March 14, 2008

Kentucky grape growers and winemakers will have an opportunity to see what's happening in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's vineyard during the Spring Viticulture Field Day on March 29. The event will begin and end at the E.S. Good Barn on the Lexington campus with afternoon sessions at the UK Horticulture Research Farm in south Lexington.

“With more than 700 acres, the grape and wine industry in Kentucky is really developing at a fast pace,” said Kaan Kurtural, UK viticulturalist. “We have more than 200 growers and 47 wineries.”

Many Kentucky grape growers were hit hard by the last year’s April freeze and the drought that followed. They hope 2008 will be a better year, and UK viticulture and enology specialists have plenty of information to share to help make that happen.

Registration will begin at 9:15 a.m. at the E.S. Good Barn. UK Department of Horticulture Chair Dwayne Ingram will give the opening address at 10 a.m. The morning sessions include information from UK viticulturist Kaan Kurtural about dormant pruning for crop level management in vineyards, spring vineyard disease management from Annemiek Schilder, Michigan State University plant pathologist, and spring vineyard insect management from Ric Bessin, UK entomologist.

After a catered lunch, participants will board a bus and travel to UK’s Horticulture Research Farm. Afternoon sessions will include Spring Vineyard Pre/Post Emergence Weed Management by Joe Masabni from the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, Applied Vineyard Dormant Pruning Basics by UK horticulture graduate student Brandon O’Daniel and vineyard airblast sprayer safety/calibration by Chris Smigell, UK horticulture.

At 3 p.m. participants will ride the bus back to the UK campus and finish the day with an enology/wine tasting break-out session with UK Enologist Tom Cottrell and Patsy Wilson, UK horticulture graduate student.

Pre-registration is $27.50 for Kentucky Vineyard Society members and $32.50 for nonmembers if paid by March 21. Registration after March 21 is $34 for KVS members and $37.50 for nonmembers. Make checks payable to the Kentucky Vineyard Society and mail to Pamela Compton, UK Department of Horticulture, N308 Ag Science North, Lexington KY 40546-0091. For more information contact KVS at 859-527-6635.

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