Grapes on vine

UW Extension presents two-day Growing Grapes in Wyoming symposium

The Growing Grapes in Wyoming Symposium in Sheridan is the first event of a three-year effort to provide specialized education for cultivating grapes in Wyoming.

The event is Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20-21, at the University of Wyoming’s Sheridan Research and Extension Center, 1090 Dome Loop, near Sheridan College.

The symposium will focus on the management of grapes at the end of the growing season into harvest, shared Jeremiah Vardiman, University of Wyoming Extension educator.

“Through these educational events, the first goal is to capture and share knowledge gained from research conducted by the University of Wyoming research centers,” he said. “The second goal is to connect grape enthusiasts and growers with professional viticulturalists. The third goal is to increase grape yields in Wyoming and hopefully expand cultivation of grapes. And the last goal is to provide some knowledge and skills in post-harvest processing to support entrepreneurs.”

The symposium is open to everyone, including those who are not growing grapes yet, said Vardiman.

“Individuals who have a few grapes to a full-scale vineyard and the individuals who are interested in processing their own grapes will get the most out of this event,” he said.

Day one focuses on vineyard management and variety selection, and day two will focus on grape juice and jelly or winemaking, said Vardiman.

The first day will be split between outdoors in the vineyard and an indoor classroom setting. Vardiman asks those attending to please wear clothing and footwear appropriate for spending time and walking around the vineyard.

“Feel free to bring your own folding chairs/lawn chairs for the presentations in the vineyard,” he said.

For more information and to register, visit Tickets go on sale the morning of July 5 with a limit of 60 tickets. Tickets are $26 per day, and individuals get to select which sessions they attend on the second day. Registration provides refreshments and snacks throughout the day and a full lunch.

The agenda is:

August 20

8 a.m. – Sign-in for the event

9 a.m. – Revitalizing an Old Vine, Matt Clark, University of Minnesota

10 a.m. – Canopy Management and Berry Development, Clark

11 a.m. – Wyoming Soils, Vardiman

12 p.m. – Lunch

1:30 p.m. – Variety Selection and Grape Breeding Program, Clark

2:30 p.m. – Wyoming Climate, Vardiman

4 p.m.- Determining Peak Harvest, Clark

August 21

8 a.m. – Business Plans and Resources with the Wyoming Small Business Development Center

9 a.m. – Processing Systems and Research, with Manufacturing Works

9:30 a.m. – Legal Aspects of Labeling and Selling Products, with Consumer Health Services

10 a.m. – Breakout sessions: USDA Considerations for Retail Selling of Jelly and Juices, Gleyn Bledsoe from the University of Wyoming, or Vineyard Sampling for Quality and Maturity, with Drew Horton, University of Minnesota

11 a. m. – Breakout sessions: Making Grape Juice, Shelly Balls, UW Extension, or Introduction to Winemaking, Horton

1 p.m. – Lunch

1:30 p.m. – Breakout sessions: Making Grape Jelly, Balls, or Practical Barrel Use, Horton

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