Grapes, Wine

Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council Research and Extension Priorities

1.     Research and Education Advisory Committee

Updated April 2016

A.     Research Priorities:

Climate Change and Extreme Weather Conditions:

1. Understand the effects of climate change and extreme weather events on viticulture production systems.

Fruit and Wine Quality:

1. Understand the effects of viticulture production systems and environmental factors on grape and wine composition and quality.

2. Understand the relationship between the components of grapes and wine and their impact on wine quality.

3. Continued improvement of wine quality and grape productivity through testing of varieties / clones, both new to Michigan and established.


1. Understand vineyard ecosystem and develop vineyard management systems and methods of cultivation that are sustainable, economical and environmentally responsible.

2. Decrease the environmental impacts of vineyard operations through reduced inputs of pesticides, fertilizers and energy.  Includes precision agriculture applications.

3. Enhance interaction of grape and wine industry with local community to contribute to improved quality of life and well-being of neighborhood.

4. Assess plant materials for disease and pest resistance while maintaining high wine quality and productivity.

Production and Process Efficiency

1. Optimize vineyard production systems for cost, quality and environment. Includes mechanization of vineyard operations.


B.  Outreach and Education Priorities

Climate Change and Extreme Weather Conditions

1. Understand the effects of climate change on viticulture production systems and document and communicate best practices for managing impacts of extreme weather events. 

Education of the Grape & Wine Industry

1. Communicate fundamental knowledge and production principles and practices:

  • Viticulture principles and practices.
  • Enology principles and practices.

2. New producer information for growers and winemakers

3. Provide programming to assist growers in adapting to Michigan’s changing climatic environment.

General Activities Addressed by Extension and Educators

1. Regional information on adaptation of cultivars, clones and rootstocks.

2. Support efforts by Michigan educational institutions to establish accredited educational programs in viticulture and enology.

3. Continue collection of information and development of tools to assist vineyard investors and public officials in making decisions regarding regional planning and choice of suitable sites and varieties for premium wine grape production.  

4. Suitable sites and varieties for premium wine grape production.  


2. Consumer and Market Research Priority

Activities Addressed by Consumer and Trade Promotion and Education Committee

1. Provide for research on wine grapes and wine, including marketing, processing, distribution, advertising, sales production, product development, and market surveys and analyses.

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