Navigation Links
USDA awards Virginia Tech $3.8 million to stimulate eastern US wine industry

Blacksburg, Va. -- The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded $3.8 million to researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech to lead a multistate effort to further improve grape and wine quality in the eastern United States.

According to Tony Wolf, professor of viticulture and project director, the five-year project seeks to create, refine, and encourage industry adoption of grape and wine production practices that integrate research-based recommendations with key market drivers to achieve a robust and sustainable grape and wine industry in the region.

"In order to increase wine sales in the eastern United States, including Virginia, wine grapes and wines must be of consistently high quality, and they must be produced on a cost-competitive basis," said Wolf.

Virginia currently ranks fifth nationally in wine grape production, and its grape and wine industry has a total economic impact of more than $362 million per year. In addition to strengthening rural communities through employment and spin-off benefits to the service sector, the state's vineyards and 180 wineries attract tourism and help preserve green space.

Wolf, who is also the director of Virginia Tech's Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester, Va., explained that the underlying research addresses unique challenges of quality grape and wine production in the East, including unpredictable but often excessive rains during the growing season, frost and winter injury problems, unique grape varieties, and the high costs of grape production that result from the relatively small scale of most Eastern vineyards. The research also explores consumer buying preferences and perceptions about regional wines relative to other domestic and foreign brands.

Research conducted in Virginia will focus on what Wolf describes as vine "balance" achieving a desirable combination of leaf area and crop to promote optimal grape quality and wine quality potential. "Balance is an elusive goal in environments that have unpredictable, but often surplus moisture," explained Wolf. The research explores practical means by which growers could more predictably measure and attain balance, while reducing the amount of labor and other vineyard inputs.

Virginia Tech's Center for Geospatial Information Technology, under the direction of Peter Sforza, is also involved with the project. The center will expand and further refine a new Web-based, interactive geographic information system (GIS) platform that allows users to evaluate their property for vineyard suitability and match the property's location to appropriate grape varieties. "Not only will users be able to review the climatic and physical attributes or liabilities of their site, but we'll be able to offer recommendations on which grape varieties could be grown at the property, based on length of growing season, summer heat, and winter low-temperature considerations," said Wolf.

Other partners in the project include North Carolina State University, University of Maryland, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

In addition to coordinating a broad research agenda, the grant provides major funding of Extension and outreach tools to ensure that research-based recommendations are adopted by the wine industry. "One of the four objectives in our project is a detailed plan for benchmarking current industry practices and charting adoption and satisfaction of recommendations that are delivered over the life of this project," said Wolf. A broad range of media and teaching methods will be employed to reach producers, including Web-based and print media, eXtension Community of Practices, workshops, and regional short courses.


Contact: Lori Greiner
Virginia Tech

Related biology news :

1. NSF awards new projects for plant genome research
2. Landenberger Foundation awards grant to Scripps Florida scientist to study HIV
3. NSF awards $3.75 million grant to New York Plant Genome Consortium for the creation of BigPlant v1.0
4. NSF awards grants for research on coupled natural and human systems
5. NSF awards grants to study effects of ocean acidification
6. USDA awards grant to GSU professor to study childhood obesity dynamics
7. DFG awards 4 young scientists 2010 Bernd Rendel Prize
8. MARC travel awards announced for the ASBMR 2010 annual meeting
9. Knome Awards Human Exome Sequencing and Analysis to Biomedical Researchers
10. Autism Speaks awards second class of Dennis Weatherstone pre-doctoral fellowships
11. NIH awards Rutgers $47.5 million to advance groundbreaking research on protein structures
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
USDA awards Virginia Tech $3.8 million to stimulate eastern US wine industry
(Date:6/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , June 15, 2016 ... published a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market ... Trends and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the ... at USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is ... and reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... Management) von Nepal ... und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, ... führend in der Produktion und Implementierung von ... der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... June 1, 2016 Favorable Government ... Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System ... released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market ... Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics ... 2021, on account of growing security concerns across various ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis ... Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 ... single and multiple ascending dose studies designed to ... (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... (SC) either as a single dose (ranging from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the NASDAQ ... Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish at ... has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity Pharmaceuticals ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARLZ ... Learn more about these stocks by accessing their free trade ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division of ... and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing Technology ... among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and distribution, ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... partnership that will allow them to produce up ... (HiPSC) from one lot within one week. These ... their time laboriously preparing cells and spend more ... made possible through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process ...
Breaking Biology Technology: