EVERETT – As more consumers support locally grown foods, WSU offers a workshop for those looking to establish new vineyards in the Puget Sound region.
Local Vines for Local Wines: Viticulture 101 for Western Washington will be 10 a.m.-2p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at The Vineyard at Lee Farms in Silvana, Wash.
The workshop will cover the practical aspects of vineyard development as well as provide an overview of grapevine growth and annual practices. Topics will include grape variety and rootstock selection, types of planting stock, soil testing, canopy management, trellis and irrigation decisions, growing and harvest information, and an informal look at the production steps from just-picked-fruit to finished bottle.
Instructor Gary Moulton started with the Small Fruit Horticulture Department at the WSU Research Station in Mount Vernon in 1980. In 1991, he took over management of the program and currently consults for the Western Washington fruit industry.
Cost for the workshop is $65 per person and includes a catered box lunch. Online registration is available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/125279. The form can also be downloaded at www.snohomish.wsu.edu/ag/workshops/Viticulture2010.pdf and mailed with a check.
The Puget Sound region was first recognized as a unique American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1995. Applying the Puget Sound AVA to a bottle of wine means at least 85 percent of the grapes used were grown in the Puget Sound region between Olympia and the Canadian border.
As one of only 11 Washington AVAs (California has over 100), wines grown and bottled in the Puget Sound AVA have been winning national and regional awards for a number of years. According to the Puget Sound Wine Growers Association, “The cool, maritime influence of Puget Sound, with the long sunlight hours of its northerly location are ideal for growing delicate and aromatic Vinifera grape varieties.”
Established in 2004, the Vineyard at Lee Farms has tended plantings of Siegerrebe, Pinot 777, Pinot Precoce, Ortega, and Agria grape varieties. The vineyard’s small size provides complete control over every aspect of winemaking from soil to bottle, allowing the Lee family to create small batches of handcrafted wines with minimal infrastructure.