Site Visit Highlights – Shawnee Hills AVA

Recently I was invited to visit 3 vineyards in the Shawnee Hills AVA of Illinois. This was my third trip to Southern Illinois as a guest speaker and vineyard advisor. Each visit I learn more about the challenges these growers face and how they are dealing with them. The Shawnee Hills AVA grows a mixture […]

The Proof is in the Pruning – Post Bud Break Vine Assessment

Bud break and young shoot growth is occurring rapidly across the states and warm temperatures are hastening the work load for vineyard management crews. Application of the first protective sprays is the first thing on the mind of most growers at this time. It is easy to get lost in the details of the next […]

Top Mistakes of New Grape Growers – Our Intentions are Always Good…

I have worked with many vineyard startups over the past decade, instructed at numerous prospective winegrower workshops, and evaluated new vineyard sites with the enamored new owners claiming to be bitten by the vineyard bug. Accurately diagnosing vineyard problems for new growers is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. However preventing them […]

Drought, Irrigation, and Grapevine Nutrition: balancing a healthy, functional root system during drought

Grapevine nutrition may not be on the forefront of growers concerns as bud break approaches in the vineyard. However, the drought conditions that have persisted over the past two years in areas of Texas and California will likely effect root growth dynamics, total root area, and nutrient availability in the soil. A balanced ratio of […]

Grapevine Pruning to Reduce Canker Diseases – Benefits of Procrastination

Dormant grapevine pruning is by far my favorite activity in the vineyard. Pruning takes years of experience to master and even the most skillful pruner will still occasionally be stumped by a vine. Pruning is a time where the art of compromise is often employed in the vineyard, where some vines conform nicely and others […]