The Minnesota grape and wine industry is expanding and contributes to over $80M in economic activity, and Minnesota grape growers have expressed a need for more introductory and continuing education for best sustainable viticultural practices. With funding and support from the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE), a collaboration between the University of Minnesota’s Extension and the Grape Breeding and Enology team in the Department of Horticultural Science has developed this free, web-based curriculum that aims to provide quality educational materials on growing cold-hardy grapes in Minnesota. The goal is to provide a broad understanding of viticultural principles as well as practical application of that knowledge.
The long-awaited online course Growing Cold Climate Grapes is now available. It is ready for grape growers, vineyard managers, gardeners and prospective vineyard owners to explore. “Students” of the course can use the materials at their leisure, as this is not a timed, scheduled class.
The course was created with new grape growers in mind, but anyone can use it. It originated from numerous emails from prospective and new growers, who asked for a go-to resource on how to run a vineyard.
The course contains 11 modules. Each module covers a different topic about vineyard management, from planting to harvesting and everything in between. The modules include a variety of videos, interactive images, and written content. At the end of each module, a quiz invites participants to test their knowledge of the topic.
The course is free, thanks to grant funding from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.
Click here to access the course and learn more about it: https://enology.umn.edu/growing-grapes-minnesota-vineyard-management