By Tom Eggensberger
From pests to pruning and fertilizers to fermentation, there will be something for anyone interested in growing grapes and making wine at the second annual Montana Grape and Winery Association.
After their successful inaugural gathering in Kalispell last year, the group that includes about 80 wineries vineyards has a three day event set in Missoula at the Double Tree Inn this year.
Last year’s event featured the leader in cold climate grape breeding, Tom Plocher of Minnesota who explained how his research led to one of the most promising grape varieties for northern states like Montana.
This year, the agenda includes Dr. Harlene Hatterman-Valenti of North Dakota State University who will present on outwitting vineyard pests. Dr. Carl Rosen, a soil scientist with the University of Minnesota will present on the diagnosing and responding to vineyard soil nutrition.
For the winemakers, professional winemaker Ken Schultz will lead a seminar from harvesting grapes to crafting quality wines.
Dr. Pat McGlynn, the Flathead County Extension Agent and a leader in promoting the wine industry in Montana, will present the latest research on cold climate grape research.
The convention begins Thursday, June 16 with a trade show and Montana wine tasting event and concludes Saturday with a bus tour of vineyards in the Bitterroot Valley including the Hidden Legend Winery at Victor where award winning meads are crafted. A tour of the Ten Spoon Winery and Vineyard near Missoula is also scheduled.
For more information and to arrange attendance, contact the MGWA website, Events page.