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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Viticulture Notes

Vineyard and Winery Information Series:
Vol. 19 No. 6, December 2004

Dr. Tony K. Wolf, Viticulture Extension Specialist

Table of Contents

  1. Petit Manseng
  2. Upcoming meetings

I. Questions from the field:

Question: I've heard some growers and vintners discussing a grape variety called 'Petit Manseng'. I wondered if this variety might do well here in Albemarle County?

Response: Petit Manseng is actually an old variety, most notably grown in the Juranšon region of France. The Juranšon is in southern France at the foot of the Pyrenees and the weather in this area is moderated, depending on the season, both by the Atlantic and by the Mediterranean. Rainfall in the region is greater than in Languedoc or the Rhone, at times more nearly like Virginia. Petit Manseng and its larger-berried sibling, Gros Manseng, are both white-fruited Vitis vinifera cultivars and are the principal grapes grown in the Juranšon. Will the variety do well in Albemarle County? Quite possibly; if you have a good site - well-drained soils and adequate elevation to avoid early fall frosts. Petit Manseng was one of 25 varieties that were evaluated at Winchester with our first variety evaluation. The vines were planted in 1987 and evaluated over an 8-year cropping period. Performance details of Petit Manseng were published in Wolf and Warren (2000). Viticulturally, P. Manseng is relatively easy to grow. We evaluated it with cordon-training and spur-pruning, with VSP canopies and obtained yields of 11.0 to 13.0 pounds/vine, or about 3.0 to 3.5 tons per acre equivalent. The clusters are very loose and the berries are tiny (1.1 grams as compared to 1.6 grams for Viognier), and fruit rots were almost non-existent, even in the worst (1996) of years. Fruit ripens VERY late, and could easily be harvested after Cabernet Sauvignon. Days from budburst to harvest averaged 173 for Cabernet Sauvignon (clone #7) and 182 for Petit Manseng.

I obtained budwood of P. Manseng from the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, where fall frosts normally occur in early October. I collected the budwood in early November and was impressed with the fact that the clusters were still hanging on the vines at that point (no leaves) in all their sweet, flavorful glory - no rot - no apparent deterioration of fruit. This is a good candidate for a late-harvest, if not an ice wine! Our spray program was rigorous, so I can't say that P. Manseng is any more or less susceptible to foliar fungal diseases compared to other vinifera varieties. Cold hardiness was better than Chardonnay - we recorded 54% primary bud kill following -11║F (19 January 1994) when Chardonnay experienced 100% bud kill (Wolf et al., 1999). Controlled freezing tests generally confirmed a relatively high degree of cold hardiness, compared to other vinifera. The variety is susceptible to Grapevine Yellows, although it is not as sensitive as Chardonnay is. Like most other vinifera, it's vigorous. Dr. Zoecklein's P. Manseng wines were good and varietal typicity was apparent. Wine descriptors include pineapple, honey, citrus (more grapefruit than orange), cinnamon, coconut and mango, maybe even guava. For those familiar with Vignoles (Ravat 51), Petit Manseng wines could be similarly described. The variety has a tendency to accumulate and retain very high concentrations of sugar and acid. We often harvested at or above 29║ Brix (averaged 27.6║) with TA in the 7.0 to 10.0 g/L range (averaged 8.0 g/L).

Budwood of Petit Manseng from the Winchester vineyard was provided to Horton Cellars as well as Chrysalis by way of Alan Kinne for commercial evaluation. The resulting wines from these two operations have been impressive, and well worth sampling in your overall evaluation of the variety. We removed our P. Manseng vines in 1998, at the conclusion of our 1987 project, although we now have it planted at the Southern Piedmont AREC in Blackstone for evaluation under eastern piedmont conditions. Results from our initial harvest there in 2004 were encouraging, despite the terrible weather we experienced in August and September 2004.

Some credit for Petit Manseng's existence in the Virginia industry rests with Jancis Robinson (1986), whose eloquent description of Petit Manseng and the Juranšon compelled me to include the variety in our 1987 variety evaluation. It was an interest in Petit Manseng that took the France tour group to the Juranšon in December of 2002 ( Additional accounts and descriptions of Petit Manseng wines can be found at this web site.

What's the future for P. Manseng in Virginia? I did not include P. Manseng among the "recommended" varieties in our 1999 variety publication (Wolf et al., 1999) because the variety can tend to have very high acidity at harvest. However, if you have a site with a long season (200 or more days), and the heat to ripen it, I think the variety has tremendous potential. Like Viognier and Albari˝o, I consider P. Manseng something of a niche variety. It may do very well with cellar-door sales, once the consumer has tried the wine. The vast majority of wine buyers, however, will not recognize the varietal name, and would be less apt to buy the wine without first tasting it. So some marketing will be in order (what's new?). But in terms of defining a Virginia branded product -- one that gives us consumer distinction/recognition -- I think that Petit Manseng will only gain in importance in Virginia.

