Washington needs to own the Syrah variety

  • March 15th, 2011

The salvation to lagging wine sales of Syrah may be in Washington State owning the variety as it now does Riesling, says Bob Betz, who describes himself as an “unapologetic, unabashed ­supporter and lover of Syrah.”

Betz, of Betz Family Winery in Woodinville, first tasted Syrah in France’s Côte Rotie [...]

Be patient with Syrah

  • March 15th, 2011

The lack of consumer interest in Syrah wines is of keen interest to Washington’s wine industry. Some industry officials estimate there are 3,000 acres planted in the state, with many of the newer plantings just beginning to bear fruit. Syrah tonnage in 2010 was up 9 percent from 2009.

Syrah’s [...]

Where to find unusual apples

  • March 15th, 2011

The New York State Experiment Station in Geneva includes a USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit, with a germ plasm repository containing one of the world’s largest collections of apple (more than 3,000 accessions of Malus including more than 40 species collected from around the world) and cool-climate grape varieties [...]

  • Glory be

Glory be

  • February 15th, 2011

Gordon Goodwin’s cherry orchard at Stemilt Hill, near Wenatchee, Washington, is in one of Washington’s later cherry districts. So, as he’s updated his orchard over the past 30 years, he’s focused on varieties that he can harvest well after the midseason glut: Bing, Sonata, Selah, Lapins, and Attika.

About eight [...]

  • Last Bite — Discovering Gold

Last Bite — Discovering Gold

  • February 15th, 2011

Top: The russet-resistant Smoothee, discovered in 1958, is the widest planted strain of Golden Delicious in the United States. Photo courtesy of Willow Drive Nursery Bottom left: A promotion card that the Washington Apple Commission used in 1958–1959. Bottom Right: Goldspur, shown in the Van Well Nursery catalog of [...]

No apple releases imminent

  • February 15th, 2011

Washington State University’s apple breeder, Dr. Kate Evans, is not recommending that the university release another variety for at least a year or two.

The breeding program’s first variety, WA 2, was released in 2009, went into widescale evaluation a year ago, and can now be planted commercially. The second [...]

WA 2 traits, evaluation and commercialization

  • February 15th, 2011

The evaluation and commercialization process
Phase 1:     Initial seedling selection and evaluation by WSU
Phase 2:    Small-scale on-farm trials with five trees at about two sites
Phase 3:     Midscale on-farm trials with 10 to 100 trees at about four sites
Phase 4:     Widescale evaluation
Phase 5:    [...]

WA 2 ready for commercial plantings

  • February 15th, 2011

Washington growers can now obtain licenses to plant WA 2 on a commercial basis. WA 2 is the first apple variety from Washington State University’s breeding program.

The commercialization phase is the fifth phase in WSU’s variety evaluation and commercialization program. Only growers who have already signed up to take [...]

Marketers line up exclusive apples

  • February 1st, 2011

Aurora
Auvil Fruit Company
For a long time, Auvil Fruit Company had been on the lookout for a yellow, good-tasting dessert apple to add to its lineup of varieties, which includes Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Cripps Pink, but not a single Red or Golden Delicious apple.

Then along came Aurora, [...]

  • New varieties are slow to be planted

New varieties are slow to be planted

  • February 1st, 2011

Laimburg Research Center’s Daniele Bona, left, shows the differences between high and low elevation in their variety trials.

Golden Delicious is the major variety grown in the South Tyrol, but a slow shift to newer varieties and improved clones of traditional ones is taking hold. In the last four years, [...]

  • Last Bite–The Comeback Kid

Last Bite–The Comeback Kid

  • February 1st, 2011

A typical Riesling vineyard in Germany’s Mosel region. Some of the steepest vineyards in the world are found in Germany.

The white Riesling grape, a Vitis vinifera variety that has played a dominant role in the development of Washington State’s wine industry, typifies the rise and fall of wine varieties [...]

  • Tart cherry of French heritage

Tart cherry of French heritage

  • January 15th, 2011

Montmorency tart cherries are bright red with yellowish flesh and clear juice. They ripen just after the early sweet cherry varieties, or about mid-July in Traverse City, Michigan. Montmorency cherries are borne on trees that seem bush-like but are 15 to 20 feet tall.

Published January 15, 2011
For a [...]