A two-day, hands-on grape vineyard planting and informational workshop offered by University of Wyoming Extension is scheduled Friday-Saturday, April 29-30, in Casper.
The Grape Vineyard Planting and Maintenance Workshop — featuring experienced grape growing researchers and specialists – is from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 29, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 30 in the UW Ag Resource and Learning Center, located at 2011 Fairgrounds Road.
Workshops are open to the public at $20 per day or $35 for both sessions; lunches are included with the registration fee.
The workshop is for all Wyoming residents interested in growing grapes; for people currently growing grapes or would like to grow grapes; for the hobbyist/enthusiast; or for the commercial production of grapes, says Jeremiah Vardiman, northwest area UW Extension agriculture and horticulturalist educator in Park County. He has been involved with UW’s research on grapes the past nine years.
“We are excited to continue providing information and resources on how to grow grapes in Wyoming,” Vardiman says. “This workshop is designed to get grape growers and enthusiasts connected directly to viticulturists and professionals who can help them accomplish their goals.”
Topics to be discussed on the first day include canopy management; irrigation; Wyoming climate and soils; grape vineyard pests; and layout and site selection. A visit to an actual vineyard also is scheduled.
The second day is devoted to hands-on experience at a local vineyard. Topics to be discussed are existing trellis rehab and maintenance; planting new vines on an existing trellis; overgrown vine rehabilitation; and vineyard training and pruning.
“We want grape enthusiast to get some hands-on experience in a vineyard space to know how to handle the trellis setup, vine planting and pruning as well as scouting for insect pests and potential diseases,” says Donna Hoffman, UW assistant Extension educator for horticulture in Natrona County.
Besides Vardiman, Scott Schell, a UW Extension entomology specialist, will be a presenter, along with Horst Caspari, a Colorado State University viticulturist and professor.
The Cheyenne, Torrington and Huntley communities in southeast Wyoming have vineyards. Grapes are grown in Casper, Riverton and Lander in central Wyoming, as well as in Sheridan and surrounding communities. Powell and Worland in the northern part of the state also have climates conducive for growing grapes.
“We would love to see grape growing increase and have more Wyoming grape production in the state,” Hoffman says. “We also want to encourage the grower who may even just want to try one vine to join us for this hands-on workshop.”
For more information or to register for the vineyard planting and maintenance workshop, visit https://bit.ly/wyo-grapes-2022.