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April 29, 2014

~ Awards more than $634,000 to 17 scientists, researchers and analysts ~
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686

In November 2013 the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) issued a call for proposals seeking viticulture and enology projects that would enable grape growers to produce top quality grapes and winemakers to craft award winning wines. VDACS received 32 proposals with a value of more than $2.3 million by the February 11, 2014 deadline. 

A team of industry experts analyzed and evaluated all proposals and scored them based on criteria established by “Vision 2015,” the strategic plan for Virginia’s wine industry.  Presenters of the top-rated proposals then went before the Virginia Wine Board to further explain how their respective projects will help support and expand the Virginia wine industry.  The Virginia Wine Board took final action on the proposed projects after these presentations.   
After careful review and evaluation and hearing presentations from the researchers, the Board funded the following 17 projects totaling more than $643,000. Funding for the proposals comes from the Virginia wine liter tax that is collected from Virginia wineries on the sale of Virginia wine produced by a farm winery.  The money is used to fund projects that expand viticultural and enological research, education and promotion of the growing of grapes and the production of wine in the Commonwealth.
Grant Proposals Awarded for FY 2015

Preliminary Data Collection to Understand Pierce’s Disease Ecosystems in Virginia, Mizuho Nita, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Winchester Agricultural and Research Extension Center (AREC)

Investigating the Lifecycle of Ripe Rot of Grapes Caused by Colletotrichum Species, Mizuho Nita, Virginia Tech, Winchester AREC

Understanding Grapevine Virus Complex and Development of Grapevine Leaf Roll Disease Management, Mizuho Nita, Virginia Tech, Winchester AREC

Characteristics of Grapevine Yellows in Susceptible Vineyards and Potential Management Strategies, Tony Wolf, Virginia Tech, Winchester AREC

Optimized Wine Quality Potential through Fruit Zone Management Practices in Red Varieties, Tony Wolf, Virginia Tech, Winchester AREC

Viticulture Research and Extension Associate Operational Support, Tony Wolf, Virginia Tech, Winchester AREC

Botrytis Cinerea Fungicide Sensitivity Evaluation in Virginia Crops, Anton Baudoin, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Evaluation of Powdery Mildew Quinoxyfen Resistance and Assessment of Variability of Grape Downy Mildew Sensitivity to Fungicides, Anton Baudoin, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Distribution, Varietal Susceptibility, Monitoring and Control of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Virginia Vineyards, Douglas Pfeiffer, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Identification and Quantification of Wine Related Microorganisms via Real Time PCR, Amanda Stewart, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Assessing the Impact of Naturally Occurring Entomopathogenic Nematodes on Grape Root Borer Infestations in Virginia Vineyards, Christopher Bergh, Virginia Tech, Winchester AREC

Enology - Chemistry, Equipment, Trouble Shooting and Education at the Winery by Extension Specialist Joseph Marcy, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Creating Amarone Style Wines Using an Enhanced Dehydration Technique, Molly Kelly, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Statewide Assessment of Lands Suitable for Vineyards and Map Books for State, Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts, Peter Sforza, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Cost and Profitability Analysis of Virginia Vineyards and Wineries, Dean Martinelli, Hantzmon Wiebel, LLP, Charlottesville

The Role of Soil Mineralogy in Potassium Uptake by Wine Grapes, Ernest Beasley, HydroGeo Environmental, LLC, Charlottesville

Horticulture, Pest and Disease Control, Weed Management and Canopy Pruning, Kay Thompson, Virginia Vineyards Association, Amherst

The selected research projects have terms from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 and researchers must present a mid-year status update as well as make a final report to the Virginia Wine Board. For more information on the wine research grants, interested parties should contact David Robishaw at 434.984.0573.

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