Virologist to speak at Missouri wine and grape conference

James E. Schoelz, virologist with the University of Missouri Division of Plant Sciences, will share the results of a 2017 survey of viruses in Missouri vineyards at the Show Me Grape and Wine Conference and Symposium, March 7 to 9 in Columbia.

Schoelz researches environmental and genetic factors that influence the pathogenicity and host range of plant viruses.

Grape growers also will receive updates on leafroll and grapevine red blotch diseases from Cornell University plant pathologist Marc Fuchs. He will tell growers what they can do to mitigate the threat of these emerging diseases. Red blotch disease was confirmed in Missouri in 2016.

Dean Volenberg, MU Extension viticulturist and program director of the MU Grape and Wine Institute, says the event offers grape growers and winemakers an opportunity to network with one another and hear from some of the country’s leading enologists.

MU Grape and Wine Institute hosts the March 7-9 event at the Hampton Inn & Suites, Columbia.

Speakers and topics include:

• Megan Hall, research leader at MU; cause and management of sour rot.

• Brian Dintelmann, MU graduate student; 2,4-D and dicamba and grapevines.

• James Harbertson, Washington State University Wine Science Center associate professor; science and art of winemaking.

• Tremain Hatch, Virginia Tech viticulturist; cover crops, rootstocks and more.

• Ethan Joseph, head winemaker at Shelburne Vineyard; quality red wine production.

• Luke Holcombe, Scott Laboratories; wine sanitation.

• Misha Kwasniewski, MU enology program leader; how to fix common problems in Missouri wines.

• Stephen Menke, Colorado State University; calibrating your nose for wine aroma faults and attributes.

• Dean Volenberg, MU viticulturist; vineyard nutrient management.

Missouri Grape Growers Association and Missouri Wine and Grape Board sponsor “The Great Missouri Wine Tasting” on the opening evening. Commercial wineries are invited to bring a couple bottles of their wines for tasting, Volenberg says.

The Missouri Wine Technical Group holds a session on March 8. Winemakers will blindly test wine and offer feedback to winemakers, Volenberg says. He invites winemakers to bring three bottles of a wine that has been recently bottled or is almost ready to bottle.

Attendees also will receive a 2018 Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide.

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Vendors include Double A Vineyards, Enotools, GFG Ag Services, MFA, Midwest Grower Supply, Missouri Grape Growers Association, MPR Supply Co., Scott Laboratories, Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance, Westfall Co., MU Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services. World Cooperage, Oak Solutions Group and Cooperages 1912 sponsor the luncheon.

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The Grape and Wine Institute is part of MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.