Grape Society’s Grower Social – Registration deadline pushed back to May 19

The first social is May 23 at Fenn Valley. Original deadline of May 17 changed to accommodate last-minute registrations.

Grape Society’s Grower Social – Registration deadline pushed back to May 19

Grape growers in southwest Michigan are meeting the challenges of cold-climate viticulture by constantly experimenting and implementing diverse and innovative ideas. They employ horticultural, mechanical, enological, chemical and social knowledge to produce grapes and wine of ever increasing quality. We want to facilitate the sharing of these ideas between growers as much as possible, and facilitate good communication between wineries and grape growers to continue improving wine quality.

Michigan Grape Society logo

To that end, the Michigan Grape Society, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, will be hosting a series of Monthly Grape Grower Social events at wineries and vineyards throughout the Lake Michigan Shore AVA (American Viticultural Area).

Expect to participate in grower-to-grower education, get helpful information from winemakers and shared input from industry partners. We encourage engaging and productive discussion to facilitate the continuing growth of our industry. Participants may get to see unique implements and tools they haven’t thought of using before, and some that may not exist anywhere else in the world because they’ve been invented in our region or modified beyond recognition. Of course, we will be drinking wine, making new friends and generally having a good time.

Grape growers, winemakers, vineyard workers, associated industry, academic partners, spouses, friends and invested members of the public are all welcome to attend! Interest is high and we expect a great turnout!

The kick-off for the 2017 season is being hosted by Fenn Valley Vineyards on May 23, 2017, at 3 p.m. Vineyard manager Todd Robbins will be demonstrating the use of some modified and custom made equipment. Owner Doug Welsch will be going over his work on harvest chemistry, with tasting of past vintages from their wine library to help demonstrate salient points. MSU Extension’s grape team will be giving a short update on pest pressure before the meal and social time.

CookoutFenn Valley has planned a picnic style meal to encourage lively networking to conclude the day. Each attendee will get to cook their own pre-selected meat or vegetable option on fully prepared, open-top grills. Side dishes are buffet style and self-serve.

Registration includes the program, cookout and one beverage of choice. Advanced registration is required in order to plan for food and space. The cost is $30 per person. Register and pay online at Monthly Grape Grower Social or RSVP to Berrien County MSU Extension at 269-927-5674 ext. 4011 and pay at the door. Deadline for registration is May 19.

Currently seeking more grower hosts!

2017 is filling up quickly, and we are working on the 2018 calendar soon. Hosts typically offer to open up their space for free, volunteer their time and some hospitality, and in exchange get to determine the program. MSU Extension will also be bringing in an expert or two for short talks or demonstrations at each of these events. If you are interested, we would love to answer your questions and discuss logistics.

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