Integrated and Sustainable Wine Grape Production in Southern New England

2005 Annual Report for LNE04-198

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $100,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $10,400.00
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
William Coli
University of Massachusetts Extension

Integrated and Sustainable Wine Grape Production in Southern New England


The principal goal of the project is research and demonstration of a suite of crop and pest management tactics that will, when adopted, improve economic viability, maintain and enhance environmental quality, and protect worker and consumer health. The intent is to change the wine grape production system, not just to demonstrate one particular production practice or another.
The project will have a 4-year total duration and consist of the following general components: an initial three-state survey to precisely document the crop and pest management practices and inputs now in use by commercial wine grape growers in the three Southern New England (SNE) states; on-farm demonstration and applied research of several sustainable management tactics; training of field personnel by University-based faculty and professionals; frequent assessment of participating sites by trained field personnel; regular provision of useful crop and pest information to all SNE wine grape growers through a newsletter and other means; implementation of educational meetings and tours during the growing and dormant seasons; and a post-project evaluation survey of all SNE wine grape growers to determine specific practices changed and extent of change by comparisons between baseline practices/problems to those after project implementation. We believe that by demonstrating a number of system components, growers will have available the core of an integrated and sustainable production system for Southern New England wine grapes.
Performance targets will be accomplished through research and outreach on two farms each in MA, RI and CT over 3 growing seasons. The program shall include seasonal on-farm meetings at demonstration/research sites, dormant season workshops and conferences, newsletters, hard copy reports, fact sheets and information on Extension web sites.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Performance Targets
1. At least 50 southern New England wine grape growers/vineyard managers managing over 600 acres will participate in on-farm and other educational opportunities, research studies or tactic demonstrations and at least 25 will adopt 2 or more integrated and sustainable tactics on the majority of their acreage.
2. Six college-level individuals will receive training in grape production and scouting, and will participate in collecting, summarizing and evaluating data from the demonstration/research sites. At least one individual trained during the project will continue to offer fee-based vineyard monitoring and consulting services after the project ends.


Applied trials
Use of Reflective Mulches and Fruit Ripening in Southern New England Grapes
One of the issues facing wine grape growers under coastal New England conditions is the difficulty of sufficiently ripening red grapes. The use of reflective mulches for improving ripening and fruit quality has yielded mixed results in the wine grape industry. Our 2-year project, initiated in 2004, focused on the use of Extenday® fabric. According to the manufacturers, the Extenday Reflective Cloth is a patented reflective ground cover that has been engineered to give optimum reflectivity and transmission properties. It is a white woven fabric that can be purchased in rolls of 650 ft (~$75/roll).
To test the hypothesis that the use of reflective mulch (RM) would improve must composition, a randomized complete block design experiment was established at a commercial vineyard in Newport, RI (Figure 1). Each plot consisted of 15 vines, the middle 5 of which were used for data collection. The treatments were either RM (applied May 11, 2004) or control (no RM applied). Two red varieties (Merlot and Pinot noir) and one white variety (Chardonnay) were utilized. Treatments were replicated four times in each variety. All varieties were shoot-thinned, cluster-thinned, and leaf-pulled by the grower according to normal vineyard practices.
Light reflectance towards the fruit was compared between the two treatments using a Decagon AccuPAR ceptometer, which measures photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The amount of reflectance in the RM plots was always higher in the mulched than the control plots (Figure 2), though the difference between the two treatments decreased as the season progressed. Visual observations confirmed that the mulch was occasionally or frequently covered with some degree of debris or dirt during the growing season.
Fruit from both treatments were harvested when the grower/winery determined the fruit were mature (Pinot Noir, Sept. 24, 2004; Chardonnay, Oct. 26, 2004; and Merlot, Oct.28, 2004). Yield and yield components did not differ between the two treatments. RM did not significantly affect soluble solids, pH, or titratable acidity (Tables 1 and 2) of the must of Pinot noir, Chardonnay, or Merlot. Yield was not affected by treatment with the RM (Tables 3 and 4). The one exception was number of clusters in Merlot; the RM plots had a higher number of clusters than the untreated. However, this treatment difference did not carry through to any other yield parameter. Spring bud counts were made in 2005, but no treatment differences were detected (Table 5). Must from Pinot noir and Merlot was further analyzed for total anthocyanins, total flavonols, and total phenolics; however RM had no significant effect on these parameters compared to the control (Table 6).
Soil temperature was monitored approximately 1 inch beneath the soil surface during the spring of 2005 (Figures 3 and 4). Temperature beneath the RM was generally lower than in the control, with 19°F as the maximum differential measured. Soil temperatures averaged 3.2 oF cooler (daily mean difference) under the RM than the unmulched soil, indicating that the RM may be a detriment to soil warming in the spring.
In conclusion, Extenday® reflective mulch had no significant effect on fruit growth or ripening in Pinot noir, Chardonnay, or Merlot grapes, and may slow soil warming in the spring. Hence, we do not feel that this is a worthwhile tactic for wine grape growers to use under our conditions. Plus, given the obvious breakdown of the fabric under field conditions (including damage resulting from mowing row middles), use of Extenday® fabric is not a sustainable tactic based on our results. Trails will continue of other potential reflective substrates, especially Quohaug (clam) shells, a widely available waste product of the shellfishing industry.

