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Grape and Wine Industry Winter Conference in PA will be March 1-2

By Alexandra McLaughlin


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Wine producers and other stakeholders in Pennsylvania’s grape and wine industry will gather at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College from March 1-2 for the annual Pennsylvania Grape and Wine Industry Conference, hosted by the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program and Penn State Extension.


Michela Centinari, associate professor of viticulture in Penn State’s Department of Plant Science; Cain Hickey, viticulture extension educator; and Molly Kelly, enology extension educator, helped organize the conference. Beth Williams, project and program coordinator with the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program, also assisted with conference preparation.


“The Penn State Extension grape and wine team is grateful for the collaboration with the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program Board in coordinating this event,” Hickey said. “We worked to develop a program that includes technical viticulture and enology expertise as presented by industry and academic experts from within and beyond the borders of Pennsylvania.”


The conference will feature:

  • Enology and viticulture research updates.

  • Grower panels on mechanized harvest and bird deterrence and control measures.

  • Winemaker panels on non-Saccharomyces yeast and niche cultivars with tastings.

  • Enology presentations on filtration and the use of non-Saccharomyces yeasts.

  • Integrated pest management and spotted lanternfly sessions.


“The Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program is proud to partner with Penn State Extension to offer this opportunity to the state’s wine industry,” said the program’s board chair, Mario Mazza. “This is an opportunity for growers, producers and winemakers to share best industry practices and gain insight from preeminent state and regional viticulture and enology experts about issues facing the industry.”


Hickey added: “We anticipate that the two-day event not only will provide education but serve as an important in-person networking opportunity for regional grape and wine industry stakeholders.”


A welcome reception will take place at Happy Valley Vineyard and Winery. Organizers ask that attendees bring their wines for sampling. The reception will allow showcasing of Pennsylvania wines.


Registration and conference details are available online. The registration deadline is Feb. 21.


Before the conference, attendees also can learn about herbicide drift by attending a workshop from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Ramada Inn, 1450 S. Atherton St., State College.


The Feb. 28 workshop, “Herbicide Drift Perspectives from the Vineyard,” is free to attend and will cover current research on herbicide damage in vineyards. Industry, academic and regulatory representatives with various areas of specialization will discuss herbicide use and choices. More information is available on the Penn State Extension website.


The Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program Board is an official Pennsylvania Agricultural Commodity Marketing Board. The vision of the Pennsylvania wine and grape industry is recognition as the premium East Coast wine appellation. The board works in support of this vision by promoting an increase in the quality, profitability and consumer awareness of Pennsylvania wines. In addition, the board aims to enhance this vision through high-quality and effective educational programs and research and marketing efforts.


Penn State Extension is a modern educational organization dedicated to delivering science-based information to people, businesses and communities.

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