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Wine Commission uses humor to educate

"The Recommendeuer" iPad app provides in-depth information about Washington wines.

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Marketing matters

Economic studies have shown that successful wineries tend to be either very small or very large. - See more at: http://www.goodfruit.com/?p=14109&preview=true&preview_id=14109&preview_nonce=6900d7fccc#sthash.TpjmhqSe.dpuf

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B.C. growers should focus on clones

Grape gowers need to find out which clones will work best in British Columbia.

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See grape harvest Down Under

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Washington State University’s Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling is leading a harvest-time vineyard and winery tour to Australia from March 30 to April 14, 2014. Registration is open for the tour that will visit more than 20

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New wine center ­fulfills vision

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The recent groundbreaking of Washington State University’s Wine Science Center is not just about the ceremonial start of construction on a new state-of-the-art facility. It’s about the future of Washington’s wine industry. The new wine

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Managing nutrients in NW vineyards

For years, vineyardists in the Pacific Northwest have followed California recommendations to sample leaf petioles at bloom to assess the nutrient status of vines.

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Tucker Cellars finds niche

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Third-generation wine grape grower Randy Tucker has made wine in Washington’s Yakima Valley for 30 years. Through the decades, he’s changed business plans at Tucker Cellars to fine-tune the winery’s market niche, but he’s now

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Winery showcases estate fruit

Kerry Shiels began as Côte Bonneville’s winemaker in 2009, after getting her master’s from the University of California, Davis, and working harvests for five different wineries in California, Australia, and Argentina.

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Kestrel Wines finds value in old vines

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An old Cabernet Sauvignon vine at Kestrel View Estates Vineyard near Prosser.
Photo courtesy of Wine Yakima Valley

Vines planted 30 to 40 years ago are hard to find in Washington State, a relative newcomer to the

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A sense of place

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Clay Mackey says their Cabernet Franc vineyard survived the cold temperatures in late spring.
by Melissa Hansen

Clay Mackey and Kay Simon, the married partners of Chinook Wines, decided from the start that Yakima Valley would define

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Trellis enhances grape quality

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Wine grape pioneer Dick Boushey continues to fine-tune his viticultural practices to improve grape quality. One example is his experimentation with a different trellis design for his red wine grapes.
He’s converted several rows of Syrah

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Wine industry matures

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Like many Yakima Valley wine grape growers, Dick Boushey was an apple grower first. His last apple block has been replanted to wine grapes, but he still has a Rainier cherry block.
by Melissa Hansen

A good

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Table grapes part of Arkansas breeding program

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This is Joy, in a photo from Idaho, where fruit breeder Esmaeil Fallahi included John Clark’s table grapes in his trial plantings.
courtesy of John Clark, University of Arkansas

Much of John Clark’s success as a plant

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AVAs get smaller

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In wine marketing, an appellation or American ­Viticultural Area (AVA) is a way to differentiate your wine from others and define its sense of place. Washington State has 13 designated AVAs, and more are likely

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FruiTrivia: Test your knowledge of fruit varieties

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1  Which of the following cherries is not an offspring of Van?
a.   Lapins
b.   Stella
c.   Summit
d.   Sweetheart
e.   Rainier

2  The Honeycrisp apple was bred in?
a.  1961
b.  1971
c.   1981
d.   1991

3  Which cherry variety is the father of Bing?
a.   Black Republican
b.

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Spotlight on Yakima Valley

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Wade Wolfe in the tasting room of his Thurston Wolfe Winery in Prosser, Washington.
Melissa Hansen

The thirtieth anniversary of Yakima Valley as an American Viticultural Area is an opportunity to inform consumers and trade groups  about

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Yakima Valley opened the AVA door

The idea to designate Yakima Valley as Washington State’s first American Viticultural Area came to Mike Wallace while he was visiting California’s wine country in the early 1980s, when northern California growers and vintners were carving out appellations and subappellations.

