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USDA awards Virginia Tech $3.8 million to stimulate eastern US wine industry
Date:10/27/2010

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.


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Contact: Lori Greiner
lgreiner@vt.edu
540-231-5863
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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