Robinson, Jancis. 1986. Vines, Grapes and Wines. Knopf, New York. 280 p.

Wolf, T. K. and M. K. Warren. 2000. Crop yield, grape quality, and winter injury of eight wine grape cultivars in Northern Virginia. J. Amer. Pomological Soc. 54:34-43.

Wolf, T.K., I. E. Dami, B. W. Zoecklein, and M. K. Warren. 1999. Commercial Grape Varieties for Virginia. Virginia Cooperative Extension Public. 463-019, 42p. See also:

Return to Table of Contents

II. Upcoming meetings:

A. Virginia Grown Conference (26 - 29 January 2005)

The 3rd Annual Virginia Grown Conference and Trade Show, will be held January 26-29 (Wed-Sat), 2005 at the Holiday Inn Select - Koger South, 1021 Koger Center Boulevard, in Richmond, VA.

This year the program will offer three distinct educational tracts for attendees: Tree Fruit Production, Specialty Crops/Small Fruit, and Vineyard Management. Each production area is being hosted by affiliated growers associations: the VA and WV Horticulture Societies, the VA Small Fruit and Specialty Growers Association, and new this year, the VA Vineyards Association. Exhibitors and their wares will also be on hand in the trade show area throughout the four-day conference.

The tree fruit educational tract will address apple and peach production issues pertinent for commercial growers of all sizes. Each year this segment brings nationally known experts as guest speakers. These sessions will begin Wednesday afternoon and continue through Thursday.

The second tract is designed for small fruit and other specialty crop growers. It will kick-off Wednesday morning, with an all-day program focusing on "Agri-tourism and Specialty Crop Options", including a mini-workshop on shitake mushroom production in which each participant will take home an inoculated log for fruiting at home. On Thursday, "Small Fruit Production and Pest Management" will be the focus, with sessions on blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries for the small farm.

The third tract is focused on successful vineyard management and will host national and internationally known experts. These sessions will begin on Thursday afternoon and continue all day Saturday.

Plenty of time has also been set aside so that all three groups can get together to network. Associations will gather Wednesday evening for annual meetings, and there will be a "grazing dinner" reception on Thursday evening, and a wine reception on Friday evening In addition, Friday's program will begin with a buffet breakfast and a morning general session open to all participants.

Program registration materials are included at the end of this newsletter. For early registrations received before 5 January 2005, a discount on fees is applicable. Details (speakers, titles) are included in the attached Excel spreadsheet. Each sheet of the spreadsheet represents a different day of the program. You can select individual sheets by selecting the appropriate sheet tab near the bottom of the screen when the spreadsheet opens.

Attention Virginia Vineyards Association (VVA) members: Please note that VVA members can renew their VVA membership at the Virginia Vineyards Association web site (

Registration Form -- PDF

B. New grower workshop at 2005 Wineries Unlimited (24 Mary 2005)

Dr. Tony Wolf (VA Tech), Dr. Joe Fiola (U of MD) and Mark Chien (Penn State) will team-teach an intensive one-day workshop for people who are interested in starting a commercial vineyard in the Mid-Atlantic region. It provides a general overview of all aspects of vineyard development from pre plant decisions such as site selection, variety and rootstock choice, vineyard economics, equipment and supplies, through vineyard care up to the third year including training, pruning, disease and pest control, vine nutrition, weed control and more. The focus is on practical information that will give the prospective or beginner grower a foundation of knowledge needed to start a successful vineyard. Plenty of handouts and information resources are given out and a field trip to a nearby vineyard is included. Lunch and snacks are included in the registration fee. For the second year, the workshop will be a part of Wineries Unlimited, the large trade show and winery/vineyard meeting sponsored by Vineyard and Winery Management and held at the Lancaster Host Resort in Lancaster, PA. The date for the workshop is Thursday, March 24 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wineries Unlimited is the perfect complement to this class. It provides people who are exploring the idea of starting a vineyard or have just recently planted one to meet with others who share a passion for growing wine. It's also a great opportunity to visit the largest vineyard equipment and supply trade show outside of California. The WU program contains dozens of seminars in viticulture, wine making and wine marketing. Even if you are just a beginner, or haven't yet planted your first vine, this can be a valuable meeting to attend along with the new grower workshop. You can find information and registration about Wineries Unlimited at Register for the New Grower Workshop directly with Penn State Cooperative Extension. You will be able to find more information about the meeting at the Wine Grape Network website at If you have any questions, please call Mark Chien at 717.394.6851 or

Thursday, March 24, 2005
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lancaster Host Resort, Lancaster, PA
Cost: $125
Pre-registration required. Class size is limited, so please register early.

If you have just started or are thinking about growing wine grapes this workshop will give you a basic overview of everything that is involved with developing a vineyard through the second year. It will provide you with a foundation of knowledge so you can answer the endless questions that you will have before you plant your first vine. It is also a good review course for the beginner grower. Its proximity with Wineries Unlimited offers students a unique chance to attend additional seminars as well as look at equipment and supplies at the trade show.

Other regional meetings (adapted from Mark Chien's [Penn State University] newsletter. Thanks for compiling this extensive listing, Mark!


8/9 Juice and Wine Analysis Workshop. Penn State Erie campus. Day 1 4-6:30 p.m. including optional sensory workshop and dinner on Jan 7 at Presque Isle Cafe (separate option - $40 fee). Day 2: 8:30-5:30. Hands-on teaching and demonstration at individual stations such as calibration of pH meters and solutions, VA, and other essential winery lab practices will be covered. Limited to 25 participants. Registration fee is $85. Contact Stephen Menke (717.334.6271) or Hans Walter-Petersen (716 672-2191) for information and registration.

11/12 Juice and Wine Analysis Short Course. The Wine/Enology-Grape Chemistry Group at VA Tech will offer a two-day juice and wine analysis short course. Food Science and Technology Building at VA Tech in Blacksburg. This program will be a hands-on, practically oriented laboratory course for beginners and those desiring to 'brush up' on lab skills. It will be conducted in the teaching laboratory of the Food Science and Technology Building at Virginia Tech. Cost is $250 per person. Registration deadline is December 15. Contact Terry Rakestraw at See for more information. Supplemental text and reading is recommended.

13 Wine Grape Session of the New Jersey Horticulture Society meeting at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City from 1-4 p.m. Topics focus on developing new vineyards. Contact Gary Pavlis at Rutgers Cooperative Extension for information and registration. (609) 625-0056.

18 Pruning workshop for commercial growers at Naylor Winery and Vineyards in Stewartstown, PA in York County. 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Cost is $15 for training and handouts. Call Mark Chien for information and registration.

19 Wine Maker Technical Meeting in Lancaster, PA. 2-5 p.m. at the Farm and Home Center. Open to commercial wine makers. This is an informal gathering of winemakers to discuss enology problem solving and wine making by tasting wines. Walter Rowen from Susquehanna Glass will show how wine glass shape and size affects sensory perception of wines. Bring wines, ideas, equipment, business to share and discuss. No fee or registration.

21 Long Island Ag Forum Viticulture Session at Suffolk Community College in Riverhead, NY. 8:45 am to noon. Featured topics include vinifera varieties and clones, bird and deer control and nutritional analysis for vines. Call Linda Holm at 631.727.7850 x341 for info and registration.

22/23 Getting a Vineyard Started at Linden Vineyards in Linden, VA. Wine grower Jim Law offers a series of excellent practical, commercial level and high quality workshops on a variety of grape growing and wine making topics. The first day is designed for those new to grape growing or thinking about starting a vineyard and covers site and variety selection, planting, trellis, first year care and economics. Day 2 is devoted to Keeping Vines and Grapes Healthy includes disease and weed control, cover crops and insects. Seminars will be held at Linden from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The cost is $85, required at least one week in advance. Call 540-364-1997. For additional information and registration, visit the Linden web site at

26-29 Virginia Grown Conference. Includes annual meeting of the Virginia Vineyard Association in Richmond, VA (see expanded details elsewhere in this newsletter). In cooperation with Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension. Always a great program focusing on practical viticulture with a small trade show. Visit their web site for more information at

25-27 Unified Symposium in Sacramento, CA. One of the biggest vineyard and wine meetings and trade shows of the year. Program, hotels, information and registration at or call 800.550.1496.


Three pruning clinics will be held in Maryland (5, 12, and 19 February) - Upper Marlboro Research Center, WMREC and Safe Arbor Vineyard in Henderson. Check the MGGA web site for dates, time and directions at or contact Bob White at 410.374.3227

1 Wine Grape Section of the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, PA. 9 a.m to 4 p.m. at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. Part of a large meeting and trade show, the grape session will cover varieties and rootstocks for the region and pest management including sprayers, weeds, IPM and grape root borer. Register for the meeting through the State Horticulture Assoc of PA (SHAP). Call Maureen Irvin at 717.677.4184 or register at the door. PA, NJ and MD pesticide credits are available.

