Last week I was attended the American Society of Enology and Viticulture Eastern Section Meeting ( ASEV-ES) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The purpose of this organization is to provide forums for the presentation, discussion and publication of such research and technology developments for the advancement of wines, and the solution of problems of specific interest to the enology and viticulture of grapes grown in the Eastern United States and Canada. The geographical area encompassed by the Section includes all U.S. states and Canadian provinces with territory east of the Continental Divide. The membership of the Section may include all members and individual affiliates of the Society residing in or engaged in enological or viticultural work in the area covered by the Section.
Now while I took the last three sentences directly from their website it covers precisely its purpose. To simplify even more, it’s purpose is to share information with each other so that us growers in the Eastern Section ( most everything East of California) can work together to grow our industries in our respective states. Each year the conference is held in a different state. This year I learned about how Minnesota deals with frigid winter temperatures of -30 degrees, and the cold tolerant varieties of grapes they grow. We got to visit the University of Minnesota’s horticulture farm where they are conducting breeding trials that will hopefully discover the next perfect grape for the North. Next year’s conference will be in Austin Texas in June. I’m very excited about this trip, because Texas Extension and Research is doing great things for the industry, and many of their work is applicable to what we are doing here in Georgia.
Last year I was fortunate to be elected on the board as a director. In this two-year term I aim to get our online presence and membership up. In order to accomplish this, I have proposed to the board to begin having monthly meetings online and have each state’s Extension department share an update on what’s going on in their state as well as updates on research that would be relevant to all.
So why should you care? I think Georgia producers and winemakers can learn a lot from the membership in this organization. The information shared at these conferences in invaluable, and let’s face it, our industry is extremely young, and none of us are experts….. yet. Examples of things you can learn:
- Various wine making strategies to deal with high and low acids and tannins
- Fermentation techniques
- Sparkling wine information
- Varieties of grapes being grown regionally
- Canopy management and trellising ideas
While these are just a few of the many topics of interest I encourage you to check out both our website and facebook pages so that you can be in on the discussion.
If you have further questions about ASEV-ES, please feel free to email me at