Be a Part of Ohio's Grape/Wine Industries. Learn How at Farm Science Review.

September 8, 2008

LONDON, Ohio -- Over 750,000 gallons of wine were produced from Ohio's 2,200 acres of vineyards last year, and with demand outstripping supply, interested producers can learn what it takes to establish their own vineyard at this year's Farm Science Review.

Maurus Brown, an Ohio State University Extension small fruit specialist with OSU South Centers at Piketon, will present "Your Future in the Grape and Wine Business" at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Small Farm Center located on Beef Street. Donnie Winchell with the Ohio Wine Producers Association and Christy Eckstein with the Ohio Grape Industries Program will also participate in the presentation by discussing marketing, tourism and the future of the Ohio wine industry.

Farm Science Review will take place Sept. 16-18 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

"We've seen about a 60 percent growth of wineries in Ohio over the past decade and demand and interest in consuming wine continues to increase," said Brown. "We want to educate producers on how to get started with their own vineyard, not only as a hobby, but also for industry."

Brown will present baseline information on the establishment and maintenance of French American hybrids and vinifera varieties, including vineyard site selection, soil testing and amendment, drainage, nutrient levels, equipment, insect and disease resistance, and maintaining grape quality. Part of the presentation will also include a production budget.

"People enjoy wine, but they also enjoy the idea of being able to make it on their own. There's something about taking a fruit product and converting it into a wine that people find challenging," said Brown. "But there's quite a bit of planning involved in grape production and we want to educate producers and hobbyists alike on what it takes to get started."

Brown and his colleagues are conducting wine grape cultivar trials at OSU South Centers to determine how well the cultivars perform under Ohio conditions and to help develop the wine industry in southern Ohio.

In addition to the presentation on grapes, Brown will also present sessions at Farm Science Review on blueberry and ribes production.

"Currants and Gooseberries: New Crops for Ohio" will be held at 9 a.m. on Sept. 18, and "Commercial Blueberry Production" will be held at 11 a.m. on Sept. 18.

Farm Science Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. It attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada, who come for three days to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and learn the latest in agricultural research, conservation, family and nutrition, and gardening and landscape.

Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or participating agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16-17 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 18.

For more information, log on to http://fsr.osu.edu.

Author(s): 
Candace Pollock
Source(s): 
Maurus Brown