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Yakima Valley is the industry’s backbone

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Two Blondes Vineyard near Zillah was planted in 2000 by Andrew Will and Chris Camarda.
PHOTO CPHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON WINE COMMISSION

Andy Perdue has thought a lot about why the wine spotlight seems to shine brighter

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Yakima Valley AVA turns 30

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PHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON WINE COMMISSION

The Yakima Valley American Viticultural Area, established by the federal government on March 23, 1983, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In this issue, Good Fruit Grower begins an in-depth look

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White varieties need more water

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What works well on red wine grape varieties might be too much of a good thing for whites.

Grape growers in Washington State have learned how to manage deficit irrigation on red varieties to produce high

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Nothing easy about organic weed control

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Research in a newly planted organic vineyard showed just how difficult and labor-intensive weed control is under organic conditions. Not only can weeds and cover crops compete with young vines and reduce growth, but also

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Evaluating grape sites

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Michelle Moyer demonstrates how WSU’s vineyard site evaluation computer model works.
PHOTO BY MELISSA HANSEN

Dr. Michelle Moyer, Washington State University’s statewide viticulture extension specialist, regularly receives calls from growers asking advice about planting wine grapes in

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The root of the matter

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This excavated root system is from a 40-year-old Concord own-rooted vine.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALAN LAKSO

Grapes, with their flowing vines and lack of inherent structure, are free spirits compared with tree fruits, which have a fairly

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Cornell releases wine grape varieties

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Cornell University has released two new wine grape varieties—a cold-hardy aromatic white variety and a red variety that is highly resistant to fungal diseases.
The two releases offer new characteristics not previously available to growers and

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New grape disease reduces yields, quality

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Left: A Merlot grapevine shows redleaf symptoms on mature leaves in the lower portions of the canopy. Symptoms are easily confused with grapevine leafroll disease. Right: Cabernet Franc clusters from a single vine show infection

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Grape harvesters are going high-tech

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Mechanical harvesters have picked Washington State’s juice grapes and many of the state’s wine grapes for decades, though high-end wine grapes are still mostly hand-picked. But new harvesters could change that.

New harvesting technology makes grape

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Most vineyard tasks mechanized

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This trunk scrubber of the vMech system is used by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates to control suckers. The device looks similar to a weed whacker with multiple strings.
PHOTOS COURTSY OF STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES

Technology has

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Mechanizing vineyard saves hundreds per acre

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At year’s end, when costs of all the grapevine tasks are added up, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’s Mike Means calculates that the company saves more than $750 per acre in labor costs by using machines

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Developing a disease management program

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Washington State University viticulture extension specialist Dr. Michelle Moyer suggests growers consider the following when developing a ­disease management program:

•    Reproductive rate of the pathogen. How fast can the disease reproduce in your vineyard? Is

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Water inside grapes

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The Syrah cluster on the right was treated with the antitranspirant Vapor Gard; nontreated cluster is on the left. The treated cluster showed slower coloration, a sign of delayed ripening.
PHOTO BY YUN ZHANG

A Washington State

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Preventing mildew

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Guide for grape pest management available
Washington State University’s 2013 Grape Pest Management Guide includes recommendations for controlling insects, weeds, diseases, and other pests. The guide also includes results of 2012 fungicide efficacy trials, a table

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Topping shoots

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Retired veterinarian and horticulturist Dr. Tom Miller says topping shoots when they reach the trellis midwire will help avoid early bunch stem necrosis in vines that have been enveloped in plastic.
he Sequim, Washington, vineyardist recommends

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Enveloping vines in warmth

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Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is on the edge of being able to successfully ripen many traditional wine grape varieties. And when you combine a marginal heat unit region with unusually cool springs and summers, like the

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Identifying grape shrivels

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In the past, grape growers have mistaken any shrivel in their fruit for grape berry shrivel, also known as sour shrivel, says Washington State University’s Dr. Bhaskar Bondada. In a panic, some were needlessly thinning

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Irrigate early if winter is dry

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Bleeding (inset photo) caused by root pressure is associated with bud swell and bud break. Bleeding sap is collected from a potted Merlot grapevine in a Washington State University study looking at the consequences of

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WSU Grape irrigation bulletin

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Washington State University Extension has released a new irrigation manual for vineyards, clarifying irrigation options and strategies for juice and wine grape producers in Washington State.

