Growing Table Grapes In Virginia

Serving Growing Ohios Grape and Wine Industry

Last January, January 6ththe official day of the polar vortex we experienced really damaging temperatures.Anywhere from around twenty below zero to about sixteen below zerowhere it killed the fruiting buds and it killed actual grape vines.And we've never experienced any damage like this before.And we've never we really didn't know the extentof the damage on the vines until April May in that time frame when we didn't see anybuds developing and even some of thetrunks cracked.

But the impact of that was dramaticwe have no crop at all in our vinifera and we grow varieties like Chardonnay, PinotNoir, Cabernet Franc, Rieslingand without any grapes, we were forced to buya lot of grapes. But it's had a huge impactas far as the grape production not to mention the actual wine losswhich is two or three years spanning. Because in some of the vineyardsthat will have to be replaced from the ground up

with new vines we will not get the first crop is three to four years out.So the impact is just dramatic and millions and millions of dollars.Actually in the viticulture program at Ohio Stateone of our focus of the research is cold hardiness of grapes.So really that's one of my expertise in this fieldof learning more about how grapes cope with freezing with cold in general.After this cold event our growers really needed a lot of help in terms of how to not onlyassess

the damage but also how to deal with the vinesthat are damaged. And we conducted a lot of workshops just toshow them how to prune the vines. Our relationship with Ohio State goes wayback in the 1980'sWe've had a long standing relationship with ongoing research in the wineryand in the vineyards. Currently with Imed Damiour research stems lately from the cold winter vortexwhere we've had a lot of the vines killed and damagedfrom the minus twenty degree temperatures.

Current research is kind of involved tothe extent of the damage to determine the actual damage andto have pruning studies done to see what was the best way to prunethese injured vines. We have not had temperatures that coldsince 1994 here and myself and a lot of the grape growershave not experienced this cold damage. So we need research to help uskind of figure out what's the next step and see what our future is in these vineyards.

Virginia Agriculture NASA DEVELOP Summer 2013 Langley Research Center

Develop Summer 2013Virginia Agriculture Analyzing Raster to Make Virginia VineyardsVaster gt;gt; Taylor: Due to the growing success of Virginiawine, the Commonwealth is interested in expanding vineyards across the state. gt;gt; Todd Haymore: We really need to plant moregrapes to keep up with demand because when you're having 810% sales growth a yearobviously you're going to have to have more sources to make the wine and that comes backto the grapes. gt;gt; Taylor: In order to successfully establisha new vineyard, a grape grower must identify

the most suitable growing conditions for grapevines.Grapes require very specific physical and biological conditions for cultivation. Temperatureplays a critical role in grapevine growth, so we met with viticulturalists in Virginiato better understand important temperature parameters. gt;gt; Sonia: So how much does temperature playa roleé gt;gt; Matthew Meyer: Oh a lot. gt;gt; Sarah: Using Land Surface Temperature datacollected by MODIS, an instrument aboard NASA�s Aqua satellite, we sought to enhance currenttemperature data derived from the National

Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weatherstations. Weather Station data collects air temperature measurements at discrete locationswhich are then interpolated and can overlook conditions such as elevation.MODIS provides continuous data, which accounts for elevation in land surface temperature. gt;gt; Sonia: Ten years of daily MODIS Aqua datawas processed using Python programming and ESRI ArcGIS software. Data was analyzed usingequations from our research and climate parameters important to viticulturalists. gt;gt; Meredith: Our team calculated the numberof growing degree days based on the Winkler

Scale, a common method in viticulture forclassifying temperature regions. Tempranillo, Syrah and Grenache are the grape varietalsconsidered most suitable to Virginia�s climate. gt;gt; Pete Johns: Our last frost date is April15th. gt;gt;Sonia: How do you know that April 15th isthe last frost dateé gt;gt; Pete: History. This may 14th was a killerfrost in the rest of the state, and they lost the majority of their crops in some areas. gt;gt; Sonia: We also examined the risk of a commondisease known as Pierce�s Disease. Because of its mild winters, Virginia grape growersshould be cautious of this ailment as the

disease can survive through the winter iftemperatures do not dip below 10�F. gt;gt; Sarah: We also evaluated mean growing seasontemperature, and how this may change over time. Growing season temperatures are importantfor verasion, the onset of ripening in the grape. The formation of sugars and acids inthe grapes may occur too early if temperatures are very warm, or too late if temperaturesare not warm enough. Either fluctuation can affect the quality of wine the grapes willproduce. According to the 4th and most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange, there are multiple possible climate change scenarios that could alter annual averagetemperatures by 2099. We calculated and mapped

each scenario for the year 2050. gt;gt; Meredith: Just as temperatures that aretoo warm can affect wine quality, so can temperatures that are too cool. A surprisingly late springfrost can damage budding grapes, and an early fall frost can reduce leaf canopy, interruptthe ripening process, or affect vine�s winter hardiness. gt;gt; Taylor: These maps will be provided tothe Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, so they can be distributedto Virginia grape growers. Our outputs will help growers make informed decisions aboutselecting an appropriate location for a vineyard

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