Wine Research Funding Pt 1

Wine Research Funding Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. The Washington State Wine Commission has recommended viticulture and enology research for the 2018-19 through the statewide wine research grant program administered by Washington State University.

The Wine Commission's Melissa Hansen says for the second year, we're at or near funding records ...

HANSEN ... "We didn't top last years, but we did hit the million-dollar mark of wine and grape research. These are research grants. A majority come from Washington State University, but we've got a really diverse portfolio and when you reach the million-dollar mark you're able to just do a lot of things."

Hansen says it's exciting because the funding grown nearly 30 percent in the past five years which allows more, exciting projects ...

HANSEN ... "So, we have, I think, 17 different viticulture and enology projects that will start July one. That's the start of the fiscal year. And so, with this kind of power behind things you can really delve into vineyard health."

Hansen says the funding allows research into things like the leaf folder pest that's new to our region, but other projects too ...

HANSEN ... "And then we also have the funds to be able to pay attention on the winery side and make sure we're doing everything we can to improve wine quality and really produce those 90-score wines that Washington state has become so famous for."

Hansen says they've also got two projects that sound very exciting ...

HANSEN ... "That deal with a new, mechanical precise shoot center that we hope to develop. And, then, also a smart phone application that would help growers estimate how much crop they have."

Listen tomorrow for more on wine research funding.

BL: Welcome back to another "Fruit Bites" brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us again is Valent's Allison Walston. And this week Allison, the fungus is among us ... so what are mycorrhizae?

AW: Mycorrhizae are fungi that develop a synergistic partnership with the roots of many plants. The fungus enhances the plant's root system to become more efficient at uptake of nutrients and water.

BL: What kinds of plants have the best relationships?

AW: New plantings of apples. My apple trial work shows increased growth; trunks and terminal shoots. It is visually impressive. This year I'm evaluating overwinter hardiness and yield.

BL: How do plants produce more?

AW: Just by having healthier, non-stressed plants. The two main benefits of mycorrhizae are helping uptake of micronutrients, like Phosphorous, and producing glomalin which improves the water holding capacity of soil.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I'm Bob Larson.

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