Nowhere in the wine industry does the changing climate have a bigger impact than in the vineyard. The Viticulture Track at the 2019 Oregon Wine Symposium offers new insights and strategies from current research that addresses threats to the vineyard exacerbated by shifting climatic conditions, including water availability and red blotch disease.

Every session features a researcher whose work is funded in part by the Oregon Wine Board, so the focus stays firmly affixed on realistic applications for small Oregon wine grape growers.

Day one of the Viticulture Track spotlights new research to help viticulturists maintain the vitality of their crops. Oregon State University researcher Patty Skinkis will kick things off with an update on her crop load work, specifically discussing Improved Crop Estimation Methods for Oregon Pinot Noir. This session will flow directly into Demystifying Nutrient Management, where Paul Schreiner of USDA-ARS and Russell Moss of Cornell University will discuss ways to optimize the effectiveness of vineyard nutrient management efforts, led by Erica Miller of Stoller Wine Group.

The first day wraps with an important discussion on The Road to Clean Nursery Stock and Solutions for Red Blotch. Leigh Bartholomew of Results Partners will lead an exploration of best practices for establishing and replanting vineyards, which features Skinkis alongside researchers Bob Martin (USDA-ARS), Alexander Levin (OSU) and Deborah Golino (Foundation Plant Services).

On the second day, the emphasis pivots to promoting healthy soils, understanding their microbiological composition and lessening reliance on outside inputs. In the morning, David Beck of Crawford Beck Vineyards will host a spirited conversation on Exploring the Microbiome with University of Oregon researcher Krista McGuire and Linfield College professors Jeremy Weisz and Greg Jones. To wrap up, Mimi Casteel of Hope Well Wine will lead Paul Schreiner, Dan Rinke of Johan Vineyards and Jason Lett of The Eyrie Vineyards in a discussion on water conservation techniques in Farming for Quality: Generating Soil Health in a Changing Climate.

Viticulturists from all parts of Oregon and beyond will leave the 2019 Oregon Wine Symposium enriched with the latest understanding of how to enhance the vitality of their vineyards and prepared to confront some of the biggest challenges facing grape growers today.

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