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University of Minnesota Extension

Perfecting grape nutrition for better wine

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Grapes in basket with vineyard in background

Cold-hardy wine grapes released by the University of Minnesota are important to the wine industry in the coldest regions of North America. However, best practices for soil and nutrient management of the new cultivars weren't yet known. Without research-based information, growers could not achieve ideal crop yields and wine quality.

Carl Rosen, Extension soil scientist, Jim Crants, research scientist, and scientists from other northern universities conducted a three-year survey to establish soil and plant tissue nutrient diagnostic criteria for Frontenac, La Crescent and Marquette cultivars. They measured yield, grape size and four variables considered most important to the development of a quality wine. Although the results are preliminary, they discovered that vine nutrition can influence grape juice quality. They established nutrient sufficiency ranges that will optimize yield and quality for these Minnesota grapes.

Nutrient guidelines will be available for growers by spring 2016. Final results will be shared in late 2016 on the Northern Grapes Project website.

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