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Wine grape growers meet Feb. 5-7

Dan Wheat
Environmental factors affecting wine grape quality will be addressed by the keynote speaker at the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers annual meeting in Kennewick, Feb. 5.

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Gene Lester, a USDA Ag Research Service national program leader from Beltsville, M.D., will keynote the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers 2014 annual conference with a talk on how environmental factors affect wine grape quality.

Lester speaks at 2:10 p.m. Feb. 5 in the first day of the three-day conference at Kennewick’s Three Rivers Convention Center.

David Forsyth, winemaker at Zirkle Wine Co., Prosser, will give an update on the Washington State University Wine Science Center being built in Richland.

Wade Wolfe, owner and winemaker of Thurston Wolfe Winery, Prosser, will give his year in review of the 2013 crop and Lacey Lybeck, viticulturist at Milbrandt Vineyards, Mattawa, will talk about how the WSU AgWeatherNet can be a powerful vineyard management tool.

Derek Sandison, director of the Office of the Columbia River of the state Department of Ecology, will speak on the limiting effects of water on industry expansion.

A Feb. 6 session on viticulture features Italian viticulturist Stefano Poni on pruning and canopy management. Successful fermentation will be discussed in a Feb. 7 session.

The conference is the second largest wine grape grower meeting in the nation with 16 educational sessions and a trade show of 180 booths in the Toyota Center near the convention center. For more information: www.wawgg.org.



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