Carroll, OSU Cooperative Extension assistant specialist, fruit crops and pecans, said the grape industry has seen some ups and downs over the last several years.

“There are various issues and concerns in the grape industry, including the economy and even the weather,” Carroll said. “Although we aren’t seeing the rapid growth in wineries and acreage of grapes planted compared to a number of years ago, we’re seeing steady improvements in grape growing and wine making expertise. Oklahoma currently has about 600 acres dedicated to the grape industry.”

Because of these improvements, Carroll said she is excited to see these advanced workshops available to grape growers. She said this new workshop will pick up where the Grape Management Course ended.

“We don’t have a great many advanced training opportunities in the state, but thanks to a grant from the Department of Commerce Viticulture and Enology Fund, we are now able to offer grape growers an opportunity to enhance their knowledge. We have been able to network with specialists from other institutions and industry professionals who will share new and up-to-date educational programs for these more advanced growers,” she said. “In addition, the workshop will provide them with better tools to manage their business, and thereby help to ensure the industry’s sustained profitability and enhance the consistence and quality of Oklahoma wines.”

A website has been established at www.grapes.okstate.edu/advanced-viticulture-workshops for people to go to for more information and presentations from prior workshops. Other advanced workshops will take place at a later date.

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