3 Southwest Michigan Horticulture Days Grape Session at Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, MI. Dr. Alan Lakso, from Cornell University, will be speaking on irrigation and grape growth and described fruiting and shoot growth when water was not limiting growth. Wine tasting on the 2nd. Information and registration on the Michigan Grape Society web site at or call (269) 944-1477.

5-7 20th Annual Mid-America Grape and Wine Conference will feature a symposium on grapevine rootstocks at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, MO. The purpose of the meeting is to provide growers with the latest information on rootstock research and use. International speakers include Dr. Ernst Ruhl and Dr. Mark Krstic. For information and registration, please contact Gloria Smith at 417.926.4105 or visit

8 Pruning workshop for commercial growers at Manatawny Creek Vineyards in Douglassville, PA from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Cost is $15 for training and handouts. Call Mark Chien for information.

10 Juice and Wine Filtration Workshop sponsored by Virginia Tech. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Food Science and Technology Bldg in Blacksburg. Hands-on practical workshop with advanced program involving technical discussions and sensory evaluations of wines filtered by various means. More information at

16/17 Grape Sessions at the Ontario Fruit/Veg Convention at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario. 2 day price is $90Cdn and included two hot lunches and the wine and food gala and admission to the trade show. Speakers include Dr. Ann Thrupp from Fetzer Vineyards, Dr. Terry Bates from Cornell and Dr. Annemiek Schilder from Michigan State Univ. For registration and information, call 613.475.4769 or visit

17 How to Develop a High Quality Wine Vineyard at the Historic Hopewell Vineyard near Oxford in Chester County, PA. Hosts are Tony and Karen Mangus. 9 - 5. Growers will teach other growers the secrets of planning, planting and developing a top quality wine vineyard at this full day workshop. The emphasis will be on the practical, how-to aspects of vineyard development including methods and materials. Pre-registration required. Cost is $50 and includes lunch and handouts. For information and registration, call Mark Chien.

20-22 Ohio Grape and Wine Short Course at Geneva-on-the-Lake in Ohio is a comprehensive workshop on viticulture and enology with marketing, wine tastings and special events. Dr. Paul Skinner from Terra Spase in Napa Valley will talk about vineyard soils. There will be a special workshop for new growers held on February 20. For more information, visit the Ohio Wine Producers web site at or contact Dr. Imed Dami at OSU at (330) 263-3882.


3/4 Michigan Wine Industry Annual Meeting at the Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville. More details at

4/5 Finger Lakes Grape Growers Convention and Trade Show at the Holiday Inn in Waterloo, NY. Many topics in wine grape production include research and grower presentations. Trade show. For more information, call 315.536.5134 or visit

5 Maryland Grape Growers' Association Annual Meeting at the Howard County Fairgrounds. An all day program focusing on viticulture topics relevant to Maryland and Mid-Atlantic growers. Visit or contact Bob White at 410.374.3227 for information.

19 Grape Expectations at the Forsgate Country Club in Jamesburg, NJ. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. is a day long symposium of viticulture, enology and marketing presentations designed to present new and relevant information for professionals and amateurs involved in wine production. Mr. Kevin Chambers, owner of Oregon Vineyard Supply and a grower in Oregon is the invited speaker. Fee is $75 and includes a tasting of NJ wines. For information, please contact Dr. Gary Pavlis at 609.625.0056.

21-24 Wineries Unlimited. Host Resort. Lancaster, PA. Sponsored by Vineyard and Winery Management. Program features a wide variety of topics on viticulture, enology and wine marketing. A large trade show accompanies the meeting. For more program, information and registration, visit

24 New Grape Grower Workshop in association with Wineries Unlimited. Host Resort. Lancaster, PA. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This intensive, full-day overview is directed at people who have just started a vineyard or plan to start a commercial vineyard in the Mid-Atlantic regions. It is team taught by Dr. Tony Wolf (VA Tech), Dr. Joe Fiola (U Md) and Mark Chien (Penn State). It covers all topics associated with developing and operating a commercial vineyard including site selection, grape market, vineyard economics, equipment and supplies, site preparation, varieties and rootstocks, trellis systems, disease, pest and weed control and management into the first year. Registration fee is $125 and includes lunch, breaks and handouts. Register through Penn State Coop Ext. Contact Mark Chien at 717.394.6851 for more information and registration.

