April 27, 2009

Grape Growing, Winery Tour Set

Learn About the Viticulture Industry in May 8-9 Seminar

Churchill Vineyards near Fallon, Nevada
Churchill Vineyards near Fallon, Nevada

Nevada farmers continue efforts to expand the state's viticulture and wine industry with a workshop at Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute on Friday and Saturday, May 8-9. The two-day workshop includes classroom instruction at the Fallon campus, 160 Campus Way, and a site visit to Churchill Vineyards, a successful Nevada winery. Friday's classroom session is 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. On Saturday, participants will choose a morning or afternoon visit to the winery.
Cost is $60 for the two-day workshop, which includes lunch on Friday. Registrants receive a $10 discount if payment is made by May 5.

The classroom session includes instruction on establishing a vineyard; site, rootstock and varietal selection; canopy management; and pest management strategies. Viticulture experts and local growers will share their knowledge, including a panel discussion with Nevada farmers about their progress and challenges in growing grapes.

Saturday's tour of Churchill Vineyards and winery will demonstrate proper pruning and planting techniques in the vineyards, wine tasting, and discussion on the potential for Nevada's wine and grape-growing industries. Grapes are one of several specialty crops that conserve water and yield a high-value monetary return per acre.

Established in 2001, Churchill Vineyards is Churchill County's first vineyard, harvesting ten varieties of fine wine grapes. Located seven miles south of Fallon, it is Nevada's second licensed winery and first Estate Winery. It also has an experimental distilled spirits plant, distilling products grown on Nevada's high desert farms, including cantaloupe brandy, corn whiskey, and several flavors of vodka.

The Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute is an innovative education program for current and future small-scale farmers, as well as students and professionals. Participants learn alternative farming methods to transition from low-value crops to high-value, direct-marketed specialty crops that can increase profitability and conserve water. Workshops combine classroom and on-farm learning experiences. It is made possible with funding from the Nevada Department of Agriculture and USDA/AMS through the Specialty Crop Block Grant.

To register, contact Ginny Dugan, 775-423-7565, ext. 2230, or visit WNC's web site, www.wnc.edu/sci. For information regarding the Specialty Crop Institute and future workshops, contact Project Coordinator Ann Louhela at 775-351-2551.

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For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu


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