SKYBIT Project
During the 2005 growing season we provided free SkyBit service to regional grape growers so they could help us evaluate its usefulness for general applications throughout New England. The monthly fee for subscribing to SkyBit as an individual vineyard is about $50/month, depending on which type of report is chosen. Ten vineyard sites around New England received daily weather reports, forecasts, and disease model summaries from early spring through the end of November.
For this year, we focused on degree day accumulations, frost events, precipitation, and leaf wetness data as they relate to fruit ripening and disease incidence. We hope next year to be ready to install several weather stations to ‘ground truth’ this satellite data. Also, we will be working with all the data gathered this growing season over the winter months to see if we can determine any additional ways in which this data can be useful.
Basic information was gathered and summarized weekly on the New England Wine Grape Grower’s Resource Center website (
Grower participants were asked for information as recipients of the daily reports. We are attempting to correlate onset of veraison and Brix levels with the degree day accumulations for each site. We also asked which elements of the Skybit reports were most useful.

Mating Disruption (MD) for the Grape Berry Moth (GBM)
In 2005, we established trials of GBM mating disruption in 3 commercial vineyards in various parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. In addition, a sentinel monitoring trap was deployed in 3 other commercial sites that were not disrupted. Two of the sites had previously experimented with mating disruption but the other had not. Our first task was to conduct the GBM Risk Assessment Protocol developed at Cornell Univ.
This protocol is used to determine the extent of GBM pressure on the vineyard, and is driven by proximity to woody borders containing wild hosts of GBM (wild grape vines). Based on this assessment, all sites were at High risk of GBM. One site in particular reported very high, nearly 100% injury from GBM in previous years. Our original plan was to place Isomate GBM and one sentinel pheromone trap in one block at each vineyard, and a sentinel trap in another block of the same cultivar without the pheromone ties. However, because most individual vineyard blocks are smaller than the desired minimum 10 acres, and because participating growers wanted to use the tactic on their entire vineyard acreage, we were forced to scrap the control blocks.
Two distinct flights were noted at all sites: one peak was in early-mid June, and one in late July or early August depending on vineyard location. Except during the second flight peak, male captures in MD blocks was generally very low (0-1 per week), leading us to initially conclude that the ties were succeeding in disrupting GBM mating. However, as noted in harvest surveys (Table 7), berry cluster infestation reached unacceptable levels in all MD blocks. Damage was also high (15-17%) in non-disrupted blocks as well, indicating that GBM continues to be a serious pest. Only one monitored site had low levels of harvest damage (1%). This is interesting since it also was the site that had consistently the highest captures in sentinel traps. In all but one vineyard, GBM damage was much more pronounced on block edges than block interiors, as had been expected.
According to Alice Wise (Cornell Univ. grape specialist on Long Island, NY), 2005 appears to have been an unusually heavy year for GBM infestations, perhaps due to lower over-wintering mortality due to the protection afforded by heavy snow cover, to a poor year for alternate food sources, and to a hot summer allowing an additional generation to develop.
For 2006, we plan to deploy ties earlier than this year to maximally disrupt the first generation. We also plan to place ties outside of the vineyard proper whenever feasible in hopes of preventing immigration of males into the vineyards themselves.

