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Preliminary Bud Survival Data: HRC

Originally posted February 23, 2016 by
Compound bud
Compound bud, showing the leaf scar from the previous season. The bud scales encapsulate the primary and secondary bud that already have the preformed shoots and floral organs that were developed in summer 2015. -Photo by John Thull

Alive 1 and 2 buds

Compound bud has been cut open to reveal the two whorls of primary and secondary buds. In this case both of the buds have survived. Notice green tissues. -Photo by John Thull
one good one bad
Damaged primary bud but surviving secondary buds. Notice no green tissue remains that would become the shoot in 2016. -Photo by John Thull

damaged buds

Damaged primary and secondary buds. Notice no green tissue remains that would become the shoot in 2016. -Photo by John Thull

On 2/19/2016, buds were chopped for winter survival measurements on 7 sentinel varieties at the University of Minnesota research vineyards at the Horticultural Research Center.  The data represented here are just an example using a small sample number of canes, buds, and cultivars.  Only 4 canes, 8 buds each were evaluated (32 total buds).  We urge you to begin sampling your own vineyards as there is some evidence of damage. At this point, no changes would be needed to pruning based on these results at this location.  More complete data will be presented in coming weeks.

Cultivar    Primary Bud Survival

Brianna 94%

Frontenac 84%

Frontenac gris 97%

Frontenac blanc 84%

La Crescent 91%

Marquette 88%

St. Croix 91%

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 11:30am

Inter-generic Grafting

Some Early images from a grafting ‘experiment’ with Ampelopsis as the scion wood (top part as a cultivar), and a hybrid rootstock from the UMN breeding program.

Starting to see callus formation at the graft union. We use the Ryset grafting tool which just like cutting puzzle pieces.

The graft is held together with pressure from a coated wire tie, and then held in moist perlite for about 2 weeks.

We are starting to see bud break and characteristic etiolation of the new shoots as they have not been exposed to sunlight.

On the bottom we see callus where roots will soon start to form. The next step for us is to dip the top of the plants in melted wax (covering the bud and graft union) to prevent excessive evaporation, and to stick them in a potting media for rooting in the greenhouse. We will also likely remove the wire ties to prevent girdling as the stems begin to grow radially.


We are feeling pretty optimistic, but only time will tell if these grafts are compatible.

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 11:30am

7th Annual Savor Minnesota

Savor Minnesota is a rare opportunity to taste everything Minnesota wineries have to offer, as well as samples from dozens of craft breweries and food producers, all in a single afternoon. The sixth-annual Savor Minnesota is Saturday, April 16, 2016, at Canterbury Park in Shakopee.  Explore the wines produced in Minnesota in this event sponsored by the Minnesota Farm Winery Association.

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 9:00am

blog testing!

fake content

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 6:45pm

Itasca--Minnesota's Newest Wine Grape

Itasca cluster

Developed at the University of Minnesota, ‘Itasca’ is the newest wine grape that will be available to growers in 2017.  Offering disease resistance, winter hardiness, and improved wine chemistry such as lower acid than other hybrids, ‘Itasca’ will create new opportunities for grape growers and wine makers in Minnesota and across cold-climate wine growing regions. Read more about it here.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 6:30pm


Registration is now open for the 9th Annual International Cold Climate Wine competition. Click on the logo to learn more.


Winter is Minnesota can be one of the most challenging times for the grape plants.  It's the main reason V. vinifera varieties aren't grown here.  Learn a little bit about whats going on in the vineyard in winter.

Wine making is a rewarding career, but is not free from headaches. A wine maker's nightmare is the re-fermentation of sweet wines and the instability of some wines. This blog entry addresses the topic and offers some strategies to avoid and mitigate a potential devastating re-ferment.


Are you curious if your wine is finished with malolactic fermenation? Here is a quick reminder on how to test with paper chromatography





ALERT: September 27, 2016. Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) in Grapes: A short memorandom on SWD in Minnesota and associated volatile acidity. Read more here

Fall vineyard managment should focus on managing insects, vertebrate pests, rots, and diseases that will impact the vines in the next growing season.  Making quality wines requires disease intervention and sorting, as infected fruit will impact wine quality. Read more here.


International Cold Climate Wine Competition 2016 Results here!

Northern Grapes Project Webinar Registration

“From Vine to Glass: Understanding the Flavors and Aromas of Cold-Hardy Grapes and Wine”
Tuesday, May 17th*, 2016
12:00 Noon Eastern (11:00 am Central)
7:00 pm Eastern (6:00 pm Central)
*Please note this is a date change from the original date of May 10th.

Join Anne Fennell of South Dakota State University, Adrian Hegeman of the University of Minnesota and Somchai Rice of Iowa State University as they discuss their research conducted on Marquette and Frontenac as part of the Northern Grapes Project. 

Mock Winery Inspection

Friday April 29, 2016


Savor Minnesota

This Saturday April 16, 2016


Itasca Grape Vine Named

The University of Minnesota releases its news wine varieity 'Itasca' on April 4, 2016


Intergeneric Grafting

Experimenting with different grafting techniques including grafting Ampelopsis with a hybrid rootstock.

Preliminary Bud Survival Data

Early bud chop counts on cold-hardy cultivars at the HRC


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