By Tim Martinson
The NY grape and wine industry will gather at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center on February 6 to 8 for Viticulture 2013, fifth in a series of joint winter conferences co-organized by the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and industry sponsors.
This three-day conference and trade show, featuring over 100 exhibitors represents a close collaboration of industry and Cornell to provide growers, winemakers, and grape and wine industry professionals with a detailed look at the latest in viticultural and winemaking research, and consumer trends and marketing topics.
"The New York Wine and Grape Foundation and the industry committee provides the resources and organizational skills necessary to bring an impressive roster of speakers together," said Tim Martinson, statewide viticulture extension associate at Cornell University. "The close collaboration allows us to offer growers and winemakers a comprehensive program that goes beyond our annual regional extension conferences."
Thirty different sessions are featured in the program. Highlights include:
Markets, industry trends, and consumers
The program kicks off on February 6 with The Big Picture, focusing on major trends in the grape and wine industry, with representatives from the wine marketing council, constellation brands, national grape cooperative. Breakout sessions will feature regionally and nationally-renowned experts from the wine market council, Nielson Company, syndicated wine writers, the Farm Bureau, and Riesling expert Dan Berger.
Northern Grapes Symposium
New cold-hardy grape cultivars have made it possible to grow grapes in the North Country and New England. Three sessions on Consumers and Markets, Viticulture, and Enology will address growing, vinifying, and selling grapes and wines from these new cultivars. Results from the USDA-supported Northern Grapes Project will be presented. Wednesday's luncheon features Cold Climate varietal wines.
Sessions on Thursday and Friday will address Price quality and economics – the triple bottom line, fungicide and sprayer application technology, bulk juice production, IPM, the National Clean Plants network and virus and crown-gall vines, soil management, and frost protection. Italian viticulture researcher Stefano Poni and Wollersheim winery owner Philippe Coquard are featured speakers.
New Cultivar Releases
Cornell grape breeder Bruce Reisch will announce release of two new disease-resistant grape cultivars.
Wednesday's Northern Grapes Symposium enology session features yeast strain selection and wine flavors, acid reduction strategies, and use of enological tannins. Also on Wednesday is Anna Katharine Mansfield's talk on 'riesling typicity'. Thursday and Friday feature sessions on Dry rose production, The world beyond Riesling, innovative wine packaging, wine flavor and perception, and winery wastewater management.
Full registration for the three-day conference is $295, and includes all planned meals and reception (breakfast, lunch and the Unity Banquet). One-day registration options are available, and 'early-bird' discounts apply until January 15, 2013. Lodging will be available at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which is connected via skyway to the Convention Center, for $109/night.
Tim Martinson is senior extension associate with the department of horticulture, based at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.