Twilight Meetings
Three meetings were organized in 2005: April 20, June 16, and August 15. Topics covered in these educational meetings were based on priorities established through the baseline survey done in 2004 and with substantial input from the grower advisory group. These were:
Strategies for Achieving Vine Balance, Dr. Bill Nail, CT Ag. Expt. Sta.
Management of Grape Berry Moth, Dr. Greg English-Loeb, Cornell Univ.
Biological Management of Powdery Mildew, Heather Melidossian, Cornell Univ.
Weather Monitoring Options for Vineyards, Jon Clements, UMass, Amherst
Reflective Mulches and Fruit Ripening in New England Grapes, Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel, UMass, Amherst
Promotional Campaigns for New England Vineyards/Wineries, Bonita Oehlke, MDAR
Pesticide Mixing and Loading, Dr. Bill Coli, UMass, Amherst
Vineyard Sprayer Technology, Dr. Andrew Landers, Cornell Univ.
Basics of Training Systems and Trellis Design, Dr. Bill Nail, CT AES
Spray Equipment Demo, Dr. Andrew Landers, Cornell Univ.
Basics of Trellis Construction and Demo. Of End Post Installation, Howard Stoltzfus, Innovative Fence Co.
Powdery and Downey Mildew Management, Dr. Wayne Wilcox, Cornell Univ.
Farm Bureau and New England Farm Wineries, Carl Dematteo, Al Bettancourt and Jamie Jones, Mass. Farm Bureau Federation
Vine Nutrition and Late Season Crop Management, Dr. Mark Chien, Penn. State Univ.
Attendance was excellent, with 35, 53, and 46 (total 134) growers/managers in attendance at the April, June and August meetings respectively.

Scouting for Grape Insects and Disease Pests in 2005.
Nine vineyards were scouted weekly during the 2005 season. Two vineyards were in Massachusetts, three were located in Rhode Island, and four vineyards were in the east central portion of Connecticut. One hundred vines were scouted per trip, 50 vines on the edge of the vineyard and 50 vines on the interior. The vineyards were typically scouted by one person, but occasionally two personnel were present to do the scouting. The relevant growth stage was noted on the report, along with weather conditions and the date of the visit. Many diseases and insects were noted throughout the season including Japanese beetle, cane girdler, cane gall maker, botrytis, powdery mildew, black rot, downy mildew, and anthracnose leaf spot. Timely information on pest incidence was provided to all growers weekly through electronic media.
A scouting protocol for southern New England wine grapes was developed and used based on previous work at several other land grant universities.

General Scouting
Monitor at least 100 vines per vineyard. Divide these up into at least 4 rows of 25 vines each. Inspect both sides of the vine. Walk different rows each time (mark which rows were inspected on scouting form).
Check border areas separately from the interior areas (esp. impt for GBM).
Check with the grower or past history for any “hotspots” or other locations of disease or insect issues.
Draw maps or make any other particular notes for each vineyard on scouting form. If these forms work out, we can get the form that makes two copies with one writing, so we can give one to the grower and keep one ourselves (future plan).

Pests to scout for

Based on vine growth stage:

If still very underdeveloped (1” growth): cutworms, grape flea beetle, phomopsis, powdery mildew.

Week of June 6 (1-5” shoots, probably): cutworms (lesser risk), phomopsis, black rot, and powdery mildew (lesser risk), angular leaf scorch (can be a problem if lots of rain during early shoot growth; lesions contained by major veins). Other possibilities may include banded grape bug, grape plume moth, European red mite and two-spotted spider mite.