“Irrigation Basics for Eastern Washington Vineyards” is the title of

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An expensive disorder

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Photos courtesy of Bhaskar Bondada

A shrivel is not just a shrivel.

Of the various types of shrivel impacting grape quality, sour shrivel is especially unwanted because it renders the fruit unsuitable for winemaking.

The disorder, found in

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Last Bite: Test your horticulture and viticulture savvy

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1. What is the leading grape variety by acreage grown in Washington State?
a. Riesling
b. Syrah
c. Chardonnay
d. Cabernet Sauvignon

2. What apple variety is headed to overtake Red Delicious by 2018?
a. Fuji
b. Honeycrisp
c. Gala
d. Granny Smith

3. How many American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are there in

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Good Point: New kid on the block

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Steve Warner

In the worldwide winemaking community, Washington State’s wine industry is the 187-year-old new kid on the block.

Although our state’s first wine grapes were planted in 1825, we’re still considered a teenager in the global

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New winery adds capacity

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Grapes are piped overhead from the crush pad on the right into the winery for processing. Notice the abundance of windows and full-length glass doors that take advantage of natural lighting.
Photos by by Melissa Hansen

The

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Wine industry in a growth spurt

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Washington’s wine industry is in another growth spurt, though it’s not as obvious as the big boom in the late 1990s to mid-2000s when acreage tripled, winery numbers quadrupled, and it seemed every Seattle wine

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Zirkle Fruit moves into wine

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The two 50-ton grape presses came from Italy and fit perfectly when put in place on the concrete pad.
Photo by Melissa Hansen

The idea for the new Zirkle Wine Company custom crush facility in Prosser, Washington,

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Bulk wine prices stay strong

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Washington wine producers can expect strong prices for red bulk wines for the next several years, Josh Maloney, winemaker with Wahluke Wine Company in Mattawa, Washington, said during a grower caucus last November. He attributes

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Auction benefits research

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Washington State’s wine industry will receive a big windfall this year when the Auction of Washington Wines contributes nearly $250,000 for grape and wine-related research and education.

The donation was given to Washington State University for

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Why it matters where you sell your grapes

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Colin Morrell

With 700 wineries in Washington State and numerous more in neighboring states, wine grape growers have plenty of options when considering where to sell their grapes.

The entry of E.J. Gallo Winery, the world’s largest

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Wine Wheel of Fortune

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California is facing an emerging wine shortage, according to Stephens Moody with Turrentine Brokerage in Novato, California.

Turrentine, which handles bulk wines, grapes, and bottled wines, has developed a model of the typical wine cycle, which

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Juice grape crop down in 2012

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Washington State produced an estimated 174,000 tons of juice grapes in 2012, down from its ten-year average of 193,000 tons, according to Trent Ball, director of the vineyard and winery technology ­program at Yakima Valley

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Where is the juice grape market headed?

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Greg MacGill

On the surface, Washington State’s juice grape industry looks the picture of good economic times—crop inventories are in balance with demand and cash prices are strong, setting a record in 2012. But growers aren’t

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New player enters Concord juice deal

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The last berries of a Concord grape delivery make their way from the receiving station to the de-stemmer.
Photo by Melissa Hansen

The Concord grape juice industry, though known for up and down swings in production, is

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Newest AVA

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Cameron Fries of White Heron Cellars was one of several who worked to create the new Ancient Lakes AVA.
Photo courtesy of White Heron Cellars

When the first wine grapes were planted in Washington State’s newest American

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