24 Lake Erie Grape Growers Conference in at the SUNY campus in Fredonia, NY sponsored by Cornell and Penn State. A full-day meeting with breakout sessions on a variety of viticulture, marketing, juice and wine topics. A trade show accompanies the meeting. Check


5 Team Wine Growing: Working Together in the Vineyard and Winery. Location TBA, SE PA. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The focus of this meeting will be wine production in the vineyard and cellar and planning for the upcoming season as a wine growing team. Includes pruning strategies and managing yields for quality, effects of disease on wine quality, planning for wine capacity, quality and production, variety and clone choice as they relate to wine blending. Registration fee of $75 includes lunch and handouts. Instructors are Mark Chien and Stephen Menke from Penn State Cooperative Extension with invited speakers. Contact Mark Chien at 717.394.6851.

6-8 34TH New York Wine Industry Workshop at the Lakefront Ramada in Geneva, NY. Annual enology learning event that features wine making sessions. For more information, go to

25-27 Pennsylvania Wine Association and Pennsylvania Association of Winegrowers joint annual meetings at the Wyndham Hotel in Harrisburg, PA. For the first time, the two industry associations in Pennsylvania will hold their annual meetings jointly. Focus of vit/enol sessions will be on Pinot Gris and Vidal Blanc production in the vineyard and winery, also wine marketing topics will be covered. Pesticides credits will be available. Visit the PWA web site at


6/7 Wine and Juice Analysis Workshop at FREC in Biglerville, PA - See January 8 description. Sensory workshop and dinner on May 6 at Gibraltar (additional $50 fee). Hands-on teaching and demonstration at individual stations such as calibration of pH meters and solutions, VA, and other essential winery lab practices will be covered. Limited to 25 participants. Registration fee is $85. Contact Stephen Menke (717.334.6271).


Virginia summer vineyard meeting series with VA Tech extension and research personnel including tours of vineyards, current situation updates and specific viticulture topics. Look for designated sites and information in future updates of this calendar and on the VVA web site -

Also, look for vineyard twilight meetings in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.

11 Maryland Grape Growers' Association Summer Field Day at Copernica Vineyard in Carroll County. Practical viticulture information for Mid-Atlantic grape growers. Visit or contact Bob White at 410.374.3227 for information.

20-24 American Society for Enology and Viticulture Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA. ASEV is the professional association for the industry. Presentations are mostly scientific in nature. A large trade show accompanies the meeting. A great place to network. Go to for more information.

26 Vineyard Management class at Linden Vineyards in Linden, VA. Wine grower Jim Law offers a series of excellent practical, commercial level and high quality workshops on a variety of grape growing and wine making topics. The focus of this session is the finer points of day to day management in a producing vineyard including canopy management, training, vine nutrition and pruning. Go to the Linden web site for information and registration


13-15 American Society for Enology and Viticulture Eastern Section annual meeting and symposium at the Millenium Hotel in St. Louis, MO will feature a focus on the enology and viticulture of four groups of varieties of increasing importance in the Eastern US and Canada: Norton/Cynthiana, Traminette, Minnesota Varieties (Frontenac, LaCrosse, etc.), and Pinot Gris. Join a pre-conference tour of Missouri wineries on July 13. This meeting will also be coordinated with the International Grapevine Genomics Symposium, July 12 - 14. This Symposium is part of the Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU) Centennial Celebration and organized in cooperation with the International Grape Genome Project (IGGP). Visit for more information and registration.


5 or 12 Viticulture in-service for regional cooperative extension agents at the VA Tech Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Winchester, VA. A full day training workshop for ag agents interested in working with wine grapes. Contact Tony Wolf, Joe Fiola or Mark Chien for information. Open to extension agents in any state. Exact date and information TBA.

TBA The Pennsylvania Association of Winegrowers Annual Summer Walk Around at Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery in Breinigsville, PA. The walk around is a very practical, grower oriented day long workshop that meets at a vineyard and covers a wide range of viticulture topics. More information forthcoming.

13/14 Winemaking Basics and Advanced Winemaking at Linden Vineyards in Linden, VA. Wine grower Jim Law offers a series of excellent practical, commercial level and high quality workshops on a variety of grape growing and wine making topics

30 2005 Crush Workshop. Gettysburg/Biglerville, PA. Focus on grape processing from vineyard to cellar. Also information on atypical aging of wines. Instructor is Dr. Stephen Menke, Penn State extension enologist.

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"Viticulture Notes" is a bi-monthly newsletter issued by Dr. Tony K. Wolf, Viticulture Extension Specialist with Virginia Tech's Alson H. Smith, Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester, Virginia. If you would like to receive "Viticulture Notes" as well as Dr. Bruce Zoecklein's "Vinter's Corner" by mail, contact Dr. Wolf at:

Dr. Tony K. Wolf
AHS Agricultural Research and Extension Center
595 Laurel Grove Road
Winchester, VA 22602

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