Week of June 13: (shoots are 8-12”): potato leafhopper (cutworms probably not around), banded grape bug, Phomopsis, downy mildew, powdery mildew, black rot (low risk), eutypa dieback.

GBM Assessment

For the 2005 season, we will not have any previous berry sampling data to help assess GBM risk. So, we will have to go with the grower’s history of knowledge about the problem for the most part. The info out about assessing risk is related to table grapes. The conventional wisdom is that high-value wine grapes should always be considered high risk.

However, if the vineyard or portions of the vineyards are adjacent to wooded areas, those portions closest to the woods should be considered HIGH RISK. A portion could be 1 panel length if the rows are perpendicular to the woods or about 2 rows if parallel to the woods.

Ask if the vineyard had prolonged snow cover (likely for this winter) or experience mild winter temperatures (unlikely). This would put the vineyard at HIGH RISK.

Sample for GBM damage to fruit clusters in July through harvest.

Weekly reports were given to the vineyard manager, either personally or left at a pre-arranged location. At that time, any concerns or other considerations were also discussed. Pesticide application decisions were left to the discretion of the grower. Several growers verbally expressed appreciation for the presence of Extension personnel on their vineyards to assist with identifying seasonal pest problems. One vineyard manager (Paul Nunes, Newport Vineyards) told us “We can never have too many people scouting the vineyards.”
Many vineyards were infected by an unusual outbreak of ripe rot right before harvest. The disease was readily evident at vineyards in S. Dartmouth, MA, and Newport RI on Oct. 19. At the former, it was most noticeable on Chardonnay grapes, but could also be seen reasonably easily on the Merlot and Cabernet franc. On a scale of 0-5, with 0 being not infected and 5 being heavily infected, the Chardonnay were close to a 3, and the Cabernet franc and Merlot as a little less than 2. At the Newport site, Chardonnay was very infected (>4), and the Merlot around a 3. GBM damage at this site, made both cultivars even messier. Both growers mentioned they had found the disease on other cultivars as well.
The must from the Chardonnay at one site tasted oxidized, but was deemed by the grower to be usable. The other grower felt their Chardonnay must was also usable, although the
fruit looked poor visually. Based on this unusual outbreak, our team organized a speaker on very short notice for the Wine grape Session at the New England Vegetable and Fruit Meetings (Dec. 13-15, 2005, Manchester, NH).

Grower meetings
We periodically asked for and received input on the project from grower advisors. On February 11, 2005, we organized a forum to discuss formation of New England Wine Grape Growers Association at the Nashoba Valley Winery, Bolton, MA.
Attendees were: Peter Oldak, Jewell Towne Vineyards, South Hampton NH
Kip Kumler, Turtle Creek Vineyards, Concord, MA
Gary Crump, Priam Vineyards, Colchester, CT
Richard Pelletier, Nashoba Valley Winery, Bolton MA
John & Audrey Samek, Hardwick Vineyard and Winery, Hardwick, MA
Bonita Oehlke, Massachusetts Dept. of Agric. Resources, Boston, MA
Dave Bishop, First Pioneer Farm Credit, Enfield, CT
Sonia Schloemann, UMass Extension, Amherst, MA

The meeting discussed the formation of a regional association to represent wine grape vineyards and wineries in New England. We followed a format of open dialog sharing information about organized groups, pasts and present, their purpose and structure, and proposed goals of an umbrella organization that might encompass the wide diversity that currently exists in New England wine grape growers and vintners. We also briefly considered the potential structure such an entity might have. The discussion is summarized below.

