Apr 19, 2017Growers gather at Grape Expectations Symposium
The 33rd annual Grape Expectations Symposium was held on March 4. The event has been held at the Forsgate Country Club in Jamesburg, New Jersey for 20 years. The symposium addresses the challenges of growing grapes in the Mid-Atlantic region and is a daylong series of lectures in viticulture, enology and marketing. Lecturers include current Rutgers Extension faculty and outside professionals. Sessions are designed to present relevant information to both professionals and amateurs involved with any aspect of grape growing or the wine industry.
Denise Gardner, associate professor and enologist at Penn State University, kicked off the morning session with a discussion and demonstration of the faults that can occur during the wine making process and the methodology to avoid these faults.
The morning session concluded with presentations from three winemakers that had won the Best of Show awards in the 2016 NJ Wine Competition, chaired by Gary C. Pavlis, agricultural agent from Atlantic County. This long-standing tradition provides an opportunity for the winning winemakers to present their winning wines, discussing how the wines were made in an effort to pass their knowledge on to the members of the wine industry.
The afternoon consisted of two concurrent sessions. One addressed both disease and insects pests of wine grapes. Disease topics were presented by Wayne Wilcox, pathologist from Cornell University and Peter Oudemans, professor of plant pathology. Ann Nielsen, professor of entomology addressed the management of key grape pests in the vineyard.
The other session presented research findings from work conducted by Hemant Gohil, agricultural agent from Gloucester County, which identified grape varieties that survived the extreme winters of 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. These varieties and their growth characteristics were described in depth by Gohil as well as Dan Ward, Extension specialist in pomology.
The symposium concluded with a social in which many New Jersey wineries poured their latest vintages of wine for all to enjoy.
Grape Expectations is sponsored by the Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station, the New Jersey Center for Wine Research and Education, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, and the Garden State Winegrowers Association.