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Missouri Wine News

   

March 19th, 2007


Missouri Vineyards Weather Winter’s Worst Ice storms, snowstorms and sub zero temperatures have uprooted trees, snapped branches and frozen the ground throughout Missouri this winter. Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts, Missouri’s vineyards have weathered the winter freeze well. The extreme cold weather has come during the dormant sea- son in the vineyard when the grapevines basically shut down. The vines emerge from dormancy when the weather warms significantly. “There could be trouble if we experience a week or two of warm temperatures and then move quickly back into a freeze situation,” explained Katie Nott of Peaceful Bend Vineyard in Steelville. “The vines could be in danger of bud and or trunk damage.” The best way to prepare for winter in the vineyard is to take good care of the vines before the frosty weather arrives. “Providing proper water and disease control after harvest will allow the vine to hold onto its leaves as long as possible. The longer the vine has leaves the more time it will have to grow its root system and store the carbohy- drates it will need in the upcoming spring,” said Nott. Ice in the vineyard may not bother the vines too much, but it can mean trouble for the trellis system. If ice becomes too heavy the trellis posts and wires will break. “Fortunately vines are flexible,” commented Cara Stauffer of Native Stone Winery in Jefferson City. “They bend with the weight of the ice, where the trellis does not. Our vineyards and trellis systems have handled the ice very well this year,” said Stauffer, “Although, I am really looking forward to spring.” Did You Know…? Norton is the most widely planted grape in Missouri with just over 200 acres which count for about 20% of the total bearing acres of vineyards in the state. Chardonel is the second most popular variety planted followed by Vignoles. Missouri Shines in the Sunshine State Two Missouri wines vied for Best of Show honors at the recent Florida State Fair Wine Competition in Tampa. Montelle Winery’s River Country Red and Stone Hill Winery’s 2005 Steinburg White earned spots in the sweepstakes round of the competition with Double Gold awards. To be considered for the competition’s top honor wines must receive a double gold medal – a thumbs up from every judge on a panel. Joining these two wines in the winners circle were 36 other medalists from the Show Me State with 6 gold, 11 silver and 21 bronze. Gold medals went to St. James Winery Country Red, Country White and 2005 Vintner’s Select Vignoles as well as Stone Hill Winery 2004 Norton. Silver nods went to Augusta Winery River Valley White, Montelle Winery River Country White, St. James Velvet White, 2005 Seyval, Friendship School White, Friendship School Red, Velvet Red, 2005 Vintner’s Select Seyval and Stone Hill Winery 2005 Vignoles, 2005 Steinburg Red and Pink Catawba. Twenty-four judges blind tasted over 1500 wines from across the US and ten foreign countries at the competition this year. Days of Wine Are Rosy United States wine, grape and grape products have muscle, big economic muscle. According to a recently issued study, the full economic impact of these industries on the American economy is more than $162 billion annually. That is a considerable chunk of change. The report, prepared for industry groups and vintners organizations including the state of Missouri, found that wineries now operate in every state and that wine, grapes and grape products like juice create the equivalent of 1.1 million full time jobs with a $3 billion payroll. There are 4,929 wineries across the country, 63 of them in Missouri, and those wineries nationwide produced $11.4 billion in sales in 2005. The study found that wine tourism has boomed across the country. It estimates the total number of wine related visits at 27.3 million which produces $3 billion in economic impact nationally. Nonalcoholic grape products are also major contributors to the national economy. Table grape sales totaled $3 billion, grape juice $1.7 billion and raisins $560 million. Grapes are the sixth largest crop in the United States in dollar terms following corn, soybeans, hay wheat and cotton. The wine industry’s explosive growth nationwide, extraordinary value-added benefits and presence in all 50 states offers great potential for working with state and federal officials to enhance industry growth through research and promotion. The comprehensive study, titled “The Impact of Wine, Grapes, and Grape Products on the American Economy:Family Businesses Building Value” was conducted by MKF Research of Napa Valley. Wine Consumption Up in America Look out France, America is on the rise. Decanter Magazine reports that Americans will replace the French as the world's biggest wine drinkers within three years, according to new research. The report from the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) claims that French wine consumption dropped 2% between 