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Viticulture research helps better serve Virginia's wine industry

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Category: research Video duration: Viticulture research helps better serve Virginia's wine industry
The Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center serves Virginia’s commercial fruit industries through research, educational programs, development of sustainable production systems and technologies, and increased public knowledge of horticultural opportunities and benefits.
Our interest in serving the wine grape industry of Virginia is to help solve problems that confront the industry through the research that we do and the development of extension media, answers that we can provide to the industry in a variety of different formats. One of the things that we are doing here with our current research is looking at new varieties that may be well adapted, or better adapted, to the state than some of the standard varieties that are being grown now. They, for the most part, have some genetics or characteristics of them that confer some disease resistant to our common diseases. The things like powdery mildew and downy mildew. So if you take a look at these clusters it looks very nasty. And then these white different kind of white, some of it's grayish thing, is actually a powdery mildew, pathogen growing on the berries. So what we would like to be able to do is have a variety that produces really nice wine quality. That's what we all want. But we don't want to have to spray as much fungicides on these newer varieties as we've been doing with older varieties like Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. We wanna test it here, if it does reasonably well here, we could perhaps encourage other growers elsewhere in the state to try planting some of the variety and testing it under their conditions as well.