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New Grape Cultivars Symposium Aug. 29 in Sutton Bay
Michigan Ag Connection - 08/08/2018

Growing healthy grapes for producing-quality requires a lot of spraying in the vineyards and using large quantities of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Much effort has been done by the industry to develop more environmentally-friendly practices for sustainable viticulture. One of the most recent developments in this field is using new disease-resistant grape varieties--vines selected to resist fungi and produce quality wines.

Across Europe, pioneering wine producers are leading the way and testing these new breeds of super-grape vines and producing wine from them. Some of those varieties and their performance are the focus of an international symposium on Aug. 29, "New Cultivars for Disease Resistance and Increased Sustainability," held in the Community Meeting Room of the Leelanau County Government Center, 8527 E. Government Center, Suttons Bay.

There is no registration fee but pre-registration is encouraged. Lunch will be provided to all participants. For pre-registration and more information, contact Thomas Todaro ( or Paolo Sabbatini (

The day's agenda includes:

9:30 a.m. -- Introduction from Thomas Todaro, Michigan State University Extension viticulture educator

9:45 a.m. - Challenges of Sustainable Viticulture in the Great Lake Region by Paolo Sabbatini, associate professor, Michigan State University

10:30 a.m. - Knocking on Cell's Door: Molecular Cascades Triggered by Powdery Mildew Grapevine Interaction by Clizia Villano, assistant professor, University of Naples (Italy)

11:30 a.m. - Clean Plant Material Program by Jay Jensen and Jeff Wheeler, Novavine Grapevine Nursery, California

1:30 p.m. - Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo (VCR) Breeding Program and Resistant Cultivars by Asia Khafizova, breeding project manager, VCR

2:30 p.m. -- Viticultural Performance of New Disease Resistance Cultivars by Enrico Peterlunger, professor of viticulture, University of Udine (Italy)

3:30 p.m. - Wine Tasting of New Disease Resistant Cultivars by Asia Khafizova, breeding project manager, VCR

This symposium is sponsored by Novavine Grapevine Nursery in California and Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo in Italy.

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