What already exists in New England?
We first the past and present organizations that have represented viticulture in some areas of New England.
One such association was the Southeastern New England Grape Growers Association (SNEGGA), which was active in the late 1980’s to the mid-late 1990’s (exact dates not pinned down). This group met regularly and put on workshops and held trainings etc. for growers primarily in southeastern New England. This group is currently dormant.
Another group that is currently active is the Coastal Wineries of Southeastern New England, which recently received grant funds ($22K from USDA Value-Added Producer Grant Program) to do a feasibility study and develop a business plan for marketing New England Wine. Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery is integral to this effort. The other wineries included in this group were not identified at this meeting.
The Massachusetts Wine Growers Association was a promotional organization for the industry that has not been operational for many years. This year the Mass. Dept. of Ag Resources produced and funded a Massachusetts Wineries brochure.
The Connecticut Farm Wine Council was described by Gary Crump from Priam Vineyards as a legislative body, which receives funding from the state for promotional activities (e.g., vineyard passport program, CT Wine Trail website and brochure). This discussion brought to light issues relating to the importance of the industry becoming politically active.
The Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association was also described by Gary Crump (Priam Vineyards). This association currently has 140 members in 3 categories – commercial, associate and supporting. Commercial and associate members pay a monthly fee, while supporting members pay an annual fee. Commercial members are larger operations that are federally licensed while associate members are either smaller growers or representatives of related businesses or groups (chem. companies, equipment dealers, retail outlets, etc.). Supporting members are usually new start ups that will eventually become either associate or commercial members. The association holds several events each year, lobbies the legislature on behalf of the industry, and holds occasional strategic political functions.
Cold Climate Viticulture Group is a group located in northern areas of New England, mainly Vermont. This group isn’t currently formally constituted, but is represented by research/extension faculty at Univ. of Vermont (Dr. Lorraine Berkett, and Dr. Elena Garcia) w/ some affiliation with other universities (mainly UNH). This group has succeeded in getting federal research funds (2004 USDA SARE Partnership Grant, “Development of Partnerships and Support for an Emerging Alternative Crop: Grapes in Northern New England”, $9,604; and 2004-2006 EPA Region I Environmental Stewardship Program Grant, “Reducing Pesticide Risk in Cold Climate Wine Grape Production an Emerging New Crop in Northern New England, $40,000, and possibly some additional grants).

What purpose should a regional association serve?
Substantial discussion followed regarding the functions that a regional association could/should pursue. These fell broadly into 3 categories:
Political: lobby state legislatures for varying types of beneficial legislation such as enabling legislation to facilitate in-state sales (e.g., farmers markets) and potentially for out-of-state sales (pending supreme court decision) via direct shipping, etc. Also lobbying at federal level for such things as disaster assistance and the like. Working to unify some of the licensing and other bureaucratic requirements among the New England States so as to ‘level the playing field’. The association (via website or listserve) could provide a timely legislative update so members are aware when relevant legislation is filed and can formulate a strategy to support or fight it.
Marketing/Promotional Activities: In this category would fall such things as developing a New England Wine Trail, holding an annual New England Wine Competition, producing brochures and web-based information for consumers, linking with the Coastal Growers group to learn from their project about how to better target the retail customer, were mentioned. Other more local projects can also be developed for tastings, tours, etc.
Other topics discussed included: Development of an AVA for New England; a New England wineries pass port program; developing a marketing strategy to sell to wholesale customers for higher visibility including B&b’s, restaurants; Programs tied in with tourism – – most effective retail sales are closest geographically to the winery.

Vineyard/Winery Technical Operations:
In this category, people mentioned things such as bulk purchasing of supplies, which can reduce costs for vineyards/wineries. An association can help coordinate this. Also, a network of contacts for purchase/sale of used equipment is beneficial for members. Membership dues can be applied toward expenses of bringing highly qualified speakers to our region for educational programs (e.g., Wayne Wilcox last summer). There could also be a way to provide new entry vineyards/wineries with relevant start up information (production budgets, licensing requirements, etc.) And the association, if incorporated as a 501(c)(3), could apply directly for grant funds to support research activities (e.g., variety trials, high graft unions). Lastly, informal information sharing that comes from belonging to an organized group, can be immensely useful and has the additional benefit of fellowship or sense of community that comes from getting together regularly (twilight meetings, winter workshops, etc.), as long as it’s not too often.