2004 and 2005 while American wine consumption rose 3%. If this trend con- tinues the US will knock France out of the top spot by 2010. According to the latest trend survey by the Wine Market Council, Americans drank a record 243 million cases of wine in 2004 and average per capita consumption hit a record 2.77 gallons. The heightened recognition of the health benefits of drinking wine is cited as the primary causes of the increase. Heard it through the Grapevine... Norton Wows California Missouri wines were featured at the regional wine tasting at the Unified Symposium in California in mid January. Conference goers took advantage of the opportunity to taste several of Missouri’s finest Norton and Vignoles at the tasting. “We wanted to offer something unique to the California tasting crowd,” said Danene Beedle, Marketing Specialist for the Missouri Wine & Grape Board. “People were excited about trying varietals they had heard so much about, especially Norton.” Norton from Stone Hill, Crown Valley, Adam Puchta, Sugar Creek, Native Stone and Augusta wineries were sampled at the event. Vignoles from Montelle, Crown Valley, Stone Hill and Adam Puchta were also poured. Good Fortune The health benefits associated with drinking wine, red wine in particular, are becoming widely known. Even the national media (Fortune Magazine’s February cover story) is trumpeting what researchers have been aware of for a while – that if you drink wine (in moderation of course), you’ll live longer. The article in Fortune touts the health benefits of resvera- trol, the naturally occurring substance in wine, and efforts to encapsulate it in pill form. Wouldn’t it be easier just to drink wine? Grape & Wine Conference A Success The 22nd annual Midwest Grape and Wine Conference successfully entertained and educated the 500 people that attended lectures, visited the trade show and enjoyed the excellent wines and food of the Grand Banquet. Attendance at this year’s conference far exceeded the previous year, with conference attendees hailing from 21 states and the District of Columbia. The 2007 meeting, held in early February, marked the first year the Missouri Vintner's Association and the Missouri Grape Growers Association partnered to present the three day conference. “We had an outstanding event,” said Tim Puchta, President of the Missouri Vintner’s Association, “We are especially pleased with the turnout.” Missouri Grape Growers President Bryan Siddle agreed, “We are looking forward to next year’s conference.” One conference highlight was the first annual Missouri Grape Growers Association silent auction and reception. Over 250 people enjoyed award winning Missouri wines while socializing and bidding on a number of silent auction items. Proceeds from the event exceeded $5000 and will go toward MGGA programs. Missouri wines were paired with local foods at the signature finale event of the conference, the Grand Banquet. Diners enjoyed a six course meal which included a pear compote and maple bacon tea sandwich complimented by Ste. Genevieve Winery Pear wine, sautéed garlic shrimp served with Crown Valley Traminette, grilled fruit tatin accompanied by Stone Hill Winery Vignoles, roasted boar short ribs with Cynthiana from Sugar Creek Winery and a chocolate truffle taco paired with Adam Puchta Winery 150th Anniversary port. The 2008 Midwest Grape & Wine Conference is scheduled for February 2 –4. Missouri A Wine Tourism Leader Wine tourism is one of the newest consumer trends to develop over the last few years and Missouri is one of the industry leaders according to a recent survey by the Travel Industry Association. California tops the wine tourism destination list with 31% of visits. New York is second with 10%. Missouri placed a very strong third in the survey at 5% tying with Oregon, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. “Wine travelers” spend an average of $973 per trip with $219 of that going to wine specific activities like winery tours, sampling local wines, visiting wine trails and attending wine festivals. The study also showed that many wine tourists are younger, more affluent and better educated than other tourists and are looking for unique experiences at the destinations they visit. Play Ball! The Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, is a good sport, a very good sport. She donned a Cardinals jersey to dine on Missouri beef and sip Missouri wines as payoff of her World Series bet with Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Granholm was treated to Tower Rock Winery Norton, Stone Hill Winery Blanc de Blancs and Augusta Winery Vignoles. Norton News Missouri Norton is featured in the March 2007 edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine as an American treasure. In an article titled “Appreciating a native wine grape” the history of Norton is highlighted as well as the reasons why it is such an exceptional grape. As Martha Stewart says, it’s a good thing.

 



 

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