Wine Grape Production Guide: A blog that explains how to produce wine grapes in a formal U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resource guide format.

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The idea to create wine grape production guide was born out of a desire to produce a resource guide that would be easy to understand and use. Before creating this blog, I searched the internet for a book or reliable website that would explain the basics of winemaking in an easy to understand format. After much searching, I was unable to locate any resources that I felt were written in an understandable style. So, in order to fill the void, I began writing my own book.

The contents of this book are intended to be used as a guide for new and experienced wine grape growers. It is not intended to be a complete resource for all aspects of wine grape production but merely serves as an introduction to the process. Wine making is considered by many as an art form and is difficult to discuss in a few words since there are so many variables involved. This resource guide was designed with the beginner in mind and will provide enough information for the reader to understand what is involved in producing grapes at home. To fully understand all aspects of wine grape production it is recommended that you also consult other sources including publications from your local Cooperative Extension Service, textbooks, university courses and other relevant internet resources.*”

This guide is designed to provide you with information on how to produce wine grapes in the Pacific Northwest. It is an extension of the Wine Grape Production Guide that was developed by the USDA-National Agricultural Library (NAL) under the leadership of John White, then Deputy Director, and now Director of NAL. The initial project was funded by WSU’s Viticulture and Enology Program and USDA-NAL. The work was done by Laura Tancredi and Pam Nickerson, who spent considerable time in Washington State visiting vineyards and interviewing growers. The new guide reflects extensive revisions based on their experiences.

The guide has been reviewed by Washington State University extension specialists and viticulture consultants for accuracy and clarity of expression. A few sections have been updated to reflect changes since 1991 when the original guide was published, but most have not changed significantly from that publication. We hope this guide will be a useful resource for extending your knowledge about grape production and gaining a greater understanding of viticulture practices in Washington State.”

Wine Grape Production Guide, Grapes and Wine Production, Table of Contents

The content of this resource guide is derived from research and development activities conducted by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and other USDA agencies. The information should not be construed as a recommendation for use by the producer of commercial pesticide products. It does not cover all pests that attack grapes or for all production problems. Nor does it include all the best management practices for controlling pests. State Cooperative Extension systems may offer additional sources of information on pest control, diseases, and other problems of wine grape production.

For more information or to request publications listed in this guide, contact your local Extension office. For cost-share assistance, please contact your local county Cooperative Extension office or the National Agricultural Pest Information Center (NAPIC) at (800) 858-7378.

Pest Management Resource Guide: Wine Grape Production in California’s Central Valley

This publication also serves as a companion piece to University of California IPM Guides 17A2, 18B2, 19B2 and 20B2 which were updated on November 15, 2003 by Dr. Rob Haupt (UC Davis). These guides are available in print or may be purchased in electronic format from the UC IPM Online Store .

A wine grape is a grape used for wine-making and which is grown for that purpose in vineyards. Wine grapes are traditionally Vitis vinifera (European grape), of which many varieties exist, or hybrids from Vitis vinifera that have been created both naturally and through a breeding process called “grafting.” The varieties of cultivated grape vines native to North America are known by their species names: Vitis labrusca (muscadine), Vitis rotundifolia (fox grape), and Vitis cinerea (scuppernong).

The cultivation of European grapes began in earnest in the United States in 1623, when the Virginia Company at Jamestown settlement sent two cuttings of white wine grapes, Vitis vinifera, to Bermuda on behalf of Sir Thomas Dale.

The first commercial wine-making operation was established near present-day Salem, New York, by French Huguenot refugees who had settled there. The settlers cultivated their first viable crop in 1698.

Wine has been made in this country since before the Revolutionary War…

When you grow grapes, you want to choose your variety wisely. There are three main ways to choose: by the country where they were developed, by their flavor, and by their disease resistance.

Country of origin is a good choice if you want grapes that have been tested in your area. But they may not be a great choice if you want to make wine with them. The country where they were developed may not be the same as the country where they are grown now; in particular, some old varieties come originally from places that no longer exist. Also, what grows well in one area might not grow well in another one with different soil and weather conditions.

A grape’s flavor is an important consideration if you plan to eat it. But if you’re making wine, flavor isn’t so important; it’s more important to get good results than to get what you like. There are many varieties that taste better than they make wine!

The final choice is disease resistance. This can be a complex issue, because what diseases affect a grape depends on where it grows and thus also on its variety. You can find out about diseases affecting different varieties at websites such as Disease resistance can be very important

Star anise is a star-shaped spice that grows on an evergreen tree in warm climates. It is related to anise, fennel and tarragon, and is one of the major ingredients in Chinese five-spice powder.

The tree can grow as high as 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet. The trees are grown for their fruit, which is gathered before it ripens and dried for storage. Star anise has been used to flavor food since the early 1900s. It has a licorice flavor similar to fennel and anise, but it is stronger than either of those two spices.

The Star Anise is a small evergreen tree that grows to 10-15 feet tall. It has aromatic leaves and small white flowers. The fruit is a brown pod with anise or licorice flavored seeds.

The Star Anise is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese cuisine. The young pods can be picked and eaten like peas. The fruit is also used to flavor liqueurs, liquors, meat marinades, and curries. In China, the fruit is dried to make tea (of which star anise tea is a component).

The Chinese have used this herb for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. It is said to relieve stomach pain and aid digestion as well as reduce fevers, prevent flatulence and aid respiratory conditions. The seed contains anethol, believed to be responsible for its medicinal properties.*

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