Registration is open for 2018 Northwest Michigan Wine Grape Spring Kickoff on April 13

Internationally renowned enology and viticulture experts will educate Michigan grape and wine producers on virus management, promoting living soils in the vineyard, and building and integrating structure and aroma in the cellar. Don't miss this event!

March 13, 2018 - Author: Thomas Todaro, Thomas Todaro, and Jennifer Zelinski, Michigan State University Extension

The Parallel 45 Vines and Wines, Inc. in Traverse City, Michigan, and Michigan State University Extension are hosting the 2018 Northwest Michigan Wine Grape Spring Kickoff on April 13, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center in Michigan’s Leelanau County, 6686 S. Center Highway Traverse City, MI 49684. There will be a cost to attend this event and lunch will be provided. Register at 2018 Northwest Michigan Wine Grape Spring Kickoff and view the agenda below.

Group webinar viewing is an option in southwest Michigan. There will be a webinar of this event at the Berrien County MSU Extension office, 1737 Hillandale Rd, Benton Harbor, MI 49022. There is no charge to view this event through the southwest webinar. However, for those planning to view this event and also receive supplemental electronic educational materials, there is a $15 registration fee and lunch will not be provided. Please contact Joanne Davidhizar at no later than April 11 to register. This is a linked viewing site and there's no option for individual participation.

Clark Smith, a world-renowned winemaker, consultant and respected innovator for his pioneering contribution to the winemaking world, will provide 4.5 hours of winemaking education to grape and wine producers. In the 1990s, Smith began Vinovation, which became the world’s largest winemaking consulting company, and developed the post-modern winemaking system that rejects the solution chemistry model of winemaking and instead focuses on building structure, integrating aroma and promoting living soils. His popular class on Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry has been attended by over 4,000 participants since 1984.

Smith is recognized as a leading authority on the enhancement of wine structure and a vocal proponent of living soil, and his “Postmodern Winemaking” book from U.C. Press was named Wine and Spirits Magazine’s 2013 Book of the Year.

Monica Cooper of the University of California Cooperative Extension and Agriculture and Natural Resources in Napa County, California, will offer one hour of vineyard virus management education. Early in her career, Cooper found a destructive Mediterranean caterpillar in a local vineyard that hadn’t before been seen in the United States. Her detection of European grapevine moth triggered state, federal and U.S. scientists to develop an action plan to limit the pest’s distribution.

Across 48,000 acres of vineyards, Cooper works with upwards of 600 grape producers who are producing California’s Napa Valley wines. She has expertise in virus vectors and their management in vineyards, experience controlling grapevine leafroll viruses in vineyards, and was the only California crop advisor profiled in Modern Farmer.


8:30 a.m. – Doors open with breakfast pastries and coffee

9:00 – 11:50 a.m. – Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry by Clark Smith [Enology]

  • Basic chemistry of winemaking
  • Press and crush choices
  • Reduction
  • New cold stabilization process
  • “4 ways to make white wine”

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch catered by Nada’s Gourmet Deli

1:05 – 2:15 p.m. – Summation of enology session by Clark Smith [Enology]

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Vineyard Virus Management by Monica Cooper [Viticulture]

  • Grapevine Leafroll Virus
  • Red blotch
  • Virus vectors

3:40 – 4:30 p.m. – Informal wine tasting and social

  • Feel welcome to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy with others—our favorite wine is one shared with friends.

Tags: agriculture, fruit & nuts, grapes, msu extension

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