PORTLAND, ORE. (Feb 4, 2015) — Providing new perspectives on key issues in viticulture and enology is an important aspect of the 2015 Oregon Wine Symposium held Feb. 24 and 25 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. As the largest annual wine industry educational event in the Pacific Northwest, the Symposium offers attendees a rich menu of insightful seminars and speakers on topics of vital interest to all segments of the Oregon wine industry, from viticulture and enology to business and marketing. Registration can be accomplished by visiting symposium.oregonwine.org.

“Attendees will leave each session with actionable intelligence that will help them make improvements in both farming and winemaking,” said Ellen Brittan, Oregon Wine Board chairwoman. “At the same time, the trade show portion of the Symposium will feature nearly 200 exhibitors of products and services designed to increase wine business success.”

Viticulture Sessions

There’s a lot of buzz about drones in the vineyard. Susan Ustin of the University of California, Davis will draw on 30 years of spectral imagery work in relation to low-cost, drone-based imagery to present Spectral Aerial Imagery: An In-Depth Look at a Precision Farming Tool to Support Zonal Management.

Cluster thinning is common in Oregon, but does it improve fruit quality? This is the question examined by Dr. Patty Skinkis of Oregon State University in her seminar The Real Skinny on Dropping Crop in the Vineyard. Her research will shed new light on this important practice. An international panel, with representatives from Villa Maria Estate in New Zealand, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Treasury Wine Estates and Vinetenders LLC will discuss Adapting to the Labor Market Through Mechanization. Different regional approaches will be presented that use mechanization as a solution to farm labor availability.

Enology Sessions

High-quality wines rely on high-quality fruit, but what if some of your fruit is less than ideal? Dr. Vaughn Walton and Dr. James Osborne of Oregon State University will discuss strategies for Dealing with Compromised Fruit: Causes, Complications and Cures. The relationship between fruit flies, spoilage microorganisms and fruit damage will be explored.

Fermentation vessels—clay, concrete, oak and steel—will be the topic when winemakers Andrew Beckham of Beckham Estate Vineyard, Don Crank of Willamette Valley Vineyards and Isabelle Meunier of Lavenia Winery and Isabelle Meunier Consulting present their panel Fermentation Is as Fermentation Does: Fermentation Vessel Considerations.

A two-part, joint enology and viticulture session will explore the multi-faceted topic of Farming for Style. Panel one includes an international assembly of academics and researchers. Dr. Keren Bindon of the Australian Wine Research Institute, Dr. Jungmin Lee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Steve Price of Price Research Services and Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel of Cornell University will discuss studies of how vineyard practices affect issues of wine style in the bottle.

Panel two gathers a group of experienced practitioners, including Garrett Buckland of Premiere Viticulture, Thomas Houseman and Jason Tosch of Anne Amie Vineyards and Herb Quady of Quady North and Applegate Vineyard Management to share their observations on how farming affects style through specific examples of how they have adapted their vineyard practices to alter traits in the wines they make.

Additional Symposium content tracks include general and executive/owner business sessions. For a complete schedule of events and seminars, and to register for the Oregon Wine Symposium, please visit symposium.oregonwine.org.

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About the Oregon Wine Board:

The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. Visit www.oregonwine.org.

Contacts:
Michelle Kaufmann                                                     Cole Danehower
info@oregonwine.org                                         cole@danehower.com
503-228-8336                                                              503-753-8061