May 22, 2008
Contact: Willsboro Conference: Kevin Iungerman, 518-885-8995
Watertown Conference: Sue Gwise, 315-788-8450
Tim Martinson, Cornell University, 315-787-2448
North Country Wine Conferences Set for June 4-5 in Willsboro,
Northern NY - Day-long �Cold Climate Viticulture: Wines and Vines in the
North Country� conferences are set for Wednesday, June 4 at Noblewood
Park in Willsboro, NY, and Thursday, June 5 at Cornell Cooperative
Extension of Jefferson County in Watertown, NY.
The conferences include presentations by several Cornell grape
specialists, panels of local growers sharing their experiences with
developing local vineyards and wineries, and a tour of either the
Cold-Hardy Grapevine Trial at the E.V. Baker Agricultural Research Farm
in Willsboro or Yellow Barn Winery in Sackets Harbor, west of Watertown.
Conference organizer Dr. Timothy E. Martinson, a Senior Viticulture
Extension Associate with the Cornell University New York Statewide
Viticulture Extension Program, says, �The North Country has seen a
burgeoning interest in growing grapes for wine. This interest has been
made possible in part by cold-tolerant hybrid grape varieties developed
in Wisconsin (by farmer and amateur grape breeder Elmer Swenson) and
Minnesota (University of Minnesota grape breeding program). These
varieties grow where more traditional varieties would not survive the
winters. This conference will provide potential growers and vintners
with basic start-up information.�
Martinson will speak on the economics of the grape industry and on site
selection and preparation and training grape vines from planting to
fruit-bearing. Martinson led the Finger Lakes Grape Extension Program
from 1997-2006. Since 2006, he has worked with regional wine and grape
extension for Long Island, the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and Lake Erie
regions of New York.
Kevin A. Iungerman, an Extension Associate with the Cornell Northeast NY
Commercial Fruit Program, is the project leader for the Cold Hardy
Willsboro Wine Grape Cultivar Trial at the E.V. Baker Agricultural
Research Farm in Willsboro. Funding and assistance from NY Senator
Elizabeth Little, the Northern New York Agricultural Development
Program, the New York Farm Viability Institute and numerous volunteer
growers helped establish the 300-vine vineyard trial of 25 cold-hardy
wine grape cultivars at Willsboro.
�The regional research is producing critical data based on side-by-side
comparisons in the region and regional grape enthusiasts are learning by
seeing and doing about vineyard management, including a novel way to
reduce weed control measures, and about winemaking needs,� Iungerman
New York Statewide IPM Specialist Timothy H. Weigle is the team leader
for the Lake Erie Regional Grape Extension Program housed at the
Vineyard Laboratory in Fredonia, NY. Weigle will speak on pest
management, and the necessary vineyard equipment and supplies.
Christopher J. Gerling is the new Statewide Enology Extension Associate
in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the NYS Agricultural
Experiment Station in Geneva, NY. Gerling will speak on cold climate
grape varieties and wines, how to equip a start-up winery, and vineyard
and winery business planning with Martinson.
Registration for the conference program, organized by Statewide and
regional Cornell Cooperative Extension programs is $50 and includes
lunch, the vineyard tour and a CD-ROM with presentations and
information. Register by May 30; space is limited. For the Willsboro
program, contact 518-885-8995; for the Watertown program, contact
315-788-8450. # # #
Directions for Willsboro Conference: Noblewood Park, 158 Lake Shore Road
(Route 22), is approx. 10 miles from I-87 Northway Exit 33 for Willsboro
via Route 22 south; approx. 5 miles
north of the NY-VT Essex-Charlotte Ferry and Route 22 north.
Directions for Watertown Conference: Cornell Cooperative Extension of
Jefferson County, 203 N. Hamilton Street � From Interstate Route 81,
take Exit 45 (Route 3/Arsenal St), follow Route 3 signs through Public
Square downtown onto State Street (Route 3), turn left onto North
Hamilton Street, CCE is on left with large parking lot.