Techniques for Managing High-Vigor Vineyards

The bountiful natural terroir of Oregon has left many vineyards with excessive vegetative growth. High vigor can lead to a host of deleterious effects on grape and wine quality. Many grapegrowers annually employ intensive remedial canopy management techniques in response to high-vigor issues. The speakers in this session will address perennial vigor management strategies. From New Mexico State University, Dr. Gill Giese will share results from a long-term study of complete vineyard floor cover cropping and root pruning. From the University of Georgia, Dr. Cain Hickey will discuss results from research on the use of root restriction and rootstocks as a vigor management tool.

Speaker Bios

Gill Geise is an extension viticulture specialist and assistant professor at New Mexico State University, working in viticulture and enology research since 1995. He earned his doctorate in viticulture at Virginia Tech in 2014, and was a commercial winemaker/viticulturist at Shelton Vineyards in North Carolina from 2013 to 2017. Gill has investigated cover crops and root pruning as tools to manage excessive vine vigor, with his current research focusing on soil-related issues including nematodes, frost/cold mitigation, variety and rootstock trials, canopy management and trellising impacts on yield and berry composition, as well as grapevine/water relations in the southwest.
Cain Hickey is an assistant professor and viticulture extension specialist in the Horticulture Department at the University of Georgia. He has been involved in viticulture research and extension since 2007, when employed at Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center at Penn State. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in horticulture science from Penn State in 2009, Cain began his graduate studies in viticulture at Virginia Tech, earning his Master of Science in 2012 and his doctorate in 2016. He was a post-doctoral research associate at Cornell University’s Lake Erie Regional Extension Laboratory from 2016-2017. Cain is working with members of the Georgia grape and wine industry to solve regional vineyard management issues through his extension and research appointment.
A native of Oregon’s Tualatin Valley, Jason has made his career farming premium quality winegrapes in the Willamette Valley, and he oversees more than 200 acres of vines for the Stoller Family Estate in the Dundee Hills AVA. Jason serves on the Oregon Wine Standing Committee for Research and since 2006 has served as a board member, past chairperson and technical chair for LIVE, the leading Northwest sustainable wine production certification program. Jason earned his degree in horticulture from Oregon State University focusing on small fruits and berries, and his level of involvement led his alma mater to honor him with the College of Agricultural Sciences Luminary Award for early professional accomplishment in 2010. In 2016 the OWB presented Jason with the Outstanding Industry Service Award.