Additional discussion focused on fundraising for an association to support its’ functions and activities. Some funding would presumably come from its dues structure (which has to be compatible with dues that are already being paid to individual local associations), but can be supplemented with corporate sponsorships and possibly state funds or competitive grant funds. Fundraising activities can also be planned. In general a case assessment (check off) was not thought to be a good mechanism for collecting funds from members.

Organizational Structure:
This topic was not discussed at length, but the consensus seemed to be that establishing an incorporated non-profit would be the likely way to go. If the formerly active association SNEGGA was not formally dissolved, it might be easiest to reactivate it and then go about reworking the name and bylaws accordingly. More fact finding and discussion is needed on this topic. The Massachusetts Wine Growers Association was (is) a 501 c3 and offers another option as the platform for a new nonprofit organization.

Next Steps:
In addition to convening further small group discussions, the group thought that developing a survey of New England Vineyards and Wineries would be useful. See Appendices for suggested questions and compiled survey responses

Grower meeting planned for early 2006
Planning is already underway for our winter/spring meeting. We are planning a 2-day event with the first day being a workshop for new growers. The following day would cover topics more likely to interest experienced growers. We have been in touch with Mark Chien and Tony Wolf about doing the “New Grape Growers Workshop”, and both have agreed. Tony is in New Zealand until April, so tentative dates suggested are mid-March or early April. On the second day, we would convene our grower Advisory Committee for a “reality check” and advice on any mid term corrections we might need to consider.

A New Website: New England Wine Grape Grower’s Resource Center
Using supplemental funding from the UMass Extension Information Technology Initiative, in 2005 Sonia Schloemann took the lead on developing a new website for the vineyard industry in New England. The site ran on a trial basis over the summer with good success and it has now been made available to all the vineyards and wineries in New England. The website is called the “New England Wine Grape Growers’ Resource Center” and is located at

The site features:
In Season Field Info
Scouting Reports
Weekly Weather Summaries
Vineyard Management
Vineyard Scouting
Cultural Practices
Pest & Disease Management
Industry Resources
Articles &Publications
New England Vineyard Web Sites
Pest Management Supplies
Equipment Sources
Information Sources
Upcoming Events Calendar
Photo Gallery
Links to all viticulture related websites in each of the New England States are also included. Many parts of the site are still under construction but there already is quite a bit of content information on the site, with much more to come.
The purpose of the website is to provide a way for growers to access information and to communicate with each other. The communication feature is something we are still working on. It can be used in whatever way is most useful for growers, but the possibilities include buying/selling grapes or equipment, bulk purchasing of supplies, asking growers about variety performance, etc.
Another goal is to increase awareness of those who visit this site of all the vineyards and wineries in New England. If you go to the Industry Resources page, there is an opportunity to click on a list of New England Vineyard Web Sites. There are 56 websites listed there and a counter to keep track of how many hits each site gets. The New England Wine Grape Growers’ Resource Center is meant to be an asset for the industry in all of New England. We have asked for growers to help us grow the site, and to add features and information by providing feedback.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes


As noted above, over 200 growers attended summer and winter meetings this past year, well over the number proposed under Performance Targets (60). The organizational development survey resulted in a substantial number of volunteers (17) who said they would be willing to serve as an officer of a regional wine grape association, indicative of a substantial amount of support for such a group among stakeholders.
Participant evaluations of the twilight meetings were distributed to all attendees. Overall ratings of meeting usefulness were uniformly positive: no respondents said they were “not useful”, 88%, 78% and 92% rated the 3 sessions as “very useful”, and 12%, 22% and 8% rated them “somewhat useful”. The initial evaluation form was modified after the first meeting to ask “Did you learn one or more new practices that you will implement at your farm/vineyard”. IN response, 86% and 91% of respondents answered “Yes” regarding the June and August meetings respectively. Practices that may be adopted reflected training received, and included: Use of foliar nutrient sprays, importance of petiole analysis, improving fungicide rotation to prevent resistance development, and use of air induction nozzles. Based on this, we are encouraged at the prospects for short term outcomes involving changes in target population knowledge and skills.
Presence of field scouts in commercial vineyards enabled us to detect an outbreak of an unusual pre harvest disease, ripe rot of grape. Based on this, our team organized a speaker on very short notice for the Wine grape Session at the New England Vegetable and Fruit Meetings (Dec. 13-15, 2005, Manchester, NH). That session was attended by over 50 growers.
An additional performance target focused on training college level individuals in grape production and scouting is underway. To date, we have improved our own capacity through in-service trainings (Sandler, Coli), and we have trained one college student (Michael Walsh) over 2 summers. Mike’s knowledge has increase substantially since he was first hired, and he is a diligent and hard working individual. Plans for 2006 call for hiring 1-2 other people to reduce the work day length for Mike and other members of the team.
SARE funding fro this project also enabled us to compete successfully for a three-year internal grant through the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station. This grant ($50,000 per year) has enabled our team to plant a small vineyard (600+ vines) at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard Research and Extension center in Belchertown, MA. Part of this activity involves working with NRCS and others to develop a site suitability guide for persons considering planting grapes. Even with the model as a guide, some knowledgeable individual should typically visit any place that is seriously under consideration, and look around, since there are a few things that will kill grapes no matter how optimistic the grower. Soils are a good case in point. Since it appears that soils are less important for grapes than originally assumed we have modified our approach away from designating “acceptable” soils to identify any that are “not acceptable”. We hope to be able to make a few simple rules, such as “no pan in the first 3 ft of soil” or “never flooded”. Of course temperature is a very important issue, but there are different aspects of temperature. Minimum temperature is particularly critical. Development of this site model is ongoing.
A further positive impact of the project is the amount of wine grape-related networking currently underway among Extension and Experiment station staff in Mass, Connecticut (Lorraine Los and Dr. Ana Lagrand) and Rhode Island (Heather Faubert) in particular, but also to some extent including Vermont (Dr. Lorraine Berkett). Dr. Bill Nail of the Connecticut Ag. Experiment Station has been closely involved with our project, including serving as a speaker on several occasions. Dr. Richard Coles (CAES) and Dr. Richard Kiyomoto (CAES, Retired) are also active collaborators.
Dr. Coles, a white grub expert, will assist us in 2006 to describe the white grub complex infesting vineyards in Southern New England. Growers consider Japanese Beetle to be one of the top 5 most serious arthropod pests of wine grapes.
Dr. Kiyomoto, although retired from the CAES, continues to assess disease pressure in a small number of Connecticut vineyards. He made site visits with our team this summer to help enhance our ability to recognize important diseases, and to assess their significance at various times during the season. We are planning to visit Dr. Kiyomoto this spring for a “wet lab” training session on disease identification in both the field and lab.


Tim Barry

Jonathan Edwards Winery
Gary Crump

Priam Vineyards
Colchester, CT
William Nail

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Frank Caruso

University of Massachusetts
Richard Carmichael

Greenvale Vineyard
Richard Burris

Sharpe Hill Vineyards
Rob Russell

Westport Rivers Winery and Vineyard
Daniel Cooley

University of Massachusetts
Justine VandenHeuval

University of Massachusetts
Arthur Tuttle

University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Sonia Schloemann

[email protected]
M.S., Extension Small Fruit Educator
University of Massachusetts Extension
West Experiment Station
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Office Phone: 4135454347
Hilary Sandler

[email protected]
Ph.D, Extension Educator
University of Massachusetts Extension
Souteastern Regional Extension Center
Glen Charlie Rd.
E. Wareham, MA 02538-0569
Office Phone: 508295221221
Sue Guiducci

Massachusetts grape grower
Paul and John Nunes

Rhode Island grape growers
Mike McAndrew

Stonington Vineyards
Richard Kyomoto

University of Connecticut, Storrs
Kip Kumler

Turtle Creek Winery
Joetta Kirk

Rhode Island Grape grower